Counting the Turkey vote

Turkeys don't vote for Christmas This is certainly one of those things that has been obvious to everyone but me, and is certainly terribly obvious as soon as I saw it. So much so I wonder how I missed it. In amongst all the “debates” as to the merits or otherwise of UKIP a trope which is run out quite frequently is that:
“Support for UKIP is low in areas of high immigration”
This is usually phrased in such as way as to suggest that it’s only people that haven’t experienced the many benefits of immigrant populations that could possibly be against immigration due to their ignorance and they just need to experience more immigration to realize their mistake. Superficially it can actually seem plausible, but then you have to stop and ask did those surveyed include higher numbers of immigrants, or did they just survey the local indigenous population? My suspicion is that it’s just survey of a given population, and as such it’s not actually that informative that areas with higher numbers of immigrants may not be as well disposed to a party which is widely portrayed in the media as being against immigrants. Likewise support for high tax parties is lower amongst those earning, and support for parties that are portrayed as being in favour of a smaller state are unpopular with those supported by the state. The fact that people tend to vote in their own self-interest tells us nothing at all about how sensible or reasonable the opposed policies actually are.

So next time you see someone saying support for UKIP is lower where there’s a larger population of immigrants (or bankers not liking Labour etc.), just remember that it may not be so much a case of an “enlightened populace” so much as Turkey’s not voting for Christmas.

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