Mapping UKIP's polling strength

Nigel Farage and Mark Reckless Mark Reckless (R) defected from the Conservatives to UKIP

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As opinion polls predicted, the UK Independence Party has won the by-election in Rochester and Strood, giving the party its second elected MP.

Conservative incumbent Mark Reckless triggered the contest when he announced his defection to UKIP in September.

In October, another defector from the Tories to UKIP, Douglas Carswell, took the seat of Clacton with almost 60% of the vote.

And in the Heywood and Middleton by-election the same day, UKIP slashed Labour's majority to 617.

Professor of politics at Strathclyde University John Curtice said the most recent result had boosted the party's chances of getting a "significant share of the vote" at the general election in May.

"UKIP will now be able to point to Rochester to say to voters, 'Look, voting for UKIP is not a waste of time, we can actually win,'" he said.

Opinion polling carried out within constituencies in the past year suggests that UKIP has increased its support significantly in many areas since the 2010 general election when it garnered just 3% of the vote nationally.

UKIP support map including by-elections and latest polls

In the voting intention research, UKIP came top in five locations, including Thanet South in Kent, where party leader Nigel Farage has announced he will be standing.

And the party came second in 22 of the 87 constituencies surveyed, knocking traditional parties into third and fourth place.

UKIP also came second in the other two by-elections in 2014: Newark and Wythenshawe and Sale East.

The full data from the polling, which was mainly carried out by former Tory party chairman Lord Ashcroft's company, reveals UKIP took second place behind the Conservatives in 17 locations and behind Labour in six.

In places where Labour topped the poll, UKIP were mainly in third spot or lower.

Prof Curtice said the October by-election results were "a clear confirmation that UKIP do pose a threat to the votes of all three parties".

He said that the Conservatives were coming under particular pressure from UKIP, but that "all three political parties will be wondering exactly what will face them in six months' time [at the general election].

"All of them are losing votes to UKIP and none of them can be entirely sure what the consequences will be," he said.

By-election results and constituency level opinion polls Dec 2013 - Nov 2014

Constituency currently held by (previously if by-election) Con Lab Lib Dem UKIP Other UKIP place Source Date

*All polls are general election voting intention polls except for Folkestone & Hythe which was voting intention if Nigel Farage was local UKIP candidate.

Clacton (CON)

25

11

1

60

3

1st

By-election

Oct 14

Boston and Skegness CON

26

21

2

46

6

1st

Survation

Sep 14

Rochester and Strood CON

35

17

1

42

5

1st

By-election

Nov 14

Thurrock CON

25

29

2

37

6

1st

Ashcroft

Jun 14

South Thanet CON (UKIP leader Nigel Farage will stand here)

30

27

4

32

7

1st

Ashcroft

Jul 14

Camborne and Redruth CON

28

25

11

28

8

1st

Ashcroft

Jun 14

Heywood and Middleton (LAB)

12

41

5

39

3

2nd

By-election

Oct 14

Rotherham LAB

6

48

4

37

6

2nd

Survation

Sep 14

Great Yarmouth CON

33

28

3

32

5

2nd

Ashcroft

Jul 14

North Thanet CON

33

24

6

32

5

2nd

Survation

Sep 14

Walsall North LAB

22

37

5

32

3

2nd

Ashcroft

May 14

Dudley North LAB

25

39

4

29

3

2nd

Ashcroft

May 14

Folkestone and Hythe* CON

35

21

10

28

6

2nd

Survation

Apr 14

St Austell and Newquay LD

30

17

19

27

7

2nd

Ashcroft

Aug 14

Bognor Regis and Littlehampton CON

37

20

11

27

5

2nd

Survation

Dec 13

Torbay LD

34

15

18

27

6

2nd

Ashcroft

Sep 14

Newark (CON)

45

18

3

26

9

2nd

By-election

Jun 14

Eastbourne LD

31

14

24

26

6

2nd

Ashcroft

Sep 14

Great Grimsby LAB

23

37

9

25

7

2nd

Ashcroft

May 14

Newton Abbot CON

39

13

13

23

10

2nd

Ashcroft

Jun 14

North Cornwall LD

39

12

21

23

6

2nd

Ashcroft

Aug 14

Redcar LD

16

45

12

23

4

2nd

Ashcroft

Sep 14

Truro and Falmouth CON

34

20

13

23

11

2nd

Ashcroft

Sep 14

Mid Dorset and North Poole LD

43

11

19

22

5

2nd

Ashcroft

Aug 14

Chippenham LD

40

17

16

20

8

2nd

Ashcroft

Aug 14

Somerton and Frome LD

44

10

19

20

8

2nd

Ashcroft

Aug 14

St Ives LD

37

16

18

20

10

2nd

Ashcroft

Aug 14

Bradford East LD

14

48

14

18

5

2nd

Ashcroft

Jun 14

Harrogate and Knaresborough CON

42

15

17

18

7

2nd

Ashcroft

Jun 14

Solihull LD

41

18

18

18

5

2nd

Ashcroft

Aug 14

Wythenshawe and Sale East (LAB)

15

55

5

18

7

2nd

By-election

Feb 14

Telford LAB

28

38

4

25

5

3rd

Ashcroft

May 14

Corby LAB

32

36

6

24

3

3rd

Ashcroft

Sep 14

Halesowen and Rowley Regis CON

34

35

2

24

4

3rd

Ashcroft

Oct 14

North Warwickshire CON

30

38

3

24

5

3rd

Ashcroft

Jun 14

Waveney CON

29

35

4

24

9

3rd

Ashcroft

Jul 14

Amber Valley CON

34

35

4

23

5

3rd

Ashcroft

Jul 14

Bolton West LAB

30

40

6

22

3

3rd

Ashcroft

Jul 14

Hastings and Rye CON

31

38

4

22

5

3rd

Ashcroft

Sep 14

Ipswich CON

30

36

7

22

6

3rd

Ashcroft

Oct 14

Morley and Outwood LAB

27

39

6

22

6

3rd

Ashcroft

May 14

Sherwood CON

29

40

3

22

6

3rd

Ashcroft

Jul 14

Stockton South CON

32

38

4

22

4

3rd

Ashcroft

Jul 14

Eastleigh LD

34

17

25

21

4

3rd

Ashcroft

Aug 14

Gloucester CON

34

33

7

21

5

3rd

Ashcroft

Oct 14

Morecambe and Lunesdale CON

32

37

6

21

4

3rd

Ashcroft

Jul 14

Nuneaton CON

34

36

5

21

4

3rd

Ashcroft

Oct 14

Plymouth, Sutton and Devonport CON

28

39

4

21

9

3rd

Ashcroft

Jul 14

Carlisle CON

29

41

5

20

6

3rd

Ashcroft

Jul 14

Derby North LAB

26

41

8

20

5

3rd

Ashcroft

May 14

Dewsbury CON

29

40

4

20

7

3rd

Ashcroft

Jul 14

Southampton, Itchen LAB

33

33

9

20

5

3rd

Ashcroft

Aug 14

Berwick-upon-Tweed LD

35

19

22

19

5

3rd

Ashcroft

Aug 14

Broxtowe CON

31

38

4

19

6

3rd

Ashcroft

Jul 14

Halifax LAB

27

41

8

19

5

3rd

Ashcroft

May 14

Lancaster and Fleetwood CON

27

39

3

19

13

3rd

Ashcroft

Jul 14

Taunton Deane LD

35

17

22

19

8

3rd

Ashcroft

Sep 14

Uxbridge and South Ruislip CON

42

28

6

19

5

3rd

Ashcroft

Aug 14

Lincoln CON

33

37

5

18

7

3rd

Ashcroft

Jul 14

Watford CON

30

31

16

18

6

3rd

Ashcroft

Aug 14

Wolverhampton South West CON

30

44

5

18

4

3rd

Ashcroft

Jul 14

Bedford CON

30

39

9

17

6

3rd

Ashcroft

Jul 14

Pudsey CON

33

38

7

17

5

3rd

Ashcroft

Sep 14

Sutton and Cheam LD

36

16

26

17

5

3rd

Ashcroft

Aug 14

Weaver Vale CON

30

44

5

17

4

3rd

Ashcroft

Jul 14

Wells LD

37

16

22

17

9

3rd

Ashcroft

Aug 14

Warrington South CON

35

38

8

16

4

3rd

Ashcroft

Jul 14

Wirral South LAB

30

43

6

15

5

3rd

Ashcroft

May 14

Birmingham, Edgbaston LAB

30

44

4

14

7

3rd

Ashcroft

Aug 14

Brighton, Kemptown CON

32

39

5

14

2

8

3rd

Ashcroft

Sep 14

Enfield North CON

32

44

4

14

6

3rd

Ashcroft

Sep 14

Cardiff North CON

31

38

5

14

5%

Plaid Cymru

5

3rd

Ashcroft

Sep 14

Stroud CON

33

34

8

13

12

3rd

Ashcroft

Jul 14

Hendon CON

35

45

4

12

5

3rd

Ashcroft

Jun 14

Hove CON

34

38

6

12

1

Green 9

3rd

Ashcroft

Sep 14

Crewe and Nantwich CON

33

46

6

11

5

3rd

Survation

Dec 13

Brentford and Isleworth CON

31

47

6

9

7

3rd

Ashcroft

Sep 14

Norwich South LD

19

36

8

17

1

Green

18

4th

Ashcroft

Jun 14

Cheadle LD

35

24

21

15

5

4th

Ashcroft

Aug 14

Oxford West and Abingdon CON

38

22

22

11

7

4th

Ashcroft

Aug 14

Bermondsey and Old Southwark LD

18

39

23

11

8

4th

Ashcroft

Sep 14

Brighton, Pavilion GREEN

18

38

6

10

2

Green 26

4th

Ashcroft

Jun 14

Sheffield, Hallam LD

24

33

23

10

8

4th

ICM

May 14

Cardiff Central LD

22

37

16

10

8

Plaid Cymru

6

4th

Ashcroft

Sep 14

Brent Central LD

14

55

14

9

7

4th

Ashcroft

Jun 14

Cambridge LD

23

38

21

8

10

5th

Ashcroft

Sep 14

Inverness, Nairn, Badenoch and Strathspey LD

12

25

16

7

7

SNP

32

5th

ICM

May 14

Manchester, Withington LD

10

59

15

5

12

5th

Ashcroft

Jun 14

Twickenham LD

34

23

32

5

6

5th

ICM

Apr 14

Hornsey and Wood Green LD

17

49

19

4

11

5th

Ashcroft

Sep 14

Hampstead and Kilburn LAB

32

48

10

3

8

5th

Ashcroft

Aug 14

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