— TSE (@TSEofPB) October 13, 2018
History suggests assuming Kippers will strongly back the Tories when UKIP don’t stand is a mistake.
Since the announcement of the Chequers deal in July UKIP have experienced a bit of a polling surge with some polls having them polling 7% and 8% but generally in the 4% to 6% range.
I’m expecting UKIP at the next general election will repeat their 2017 strategy of not standing in many constituencies. Right now UKIP seem happy to be the political wing of the EDL and their leader, a convicted fraudster, the man arrested for being an illegal immigrant, and assaulter of police, and all round bad egg Tommy Robinson. All of this seesUKIP potentially reconfiguring into a street movement than a political party.
So who will these current UKIP voters vote for at the next general election if UKIP don’t stand many candidates? The graph below shows how 2015 UKIP voters voted at the 2017 general election based on some analysis by YouGov.
Anyone adding most of the current UKIP vote share to the Tory share will be making a huge mistake based on past performance. In 2017 centre left voters put Jeremy Corbyn on cusp of Downing Street, at the next general election Tory to UKIP defectors might end up putting him Downing Street.
I suspect how these current UKIP voters vote at the next general election will mostly be determined by 1) The type of Brexit we achieve and 2) Who the Tory leader is. Someone like Jacob Rees-Mogg will see them back the Tories in greater numbers, less so if the Tory leader is someone like Philip Hammond or Sajid Javid.
Hopefully YouGov and other pollsters will track these switchers, and further analyse their long term past voting past behaviour so we can work out if this just typical mid term blues for the governing party or a more fundamental switch.