2 Oct 2014

Sun poll suggests Ukip won’t get shock result in Heywood and Middleton

The first opinion in the Heywood and Middleton by-election suggests that Labour are comfortably on course to retake the seat.  The poll was conducted by Survation for the Sun newspaper over the last two days, and gives Labour a substantial 19 percent lead over Ukip.  It will come as a huge relief to many in the Labour Party who feared a shock defeat in a seat Labour held with a 6,000 majority in 2010.

The full figures are:

Labour            50%   (Up 10% on 2010)

Ukip                31%  (Up 28%)

Conservative  13%  (Down 14%)

Lib Dems        4%    (Down 19%)

The one worry for Labour is that 19 percent of voters have not yet made up their minds.  The Ukip figure also shows an enormous leap from the 2.6 percent which Ukip recorded in 2010.  The poll suggests that 35 percent of Ukip’s support comes from Labour, and 33 percent from the Tories.

Polls in by-elections often affect the dynamics of the campaign, and build up momentum for a challenging party.  While Ukip may succeed in further squeezing the Conservative share of the vote, it is hard to see how, in the remaining seven days, Nigel Farage’s party can bridge the 19 percent gap suggested by the Survation polling figures for The Sun.

In recent days, according to a senior Ukip source, the party has redirected some of its resources away from the Clacton by-election and towards the Lancashire seat, in the hope that it can pull off a shock double defeat for the two main parties.