In a poll that looks at the policies rather than the misinformation about UKIP the results show that the UKIP policy platform sits squarely in the centre of public debate.
Suzanne Evans, UKIP's Deputy Chairman (Policy), "It is clear that when people discover what UKIP really stands for as opposed to the myths they like what they see, and like it by significant margins. UKIP's policies from Taxation to Education, from Energy to Defence clearly chime with Britain today. We are at the clear, common sense centre of British life. We believe in these policies, and it seems the public believe in them too".
The poll of English adults involved a ‘split sample’ so that support for the policies could be compared between respondents who were told that they were UKIP policies, and respondents who were not told. The results reveal that when associated with UKIP, the variation in support is within the margin of error. This suggests that, in contrast with historical polls which have shown a toxicity of brand when associating policies with political parties (historically notably for the Conservative Party), UKIP’s policies do not seem to suffer negative brand associations.
In order of popularity, the ten policies are:
- Committing an additional £3billion of annual spending on the NHS in England and Wales – 81% (79%)
- Ensuring people on the national minimum wage do not have to pay income tax – 74% (75%)
- Introducing a new system of control for immigration using an equivalent of the Australian points-based system with no distinction between EU and non-EU citizens – 72% (70%)
- Cutting the amount spend by Government on overseas aid – 70% (66%)
- Holding an immediate referendum on whether or not the UK should be a member of the European Union (EU) – 60% (61%)
- Increasing spending on defence and the armed forces – 59% (58%)
- Abolishing inheritance tax – 58% (57%)
- Increasing the number of grammar schools – 53% (50%)
- Scrapping HS2, the planned high speed rail line between London, the Midlands and Northern England – 46% (47%)
- Removing “green levies” for energy companies which tax the sources of pollution or carbon emission – 40% (42%)
(% in brackets denote support for policies cited as UKIP policies)
The poll reveals that these ten policies are likely to elicit strong support over the coming General Election ‘short’ campaign period, with levels of opposition among the public at 30% or less for each of them.
Even the policies which are supported by fewer than half the public - scrapping HS2 (46%) and removing green levies (40%) – this level of support is still higher than the proportion of people who oppose them (23% and 33% respectively).