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Shy Kippers might be a problem for pollsters like shy Tories were in the 90s

April 26th, 2015

Could the (phone) pollsters be underestimating the UKIP support?

Meet the Shy Kippers

Shy isn’t the first adjective I’d normally associate with UKIP supporters, but ever since David Cameron’s (in)famous comment about UKIP being a bunch of  “fruitcakes and loonies and closet racists mostly” there’s been a perception that UKIP are the BNP in blazers.

But look at the above chart from YouGov, it might be indicative that some Kippers are shy about admitting who they really support. We’ve seen polling that shows, UKIP are considered by the voters, to be the most extreme party, with the candidates likeliest to have racist/extreme views, and a plurality of voters seeing UKIP as racist and what  seems a regular offerings of UKIP candidates, members and activists resigning for acting in a manner that fits with David Cameron’s maxim about UKIP, so you can see why they might be embarrassed to admit their true leanings.

Generally throughout this parliament, the phone pollsters have given UKIP a lower share of the vote than online pollsters, as the below chart of the most recent UKIP share of the vote with the pollsters shows.


If people are embarrassed in telling their friends and family they plan to vote UKIP, then they might embarrased when asked by a phone pollster for their voting intention and say their voting intention is for someone other than UKIP.

Online polling does give the voter an extra layer of anonymity, given that constituency polling is done exclusively by phone, this could mean UKIP are being understated, something that might be crucial when looking at the polling in UKIP’s target seats as it appears “Shy Kippers” doesn’t cause epistemological problems, Shy Kippers could be a modern day polling problem in the same way “Shy Tories” were in the 90s.

TSE

Meanwhile more grim news for Labour in Scotland