Ukip viewed as "racist" and "nasty" by 44pc of voters

Guy Bentley
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Public delivers verdict on "nasty" Ukip (Source: Getty)

As Ukip meets for its spring conference in Margate the pollsters have both good and bad news for Nigel Farage's party.

Ukip will be pleased to hear that over a third of the public trust them more than any other party to handle immigration. Never before in British politics has one of the minor parties had such ownership of an issue, not least one that consistently polls among the public's top concerns.

There is bad news, however, for the "people's army". Almost half of voters, 44 per cent, feel that Ukip is a racist party. Close to 40 per cent view associate the word "nasty" with Ukip. The party has consistently been dogged by controversy over racist comments made by members and candidates.

Former Ukip councillor Rozanne Duncan was recently expelled from the party after saying "the only people I do have problems with are negroes. And I don't know why". The number of people who believe Ukip is a racist party has risen by 12 per cent.

The poll, conducted by ComRes for ITV, showed that over half of people believe immigration hurts the NHS and 40 per cent think immigration harms the economy.

Paradoxically, 44 per cent of people said it had no impact on their ability to find a job and 51 per cent said immigration had no effect on them. Channel 4 recently aired a docudrama, 100 Days of Ukip, that has attracted thousands of complaints. Nigel Farage dismissed the programme as "liberal-left poppycock".

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