UKIP Bids to Persuade Tory Voters It Won’t Help Miliband Win

The anti-European Union U.K. Independence Party sought today to persuade voters that backing it in the 2015 election wouldn’t necessarily help opposition Labour Party leader Ed Miliband gain power.

A full-page advertisement in the Daily Telegraph newspaper, headlined “New Polls Show UKIP Takes Votes From All Parties,” highlighted surveys commissioned by UKIP donor Alan Bown in four electoral districts. They suggested that only 31 percent of UKIP supporters there had voted for Prime Minister David Cameron’s Tories in the 2010 election and that 61 percent were attracted by UKIP policies rather than making a protest.

Previous “polls have been interpreted by many as showing that a vote for UKIP was not only a wasted vote, but also a counterproductive one, as it could put Miliband into No. 10, supposedly against the wishes of most UKIP voters,” Bown wrote. “The effect of UKIP has dramatically reshaped the political landscape, but in ways far more complex and interesting than the simplistic narrative of UKIP ‘splitting the Tory vote’ would suggest.”

The polls carried out by Survation Ltd. showed UKIP in second place in Conservative-held districts in southeast England, including Bognor Regis and Folkestone, where the party’s leader, Nigel Farage, has indicated he might run in 2015. UKIP has been regularly scoring more than 10 percent support in nationwide opinion polls.

Survation questioned 3,689 voters by telephone in seven electoral districts between Oct. 18 and Dec. 9. No margin of error was specified.

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