New poll shows Ukip surge, but party was more popular in 2013

Billy Ehrenberg
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A new Guardian/ICM poll has revealed a Ukip surge of five points after its recent by-election performances (Source: Getty)

A new Guardian/ICM poll has revealed a Ukip surge of five points after its recent by-election performances.

The data shows Nigel Farage's party has jumped up to 14 per cent, with the Conservatives, the biggest losers, down two percentage points to 31.

Labour was unchanged on 35 per cent, while the Liberal Democrats were up one percentage point.

What is notable though is that this is not the most popular that Ukip has been. The party's popularity crested at 16 per cent after the European parliament elections and below the 18 per cent they enjoyed after the May 2013 elections.

It is, of course, important not to read too much into any one opinion poll.

Despite the current wave of enthusiasm, Ukip is yet to maintain momentum after a surge and is far from breathing down Labour's neck in the north, as some have suggested.

Popularity contest

ICM also looked at what attributes voters saw in their potential leaders. No one did well, but Farage was top of the class. From the ICM report:

When it comes to “understanding people like me” David Cameron stands on -36, which is actually an improvement on the miserable -43 he scored in November last year. However, the freefall in Ed Miliband’s personal ratings continue apace, with the Labour leader marching Cameron on -35 when this time last year he was on a semi-respectable -16. Nigel Farage is rating materially better than his counterparts, but is also in solidly negative territory of -17.

Most important issues

When respondents were asked about the issues that mattered most to them, they gave answers that may well cheer Labour and Ukip. The NHS was first with 24 per cent, while immigration was second with 20 per cent. In third were jobs, prices and wages, Labour favourites all.

17 per cent of those who replied cited jobs, prices and wages as key issues - Labour favourites all.

ICM Research interviewed a random sample of 1001 adults aged 18+ by telephone on 10-12th October 2014. Interviews were conducted across the country and the results have been weighted to the profile of all adults. ICM is a member of the British Polling Council and abides by its rules.

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