The Farage factor, rather than right wing policy, is winning UKIP votes

The assumption that UKIP is gaining in popularity because of its policies on immigration and Europe has been undermined by new polling.

The assumption that UKIP is gaining in popularity because of its policies on immigration and Europe has been undermined by recent Lord Ashcroft polling.

The research shows that, rather than hard-line policies on immigration and Europe attracting voters, it actually has more to do with the Farage factor.

Lord Ashcroft’s poll findings show that, out of those willing to consider voting for the right-wing Eurosceptic party, only 7 per cent saw the statement “UKIP is the best party on defending Britons interests in Europe” as the most important factor when deciding whether to vote for the party.

Voters instead attached more importance to the phrase “UKIP’s heart is in the right place” (19 per cent saw this as most important), and “UKIP is on the side of people like me” (18 per cent most important).

These findings contradict, at least in part, the idea that UKIP’s rising popularity is a cue for the three major parties to tack to the right.

It does, however, perhaps illustrate one thing Nigel Farage: acting more like a normal human being and less like an automaton. The three main party leaders could perhaps learn from this.

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