Poll delight for UKIP - but survey ‘unfavourable’ to Neil Hamilton

Robin Hunter-Clarke and Nigel Farage ENGEMN00120130620094821
Robin Hunter-Clarke and Nigel Farage ENGEMN00120130620094821

UKIP was delighted by the ‘amazing’ poll which put it on course for a huge election victory in Boston next year – but the survey does reveal an ‘unfavourable’ reaction to possible candidate Neil Hamilton.

A Survation poll, commissioned by UKIP, puts the party on 46 per cent in Boston and Skegness, with the Conservatives on 26, Labour 21 and the Lib Dems on just two per cent with ‘others’ on six.

If replicated at the ballot box in May it would mean UKIP had jumped 36 per cent and the swing from the Tories, whose poll is 23 per cent lower than their 2010 vote, would be higher than any other in postwar election history.

The news was gleefully announced to the UKIP conference in Doncaster at the weekend by leader Nigel Farage.

Branch chairman Robin Hunter-Clarke told The Standard: “It’s very encouraging. We know we polled great numbers at the county council and European elections and it’s encouraging to see that people are sticking with us. Hopefully that is going to continue.

“It’s absolutely amazing we are so grateful for the people for believing in us.”

He added: “It’s a good starting point. Yes, it’s only a poll but this is before the campaign has even begun.”

However, the poll was not all positive for UKIP. The 595 respondents were asked about Neil Hamilton with 173 ‘unfavourable’, 101 ‘favourable’ and the rest having not heard of the ex-Tory minister.

Mr Hunter-Clarke said it is up to the membership to decide their candidate this month – with others taking on Hamilton, the party’s deputy chairman who has applied to stand, at a hustings event.

He said: “This is up to the membership of Boston and Skegness UKIP and who they want to be their candidate. It could be that somebody local beats Neil Hamilton. Wait and see.”

He said there are a number of applicants who will contest the hustings - which is due to take place after the Clacton by-election.