Academics put UKIP 2nd in Gainsborough

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UKIP will be runner-up to Tory MP Sir Edward Leigh at the General Election, who should be returned in a landslide, according to political academics.

Chris Hanretty of the University of East Anglia and Nick Vivyan, who recently published a book on constituency opinion, have joined Benjamin Lauderdale of the London School of Economics to produce the political website Election Forecast using polling and demographic data.

They estimate UKIP currently has 24% support in Gainsborough, compared with 41% for the Tories, 20% for Labour and 11% for the Lib-Dems. Based on studies of previous election campaigns, they expect Sir Edward to win with 44% of the vote compared with Labour on 19%, UKIP on 16%, Lib-Dems on 17%.

In neighbouring Louth and Horncastle, UKIP currently trail the Tories by just 4%, with the Tories leading 35%-31%, with Labour on 22% and the Lib-Dems on 6%.

On Polling Day, the Tories are expected to lead by 38% to 24%, with Labour on 21% and Lib-Dems on 11%.