UKIP on 12% in Scotland - a blip or changing times ?

Nigel Farage

A recent YouGov poll placed UKIP on 12% in Scotland. Is this a real increase of just a polling blip?

Scotland has never been a UKIP stronghold. In fact, in the whole of the United Kingdom it is probably the party's weakest area. Nigel Farage’s party have no councilors north of the border, yet they have made significant gains across the rest of the UK.

Additionally, the party generally fails to do well in the polls in Scotland. Despite the small sample size of Scotland, most recent polls put the anti-EU party on around 7%, whilst polls indicate that the party are doing much better in the Midlands and the South.

However, UKIP’s breakthrough in Scotland came in May last year, when the party won its first Scottish MEP, whilst gaining more MEPs across the UK.

Nigel Farage’s party won almost 27% of the vote across the UK, but got just 10.5% north fo the border. However, it is important to note that the EU elections had a significantly low turnout.

Despite their one MEP, Scotland is still a challenge for UKIP. But a poll last week, despite the small sample size, put the party on 12%.

The YouGov poll gave UKIP 18% for the whole country, but 12% in Scotland suggests that the party could be making some headway. This particular poll was conducted between the 8th and 9th of January this year.

However, another YouGov poll conducted between the 12th and 13th January suggested that UKIP could just be on 2% in Scotland.

As already mentioned the small sample sizes in these polls make it harder to pinpoint exactly how much support UKIP have in Scotland, but different parties will interpret results differently.

UKIP will acknowledge the small sample size but see 12% as an indicator that things are moving in their direction, whilst others will see it as a blip, especially compared to the 2% they get in other polls.

But there’s one thing to bare in mind. Many thought it unlikely that UKIP would get an MEP last May. The seat could have gone to the SNP - giving them a third Scottish seat - or it could have gone to the Scottish Greens. But it did in fact go to UKIP. Support for UKIP in Scotland might be weak, but it does exist.


UKIP on 17%, but struggling in Scotland with just 5%

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The poll that puts UKIP on 12% can be accessed here. The poll that puts them on 2% can be accessed here.