Newark by-election: Does Nigel Farage have a woman problem?

 

Nigel Farage’s lack of appeal to women could have cost Ukip dear in the Newark by-election, the final poll before votes were cast has suggested.

Ukip’s hopes of winning their first parliamentary seat were dashed early today when the Conservatives won a comfortable majority of more than 7,000 in the Nottinghamshire by-election.

The outcome could have been decided by a striking gender gap among voters in Newark, according to the Survation survey.

It found that more than twice as many men as women were planning to vote for Ukip. If women had backed the party in similar numbers, Mr Farage would today be celebrating his party’s first Westminster election victory.

Survation, whose overall findings were very close to the actual result, found 36.8 per cent of men in Newark planned to support Ukip, compared with just 16.8 per cent of women.

 

Nearly half of women (47.6 per cent), but just 36.2 per cent of men, backed the Tory candidate, and there was a similar gap between the sexes over support for Labour.

The findings underline a problem Ukip needs to overcome to achieve a parliamentary break-through. It is trying to shed its “angry men in blazers” image and is promoting a series of women, including Suzanne Evans and Diane James, to speak for the party.

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