Need to Know | 3rd November 2014

Ukip set for second MP: A round-up of the polls in Rochester & Strood

In three weeks Mark Reckless looks very likely to be sworn in as Ukip’s […]

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In three weeks Mark Reckless looks very likely to be sworn in as Ukip’s second MP.

That is the story the three polls out so far are increasingly telling.

In 2010 Reckless won 49 per cent of the vote standing as a Tory. Labour won nearly 29 per cent and Lib Dems 16 per cent.

Rochester (1)

The left-leaning anti-Tory vote (Labour and Lib Dem) was only a shade below the Tory vote. And so the collapse of the left-wing Lib Dem, and a split in the right, could have presented Labour will a chance to take the seat.

But Labour’s share of the vote was lower than in 2010 when the seat was first polled a month ago, and has only fallen since. Reckless has taken a portion of the Tory vote with him, but 30 per cent of the constituency are still planning to vote Conservative.

Reckless is also winning over around a third of Labour’s 2010 vote and more than forty percent of the Lib Dem’s 2010 vote, which suggests their showing in the seat four years ago was more of a protest vote than an indication of support.

Could the result on 20 November play out differently? These polls, by Survation and ComRes, include voters who didn’t vote in 2010. If they are excluded Ukip’s lead fall to 9 and 6 points, rather than the double-digit leads they have now.

Nevertheless, Ukip are well-placed, and are so far suggesting their support extends far beyond the right in seats like Rochester.