• Labour at record low in Westminster poll
  • Lib Dems only three points behind Labour
  • UKIP surge by 12 points in European voting intentions

There is a new YouGov poll in tomorrow’s Sun with Westminster and European voting intentions, both of which are striking in their own way.

The Westminster voting intentions, with changes from YouGov’s last poll, are CON 41%(-2), LAB 22%(-5), LDEM 19%(+1). Populus’s poll on Monday evening was taken after the Telegraph’s expenses expose had begun, but this is the first poll taken when people had really had chance to digest it (and the first to come after Tory expenses exposes really began to run). Once again both main parties have suffered, but Labour have clearly come off worse. This is their lowest rating in any national opinion poll, ever. It is also the lowest gap between Labour and the Liberal Democrats for years. It is worth considering that YouGov normally give the Liberal Democrats their lowest ratings – if this poll had been carried out by ICM we might very well be looking at a poll with Labour in third place.

The maths of the poll suggest that there must also have been a significant increase in support for “other” parties, though from the Sun’s report we can’t tell who has been the beneificiary of that.

Moving to the European voting intentions, the topline figures with changes from before the expenses expose began are CON 28%(-9), LAB 19%(-3), UKIP 19%(+12!) – the Sun report does not provide the Liberal Democrat or Green figures, but the BNP remain at 4%, unchanged from a week ago. It appears that UKIP – despite their MEPs own problems with fraud and expenses, have been the overwhelming victors from the expenses row.

UPDATE: Uncertainty about the actual European figures. UKIP are no longer mentioned in the Sun article, and while the article itself still says Labour are at 19%, the accompanying graphic shows them at 20%, with UKIP at 15% and the Lib Dems at 19%. I’ll go and find out the true figures!

121 Responses to “UKIP surge in the wake of expenses expose”

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  1. YIKES!

    Someone in the national media need to show that UKIPs MEP’s have been the biggest abusers of expenses over the last 4 years, – with 20% of their MEPs going to prison.

  2. A week is a long time in politics – I seriously doubt UKIP will get anywhere near this come polling day.

    BBC news has just reported Labour launched their EU campaign with an anouncement that they are most worried about the BNP – A bit counterproductive!


    Labour – 19%

    Conservative – 34%

    Lib D – 16%

    BNP – 13%

    UKIP – 10%

    Green – 5%

    Others – 3%

  3. It looks to me as if somebody at William Hill had got wind of this poll if there odds today are anything to go by. To suggest that UKIP are the most corrupt of parties in the EP is rather a misnomer. Ashley Mote never even took his seat as a UKIP MEP, he was thrown out as soon as his fraudulent activities were brought to light. Tom Wise ripped of £6000 quid to buy a second hand brown Peugot estate. He too was thrown out, even though he paid the money back and apologised.

    Now lets think, Den Dover, it took a while didn’t it. Giles Chichester is still there.. No doubt Mr Cameron thinks that is a bit of Whoops-a-Daisy.

    This poll may be a rogue, but it is born out by UKIP canvasing in the last week.

    The feedback we are getting is mostly former Labour and non voters coming to join us, which bears out the suggestion that the BNP is not capitalising on the morass that is the three man parties.

    [Edited – Libellous comment deleted – AW]

  4. Sighs of relief from Cameron Central than their GE vote seems to be more or less steady. Cameron’s actions in the wake of Hogg’s moat may have minimized the hit. Terrible result for Labour and Brown’s position looks even shakier.

  5. I think UKIP will do very well. Your’ll see what I mean next week . Wink !

  6. What this shows, I think, is that come what may, the public are pretty much determind the Conservatives under David Cameron will form the next government.

    As far as the Euro Poll goes, it does look like UKIP are the big winners, but given what we’re seeing in the Westminster poll, I have a feeling a lot of that UKIP support could easily go back to the Tories, if the oublic decides that will send the greatest message to Labour. So, if I was Labour I wouldn’t rely on UKIP has an amazing result at the expense of the Tories – It will depend how much more comes out in the expenses stuff, and how many more Conservatives are implicated.

  7. The UKIP figure is rather high and the BNP figure rather low – I wonder how many people are giving UKIP as their answer as a disguise when they’re really thinking about voting BNP.

  8. Is there any information about whether this poll showed a lower turnout is likely?

    I don’t know whether YouGov apply a likelihood to vote filter, but if they do, perhaps the Labour figure is distorted by abstentions.

    David Cameron has responded pretty effectively to this, but I don’t think any party is in a position to be too smug about all this.
    I’m a Tory supporter, but would like to see at least two of these people deselected.

    I’ve just seen Sir Ming Campbell jeered on Question Time,
    and – it would appear – the ratio of UKIP MEPs with expenses issues is high.

    For what it’s worth, Sir Ming’s case seemed fairly minor, and I think he was possibly justified in some upkeep of his London flat.

  9. I am still sceptical whether UKIP (which is shambles these days from what I hear), can mount a campaign, but I might be wrong.
    But it looks like both main parties are going to get a hammering in the Euro elections.

  10. Yes – Apparently 1/3 of UKIP MEPs have left or been kicked out for fraud.

    That’s one of the reason I would not vote UKIP. Another reason would be their complete failure to do anything constructive in the last 10 years of having MEPs, the last 5 years with TWELVE MEPs.

    I am seriously considering to give the BNP a chance this year – and I still think they will beat UKIP in all regions apart from the SE and SW.

  11. one of the reasons people don’t say thay are voting BNP is that they will be tard with the your a rasist flag most of the people i know will be voting BNP on june 4th i won’t be but it depends on how things pan out and yes i still think camoron will recover the 3 or 4pts hes lost in the polls by the time the locas are over but he will need to do more if he wants to reach 40% in the EU elections maybe sack a few more mp’s should do it or tell all of his mp’s NO MORE! you will only be paid for your job not your:

    1. home
    2. travel
    3.second home
    4. campaining

    and you will be limited to just £2000 per year for office expensses and thats it he would win with a big big landslide

  12. The problem is people have always thought European politics were pretty dodgy with regard to things like expenses, etc, so the fact that UKIP MEPs might have been involved in that sort of thing doesn’t really damage them much. People had higher expectations of Westminster where the minor parties obviously aren’t represented.

  13. right before i go sleep hear is the updated monthly totals:

    CON 42.0% -1.1 (on last month)

    LAB 24.5% -3.7 (on last month)

    LD 19.0% +0.7 (on last month)

    OTH 14.5% +4.1 )on last month)

    swing from lab to con 1.3% since april 09

    swing from lab to LD 2.2% since april 09

    swing from con to LD 0.9% since april 09

    swing to OTH: con 2.6%, lab 3.9%, LD 1.8%

    predicted seats next election: MAY TOTALS

    CON 389
    LAB 189
    LD 41
    OTH 31

    overall swing on last GE 10.0% from lab to con

    conservative majority 128

    all in all to tories hav gone up but there vote has gone down, labour are in deep s*** and will keep going down if things continue the lib dems are about solid on 19%, the other factor at work will be the floating voter, the liberal minded chap you see every day who always looks at policy not party if he or she thinks non of them can be trusted then all will suffer, but i still think the tories will be the next govenment of the UK. labour are dead. i can see the next election being a 1930’s type election where the votes put a govenment out for a long long time.


    labour to lose another 2pts by end of month

    conservatives to gain 1pt by end of month

    lib dems to gain 2pts by end of month

    others to lose 1pt by end of month


    CON 43%

    LAB 23.5%

    LD 21%

    OTH 13.5%

  14. I think we can be pretty sure now that current Tory support is not “soft” and the mantra from some Labour MPs and pro-Labour columnists that “Cameron has not yet convinced the voters” is a hollow one.

    Extraordinary result for UKIP – but will it be reproduced on the day? I guess we’ll have to wait and see.

    Brown must surely be ousted before too long. As Charlie Brooker put it, it’s like watching a car crash in slow motion.

  15. the question who wold take the job on i agree he won’t survive but which Labour MP hs the guts to go down as the shortest term as PM ever

  16. Weighted Moving Average 42:25:19 and this tends to confirm my view that the Populus poll was somewhat adrift. The Lab-LibDem WMA gap is now the smallest ever and (as I have remarked before) the real possibility of Labour being eclipsed by the LibDems grows apace. If Brown soldiers on until May 2010 I’d put the chance of the LibDems replacing Labour at about 40%.

  17. The Electorate are in a vengefull mood.

    Anything can happen.

  18. The BNP are racist is by any normal use of the word. Nick Griffin for example thinks inter-racial sex can never be normal and moral and wants to ban it.. He clearly tries to hide his real views. In fact he openly says he is hiding his real views for electoral purposes. Most people don’t want a racist imigration policy based on returning people to their country of ethnic origin (BNP website) or paying “a six figure sum” for people to voluntary emigrate (Giffin quoted in the Times). The UKIP posiiton is far nearer to the public mood, so not surprisingly they are benefiting.

  19. I think that those who doubt the UKIP share are wrong. I don’t think it’s people wanting to say BNP but fearing being labelled a racist. Very few people are racist enough to vote for the BNP and I think they’ll struggle to get their share of the vote above 4%.

    There’s a common misconception that UKIP is the BNP by another name. UKIP categorically states that it is not a racist or fascist political party. What they have in common is a single defining issue. For the BNP it’s race and returning the UK to a state of racial homogeneity, something that is a fallacy because we’ve had immigration throughout our history. For UKIP it’s withdrawal from the EU. UKIP does not favour the repatriation of immigrants already here, just a tougher immigration policy to reduce (not end) new immigration. One has to take what they say in policy documents at face value because they’ve not been tested.

    I think that UKIP’s vote share in this poll has jumped because people have known about the European gravy train for ages and it’s a gut reaction to say, “We end it by leaving the EU.” If UKIP got their way, no one seems to have asked what we do next.

    I think that polls can actually create events. If UKIP can get this poll enough publicity, I think they could start a bandwagon. There might be a freak result on June 4th of UKIP 35%, Conservative 28%, Lib Dems 18%, Labour 12%, Others 7%. I’m not predicting this but just saying that it could be a possible outcome if UKIP use the poll to their advantage. I do, however, think that there’s a very real possibility that Labour may finish behind the Liberal Democrats both on June 4th and in next year’s general election.

  20. I also watched Question time last night, for Ming to spend £1.500 redecorating a flat after 10 years seems a small sum and was probably needed,compared to the Tory and Labour MPs making profits on their first and second homes or castles.
    We now have to see how the DT treats UKIP MEPs
    fraud. I doubt it will even be mentioned as the DT favour us leaving Europe.

  21. I must say I do feel for Gordon Brown. The poor man must be on the verge of a nervous breakdown by now.

    Not sure about all this increased support for UKIP. An instant gut reaction I feel that will doubtless calm over the next week or two.

    They have, however, mounted quite an effective campaign so far with the posters and leaflets with Churchills pic on them. Very stirring!

    I’ll still be giving the Cons the benefit of the doubt this time but I have not been happy with the total lack of any visible campaign from them. Saving their dough for the ‘big one’ I guess?

  22. I think the European voting intention figures you quote may be wrong. The Sun article only gives the figures CON 28% and LAB 19%: http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/news/article2430063.ece

    Whereas the figures on the graphic are as follows:

    CON 29%, LAB 20%, LDEM 19%, UKIP 15%, GREEN 6%, SNP/PC 4%, BNP 3% and Other 1%.


  23. “The UKIP figure is rather high and the BNP figure rather low – I wonder how many people are giving UKIP as their answer as a disguise when they’re really thinking about voting BNP.”

    These are my thoughts too, Andy. Thinking further I just wonder if it is possible that BNP MEP’s might be treated on the european mainland as was the dutch MEP, Wim Wilkes by Britain a few months ago. After all they are the NPD’s sister party and the NPD is on the verge of being banned in Germany because of their views.

  24. Charles Stuart. I am lucky enough to live in a beautiful and affluent part of the world. I know a number of people here (not me) who will vote BNP at the euro elections only and would certainly not say so to a pollster or anyone else they did not trust to keep their mouths shut. The demonisation of the BNP (whether justified or not) has this effect on what people will say. Don’t know about numbers, of course, but do not rule out “shy BNPers”

  25. BNP must be in tears today. Third poll showing they are getting nowhere and vote is down on 2004

    People who are worried about expenses are hardly going to vote for a Nazi Party in protest

    Griffin must be planning his exist strategy already

  26. The big issue in these upcoming European elections is whether the British people are happy with the huge loss of national sovereignty to Brussels to the point where now almost three quarters of the laws coming before our national parliament arise there and cannot be amended by Westminster. For me personally the huge additional loss of sovereignty which will arise as a result of the Lisbon Treaty, the fact that it was rammed through parliament through the power of party whips, and the only very feeble opposition to it from the Conservatives, led me to switch support from the Conservatives to UKIP. I know about the problems UKIP had with 3 of their MEPs elected at the last European elections: one (Ashley Mote) was immediately ejected from the UKIP when it became known that he had been involved in benefits fraud and never took up his seat in the European parliament; the prima donna Robert Kilroy Silk took himself off in a huff and founded a party of his own when the then UKIP leadership (rightly) did not immediately make him leader of the party; and one (Tom Wise) was indeed involved in a fiddle of his MEP expenses and when this became clear was turfed out of UKIP. So allegations that 20% of UKIP MEPs have been involved in fiddling their MEP expenses is completely untrue). I am impressed by the calibre of the 2 peers who left the Conservatives to join UKIP (Lord Pearson and Lord Willoughby de Broke), who are men of the highest integrity, and also by the fact that the party treasurer and No 2 UKIP candidate in the South East is Marta Andreasen, who is the EU’s former chief accountant, who was sacked because she attempted to sort out the fraud involved in the EU accounts (which means that they have not been signed off by auditors for more than 13 years).

    When opinion polls show that 55% of the British population would like to negotiate a simple free trade arrangement with the EU and nothing else, which is exactly UKIP’s policy, then I am not in the least surprised that this poll shows UKIP support is at 19%. It has the potential to grow much, much higher.

  27. You need to amend your story. It’s the Lib Dems on 19% in the Sun’s Euro poll not UKIP.

  28. Could this be good news for Labour? Whether UKIP are at 19% or 15% it’s still a big result for them, and if they were to get a good 4th place or even beat the Lib Dems again it could be a springboard for a GE showing of a good few % more than expected, these votes would surely come from the Tories right?

    It must be said, even if this is a roque poll, Labour support is dropping faster than I even expected.

  29. @ Ivan the Terrible

    “I must say I do feel for Gordon Brown. The poor man must be on the verge of a nervous breakdown by now.”

    Really? Did you feel for him when he was stabbing Tony Blair in the back? Did you feel for him when he was telling us about prudence, responsibility and boom and bust? Did you feel for him when he ruined the Nations finances to build his own client state? Don’t you think that this really is the case of just deserts????

  30. This poll feels right given recent events. Contrary to Oliver, all the past indications from Euroelections are that the Other vote will hold up during the Eurocampaign.

    Given discussion on this site in the past about breaking down the Other figures, it is good to see that “The Sun” have got round to doing this.

    Much will depend upon how the “Other” vote splits regionally. It is unclear whether the BNPand UKIP polls will be spread evenly or regionally focussed. There is some reason to believe that the UKIP vote will be concentrated, particularly for the Euroelections, in the South (including South-East and South-West) whereas disaffected voters in the North think of the BNP before UKIP (however different the two parties claim to be). Which of course increases the likelihood that these parties will get MEPs, or more MEPs (however undesirable or otherwise you may think this).

    It is perhaps surprising that most, perhaps almost all, of the disaffected Labour move to other seems to be goings rightwards, not to the Greens. One wonders why. However, “The Sun”‘s suggestion that 6% are planning to vote Green in the Euroelections, as opposed to 3% in a General Election, would very probably be enough to get their current MEPs re-elected given an incumbency effect and probable regional concentration of the Green vote.

  31. @ Quincel – it’s not a given that the increase in the UKIP vote has come at the expense of the Tories. There’s been a lot of talk in recent months about how the BNP is winning some support away from Labour and it may well be that, as others have suggested, UKIP is starting to reap those angry voters who feel abandoned by the mainstream parties but can’t quite bring themselves to vote BNP.

  32. @ Quincel – it’s not a given that the increase in the UKIP vote has come at the expense of the Tories. There’s been a lot of talk in recent months about how the BNP is winning some support away from Labour and it may well be that, as others have suggested, UKIP is starting to reap those angry voters who feel abandoned by the mainstream parties but can’t quite bring themselves to vote BNP.
    P.S. – Sorry, forgot to tell you great post!

  33. re the BNP, we all know about the “shy tory” factor and what is done to raw polling data in order to take account of it. To me it seems reasonable there is a “shy BNP voter” factor too, as I’m not sure some people would readily admit to supporting them even now, although how much we’ll have to find out in upcoming elections.

  34. Anyone who looks at the BNP and UKIP in depth can see that they are at heart very different parties. However, does the electorate at large know that?

    After all UKIP have attracted some fringe types over the years who have said some ugly stuff. A faction tried to engineer an electoral pact with the BNP a few months back and my guess is that UKIP has been infiltrated, at least in part, by the ultra right.

    I think that in some sections of the electorate the two parties are seen as one, especially now that the BNP has cleaned up its public image a bit. Will those in the ‘north’ who voted UKIP in 2004 vote BNP in 2009?

    On the other hand, does anyone have any data to show which demographics tend to vote UKIP? After all the stereotype of a UKIP voter in older, lower middle class and more rural, as opposed to BNP which is urban, working/underclass and younger.

    Mind you the BNP has been making inroads into the grey and middle class vote. They have polled surprisingly well in areas like Cumbria, north Wales, rural Derbyshire and Kent.

  35. Frederic Stansfield. Exactly. Do we know in which areas UKIP is getting this support? I don’t suppose the BNP could care less if UKIP are racking it up in the South of England, but not in the North, Wales and Midands. It does matter very much to the big three, particularly the Lib Dems. Will there be data about this from this poll?

  36. These results are encouraging for UKIP, but shouldn’t be a great surprise. After all in the 2004 elections UKIP got 16% of the vote overall and came second in 4 regions: East Midlands (26% of the vote); South West (22.56%); Eastern (19.6%) and South East (19%).
    I don’t know if there is any data to give an accurate breakdown of UKIP voters but my experience of UKIP shows that it is now attracting a good many young supporters (see the list of MEP candidates and the strength of Young Independence) and it has a huge class spread (again, look at the list of MEP candidates). I don’t think there is such a thing as a stereotypical UKIP voter, other than the fact that we all want to reinstate the sovereignty of Westminster, rather than Brussels.

  37. I think my own voting intentions in the next election help to explain the surge in support for UKIP. I am a true blue Tory but will vote UKIP in June. I don’t really care that UKIP have had some dodgey representatives I simply want to show how much I hate the EU. As someone who runs a small business, I know how much legislation from the EU comes our way and is ruthlessly enforced here and studiously ignored elsewhere in Europe.

    I also want the other parties to have a really bad night. I work 100 hours a week and am furious that my taxes are helping to fund the champagne lifestyle of MPs of all parties. At a general election I will return to the Tories.

    The media never give UKIP a fair press. Our middle class left leaning broadcast media sneer at them as little Englanders or else portray them as dangerous fanatics. The craven BBC journalists have never had the courage to take on this Government’s most corrupt activities and worse have been cheeleaders for much of it. It took the old reactionary Telegraph to blast through the lies and deceit.

    So come June, God bless UKIP and let’s stick two fingers up to the EU and Westmineter.

  38. Antony – Aren’t you going to do anything regarding Brett’s extremly biast comments?

  39. I do find it odd that the supposed high financial probity of UKIP and BNP are reasons they are being given support. The obvious reason they are not being tarred by the MPs expences is that they have no MPs. If they did have MPs, it seems hard to believe they would not be in the same situation as everyone else.

    I personally believe this wave of supoort for minor parties will disipate considerably over the next two weeks before the elections (which is a long time) providing the worst of the expences scandal is over. It is asking a lot for UKIP and others to sustain this massively inflated level of support for any length of time.

  40. Exactly, Hardpressed. All UKIP is asking is “lend us your vote” for the European elections. And I agree about the mainline media not giving UKIP a fair chance. That is why the internet is so important as a means of trying to get the message across. Have a look at Nigel Farage’s clips on YouTube or another MEP candidate, Philip Vander Elst, speaking on the loss of democracy resulting from our membership of the EU.

    Having said that about the mainstream media though I should add that Nigel Farage is on Any Questions tonight.

  41. LUKW: why should this support for UKIP be massively inflated? Look at the figures for the 2004 results I have given in a post above.

  42. I should call myself “The Oracle”. I have been predicting for some time that UKIP would do better than a lot of people expect – and more recently I have also been predicting that they would be the biggest beneficiaries of the expenses thing. I don’t see them retaining 12 seats, but anything can happen.

    I have also predicted for a long time that June 4th will be a defining moment in this parliament, even more so than the budget – and that if things go badly for Labour then heads will roll over the summer – pretty big heads.

    I fully expected Labour to dip to the very low 20s, but I expected it to be after June 4th – the expenses event obviously changed the dynamics a bit.

  43. This is not the place for a debate on UKIP’s policy, comments about vote lending which affects the polls are fine of course.
    ITT – I got your Irony.

  44. @Neil

    I shake your hand… I am not anti-UKIP, but I thought they were in real trouble; it couldn’t be more the reverse. …having said that it’s not really through their own efforts, all their hard work seems to be being done for them by the witches of westminster.

    “Labour on 22%”, “Labour on 19%”

    It’s just beautiful… I’m weeping tears of joy!

    I don’t think anyone really knows where this is going… it’s a lot like the financial crisis in that respect.
    It could be one of the most exciting times in politics for… ever?!

    I don’t think anyone expected the expenses row to blow up this big this quickly, and it’s turning into a political avalanche.

    I don’t think I’d be brave enough to put money on any result in any of the elections over the next 12 months.
    So many possibilities are around now, maybe any one of us could stand for election as an independent and have as much chance as any of the old parties.

    I suppose one possible outcome could be a hung parliament of a never-before seen configuration of MPs, with a real chance of a new type of voting system in order to combat voter apathy …hell we could be living in a republic by next summer at this rate!

  45. Well, I have been suggesting for a long time that there would be closening of the gap between Labour and the Lib Dems!

    @Richard Whelan,

    On May 10th I responded to your question at some length regarding what I thought about the possiblity of the Lib Dems overtaking Labour in the polls. Please acknowledge whether you have read it.

    Since then I noticed that the Lib Dems climbed 4 points in 4 months from Feb 2005 to the election in May 2005 – 19 points to 23 points. Examine the data carefully and you will see what I mean.

    Therefore we have a presedence that gives hope to the possiblity that Lib Dems could rise to do better than Labour in terms of voting percentage, whether that would work out to be more seats is a very tricky question that I am unable to answer.

    In the light of today’s poll with Lib Dems on 19 and Labour on 22 this statistic of a late 4 point improvement gives particular hope to this possibility.

  46. @Josh

    There is no such thing as the “ultra right” …unless you mean the Sith Party (out of Star Wars).

  47. @chris

    You may not like Brett’s statements, but they appear factually accurate, so they cannot be described as biased. Brown did stab Blair (if not in person, then through a decade of McPoison’s slime), Brown did lecture us about prudence while operating a spendthrift policy.

    So yes, when the chickens come home to roost, surely is is just deserts for the sub-Prime Minister.

    I suggest that before complaining about the mote in another’s eye, you remove the plank from your own eye.

  48. This thread seems to be a sounding board for right wing malcontents.

    I thought it used to be about opinion polls?

    You can’t have it both ways – either Gordon Brown is responsible for the state of economic affairs and saving (or not) the world, or Brussels has taken all our Sovereignty and poor gordon is presiding over nothing more than a trumped up Parish Council.

    Wake up little England, wake up!

  49. @Cynosarges – i’m afraid it’s not fact but merely the cliche’d ramblings on Mail/Express sheep led simpletons.

  50. No Denis,

    One of the two good things Gordon Brown has ever done was preventing the EU from taking control of our economy (the other was giving independence to the BoE on interest rates). For all that, he ruined our economy more than the EU’s wildest dreams. The fact remains that the EU now has considerably more sovereignty over British affairs than the UK government does.

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