I took a look at the European Election results and some clear trends were evident. First the turnout steadily diminished in England as one went further North into Labour heartlands and was lowest of all in Scotland and Wales. I give the average figures below:
South (4 regions) 37.1%
Midlands (2 regions) 36.3%
North (3 regions) 31.7%
Clearly the Labour vote did not turnout because of the MP expenses scandal and reflected in the overall change of -6.9% nationally in the Labour vote and loss of 6 MEPs compared with 2004.
If we look at the change in UKIP's share of the vote from 2004 by a North South split the figures are:
Change in share of UKIP vote 2009 minus 2004
It is clear UKIP picked up some of the disaffected Labour vote in the North and Wales but in Scotland it went to the SNP, a much more professional and bigger party.
Change in share of all parties votes by region were:
2009 - 2004 Vote Percentage Change
The above results shows these effects in more detail. There are more Labour voters in the North of England, Wales, Scotland and the manufacturing heartland of the West Midlands to defect as well as not turn out. Voting Tory is too much for them to stomach so they voted Labour. The East Midlands result is distorted by the RKS effect.
I conclude the slight pick up in the UKIP vote came from Labour heartlands but in middle England, Tory heartland, UKIP lost a small percentage of votes. What does this imply for the the General Election. Tory voters who voted UKIP in the Europeans in the South will return to the Tory fold. Labour voters who voted UKIP in the North will vote Labour to keep the Tories out at the General Election. It will be a classic third party squeeze in which UKIP is bound to lose badly.
My strategy would be for UKIP to contest only those Westminster Seats where it has a strong District/County Concil vote and an able well known local candidate. Such constituencies are thin on the ground, certainly less than 10. The other reason for targetting is that Cameron will at best get a small overall majority in the General Election or more likely have to form a minority government. In either case there will be another General Election with 18 months just as happened with Wilson in 64 and 66. UKIP simple does not have the financial resources to fight two generla elections in such a short time in 500 constituencies. It would cost over one million pounds that UKIP does not have.