The stigma factor: UKIP vote most embarrassing, Labour least

April 18, 2015, 10:09 AM GMT+0

Most British people would be embarrassed to tell their friends and family they were voting UKIP – while voting Labour attracts the most pride

The 'shy Tory factor' is an electoral phenomenon that many pundits and politicians believe will help the Conservatives do better than the polls suggest on May 7th. First gaining notoriety in the 1990s, when John Major won a far greater number of votes than people's polling answers suggested, the phrase refers to the disinclination of voters to admit they will vote Conservative until polling day.

New YouGov research finds a far greater stigma attached to UKIP, however, as 55% say they would be embarrassed to tell friends and family they were voting UKIP and only 10% say they would be proud. While this does not mean that UKIP may perform better on May 7th than the polls suggest – most of the people who tell us voting UKIP is embarrassing never have or will vote UKIP – it does reveal the challenge UKIP faces in normalising its image.

Conversely, the data offers one explanation to why there has never been a 'shy Labour factor' – more people say they would be proud to vote Labour (20%) than any other party. And this even extends to their own voters, as people who intend to vote Labour are more likely than voters for any other party to say they are proud of their vote.

Liberal Democrats, at the other end of the scale, are least likely to say they are proud (42%) of their vote, and most likely to say they are neither proud nor embarrassed (55%).

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