Issues & Ideas | 10th April 2015

Does Ukip have a problem with women?

The gender gap is hurting the Tories, but far more perilous for Ukip.

Photo: Getty

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There is a “gender gap” in British politics. The Tories lead among men, while Labour lead among women. The gap is not as pronounced as it has been, but a divide remains.

Compare voting intention among men…

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With support for each party among women.

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This gap formed the basis of headlines yesterday in papers from the Guardian to the Evening Standard. The latter suggested women could hand Labour many key marginal seats in London.

This kind of analysis – “group x are the key to party y winning in seat z” – is always a little stretched. Everyone in a constituency matters. If a party trails by a few points then any new voters will help them; the Tories don’t need to necessarily win over women.

But Ukip’s “gender gap” is more dramatic. While Labour’s support is 54/46 female, three in five Ukippers are men.  If only women voted next month, Ukip would only poll 11 per cent, according to May2015‘s ‘The Drilldown’.

This compares with the 14-15 per cent they are set to win – a difference of more than a million votes.

Here’s how Ukip’s support has drifted down among women in recent months.

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