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The scene is set for a dramatic and unpredictable election day on Thursday

April 30th, 2013

One of the key rules when analysing polls is not to compare the individual numbers from the different firms but to look at the overall trends.

And from the main pollsters, the established firms that have been commissioned to carry out regular voting intention surveys at least once since at least GE2010, there is only one big message when looking at Ukip – the party is on a roll.

    We didn’t realise it at the time but the formation of the coalition on May 11th 2010 created the perfect conditions for the rise of UKIP: the Tories were emasculated and the LDs unable to carry out their traditional role as the repository for protest votes.

So what’s going to happen? How’s the rise of this fourth force going to impact on the overall outcome?

The answer is that we simply don’t know.

Mike Smithson

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