The Times today is reporting a new ComRes poll for OpenEurope, asking about voting intention in the European Elections. The topline European voting intentions are CON 21%, LAB 23%, LDEM 18%, UKIP 27%, Others 11%, and show UKIP with the largest share of the vote.

The UKIP figure isn’t particularly surprising. There was a Survation poll of European voting intentions earlier this month that had UKIP in a close second place and Survation and ComRes polls earlier this year when their general election support was lower that had UKIP neck-and-neck with the Conservatives in European election voting intention. Given that UKIP came second in the 2009 European elections when they were barely figuring in general election polling, it seems possible if not probable that they’ll get the largest share of the vote at next year’s European elections.

What does look very odd is the Liberal Democrat figure, four points higher than they got at the 2009 election when their general election support has haemorrhaged since then. As I mentioned above, ComRes have already done one poll of European Election voting intention back in January, and the changes since then are Conservatives down 1, Labour down 13, Lib Dem up 10, UKIP up 4. I can’t think of any obvious reason why Liberal Democrat support in European elections should have more than doubled since January, nor why the Liberal Democrats would be doing better in European election voting intention than in Westminster voting intention, when historically the opposite has been the case. It all looks very odd. The tables aren’t up yet on ComRes’s website, but hopefully they’ll shed some light on what is going on.

In the meantime I wouldn’t worry too much about European election voting intention polls anyway. Past experience is that polls of European elections conducted more than a month have borne very little resemblance to the result. One could, of course, make the same sort of argument about general election voting intention polls, but they do at least act as a general barometer for support of the political parties. A European election voting intention poll a year away from an election doesn’t serve very much purpose at all.


107 Responses to “ComRes poll for the European Elections”

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  1. I suppose Dan Hannan could give up the facade and replace Nige as leader without too much disquiet amongst the troops.

  2. Nick and Dave are lame ducks – the way things are going, Labour could probably win with stuffed toy in charge, oh wait…!

  3. Seal Pup, he is indeed the leader.

    Having read your second comment, it’s actually occurred to me that in the event of a major Tory defection (Hannan, Dorries) UKIP would actually have a viable leadership candidate in the event of Farage’s departure. A David Owen to Farage’s Roy Jenkins, if you will.

  4. Hannan is the natural leader of UKIP. Farage should be more of a schmoozing Chairman, like Ken Clarke.

  5. Dorries would be an amusing choice for leader of UKIP.

  6. Diane james or Paul nutall for ukip?

  7. Hariot harnen is a bit of a tory. So good for the Labour leadership. .Will Tories go an anti or pro Europe?

  8. Seal Pup

    The flaw in your arguement is the UK voters have no interest in anything other than FPTP as proved by the last referendum on the subject.
    So what happens in any other voting system should be irrelevant to any UKip supporter because it’s not going to happen here.

    But my main point was why is Farage an MEP. when he doesn’t believe there should be any MEP’s,
    and why do UKip supporters want to vote in UKip MEP’s if they want the UK leave the EU.

    The logical solution would be for all the UKip MEP’s to stand down including Farage and run for election at the next GE unless of course all this talk of leaving the EU is just hot air and there all happy to draw the not inconsiderable pay of a MEP, safe in the knowledge that in a referendum the UK won’t vote to leave the EU and there jobs will be safe.

  9. sp

    “Nick and Dave are lame ducks – the way things are going, Labour could probably win with stuffed toy in charge, oh wait…! ”

    hahahahahahahahahahahahahahaaaaaaaaaaah

    That is brilliantly funny –

    1/ ‘s cos of the hiarious “oh wait…!” – and

    2/ because its true – labour DO have a stuffed toy in char……. oh wait …… !

    Or, to put it another way, its pathetic and, one assumes, is from someone who hasn’t yet achieved the dizzy heights of an MP him/her/seal self – never mind what the three mentioned so disparagingly have.

  10. Isn’t it a bit early for polling on the European elections next year?

    I suppose being about Europe, the EU naturally floats to the top of voters considerations: thus those who like it go for LD, those who don’t, support UKIP, everyone else not quite sure picks someone of the other two. Or perhaps they’re more concerned with national issues.

  11. Mr Nameless,

    Daniel Hannan could be a very effective UKIP leader, if they wanted to move from a populist protest party to a fringe Conservative think-tank. Given his remarks on the NHS, the obvious line from the other parties would be: “Daniel Hannan wants to leave Europe. We agree.”

    Nadine Dorris would at least have a great slogan: “I’m not a European, get me out of here!”

  12. @SEAL PUP

    “…Hannan is the natural leader of UKIP. Farage should be more of a schmoozing Chairman, like Ken Clarke…”

    Whatever his personal disadvantages, Farage has the courage of his convictions wheras Hannan famously runs with the hares and hunts with the hounds. I understand Hannan’s arguments for staying in the Conservative party whilst being UKIP in all but name, but in the end wars are won by those who turn up, and Hannan…didn’t.

    @AMBER STAR

    “…The Amber Star rule appears to hold good: ComRes polls are rubbish…”

    ComRes = Comedy Results. And that’s not my coinage.

    @JAYBLANC

    “…It’s kind of important to remember the Coalition agreement dissolves on the resignation of either party leader…”

    Is that true? (I’m not being sarcastic). If so, good to know, thank you.

    rgdsm

  13. Turk

    You can look at this video to see how important it is for those opposed to Europe to also have their voices heard in the European parliament:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bdob6QRLRJU

    Interestingly, which party leader has the most views on youtube?

    Nick Clegg – “I’m sorry” parody – 2.5 million views, followed by Nick Clegg speaking fluent Dutch 300,000 views

    Nigel Farage – 1m views for 2 clips, another 6 with over 500,000 views

    David Cameron – 663,000 views for a prime ministers questions with Gordon Brown 5 years ago, 2 other clips over 5 years old with over 500,000 views

    Ed Miliband – one parody clip with 441,000 views, nothing else of significance.

    So Farage seems to be winning the youtube race.

    Farage could be quite devastating in a leadership debate looking at his performance in the EU parliament and looking at the popularity of his clips. If they include him in the 2015 debates and he performs as well as he does in the EU parliament, it could be devastating for the other parties.

  14. @ Richard

    Did you also watch the one when he is taken apart in the EP?

  15. Rumour was Cameron was just beginning to come round to the idea of TV debates, as a wild card to help the Tories – the idea being people see EM and think ‘by heck, we don’t want Wallace running the country…’.

    Now Farage comes along, and it’ll be hard to (realistically) see TV debates without him, therefore pretty much blowing the idea out the water!

    Can I start a UKPR poll? Next Tory leader, and when?

    I’ll start – 2015, and Theresa May (safe choice, but will have garnered enough popularity behind the scenes by then).

  16. @Laszlo

    No, I haven’t seen that one.

    Note that I am not a UKIP supporter. As an immigrant myself I couldn’t vote for them because of their anti immigration message. Not that I support any other party either, none represent my views.

    But I do like the fact that we now have 4 parties. Hopefully the Greens get a new leader and also start becoming competitive on the left. If there are 5 parties competing in every seat, I think we may just start seeing some better MP’s, and perhaps a party that represents my views may have space to emerge – the Tories are right, competition is good. We need some of that in politics.

  17. I see the Law Society is calling for a maximum period (with authority from a magistrate) on police bail of 56 days.

    That would be interesting, given that the current average waiting time to see a CPS Lawyer in my force area is 3-4 months.

    i.e, even if I could get all the evidence necessary to charge someone in 24 hours, all of my suspects would still have to be No Further Action.

    I can understand the anxiety about some of the more extreme cases, but Reality Check Please…

  18. @ Martyn

    ComRes = Comedy Results.
    ———-
    Brilliant, thank you – even if you didn’t coin it. :-)

  19. @ Richard

    So Farage seems to be winning the youtube race.
    ———–
    Au contraire, having the least views on YT is the benchmark for a politician; having most views probably means people think you are a cat flushing a toilet.

  20. In the last European Parliamentary elections in the UK, only 34% of the electorate voted. So most people who had a vote chose not to use it.

    In those EU elections, UKIP won 11 of Britain’s 73 seats in the European Parliament. That may have been a fair reflection of just a third of the electorate; but was it really representative of all those who could, but didn’t, vote? That’s the problem with low turn-outs in elections: the results are fair only for the minority who voted, but not necessarily reflective of the true feelings of the majority who didn’t.

    Yesterday my friend said he never votes, because it’s a complete waste of time. In response, I posted an article called, ‘Can’t vote or don’t vote?’

    http://jondanzig.blogspot.co.uk/2013/05/cant-vote-or-dont-vote.html

  21. “Can I start a UKPR poll? Next Tory leader, and when?”
    2016, Boris Johnson

    If they got rid of Cameron post-Euros, that gives them 11 months to select a new leader and then have that leader familiar (and not hated) enough with the public to win in 2015.
    In the past the time between a leader resigning and a new leader has been a month when unopposed but 3 to 7 months when they actually had to have an election by members.
    I suspect a post-Cameron leadership election would be highly contested with emerging leaders of the different factions.
    So that gives the Conservatives 4-10 months to ensure the new leader is liked enough by the public.

    It would be idiocy, unless they were aiming to win 2020 – at which point they only have to wait for Boris to finish his term as mayor, give him a safe seat and then he’s won the leadership election.

  22. Just to suggest that people vote UKIP for the Europeans, then revert back to the big 3 for GE is because they want to be in the EU, but they think that by voting in UKIP to represent them, they are likely to get the UK the best deal, fighting the UKs corner in reducing our spending, keeping most the laws out of our backyard etc etc etc

    Be a part of it, but make sure it’s not a part of us.

  23. Dan,

    “Be a part of it, but make sure it’s not a part of us.”

    Is that supposed to mean something or are you just quoting Batman!

    Peter.

  24. @TURK
    Aah, I see you’ve used weasel words to switch arguments… when you said “people”… let me amend it…
    “The reason why pundits get excited…” , that’s better.

    There is no flaw really. The AV referendum was a straw man with an inferior form of PR-type voting system offered that was not very likely to win much support. Had people been presented with a complete list of the alternatives to FPTP, then the result would have delivered more information that we could all analyse, and draw useful conclusions about. Your assertion that that vote means that FPTP is the system of preference is clearly specious.
    The voting public are more likely to vote out of anger and irritation to prevent something from happening or to get party X out.

    I answered your point about why Farage is an MEP… because the best way to demonstrate that the EU is a pile of manure is to gatecrash it, vandalise it, and force the pro-EU parties to pretend to treat you seriously, whilst denying them as much “real estate” in the EU as possible.
    The main parties can’t draw too much attention to low turnout, because that undermines their own victories, that they would obviously want to celebrate as confirmation of everything they say.

    “in a referendum the UK won’t vote to leave the EU and there jobs will be safe.”
    And there we have the well sign-posted destination of your specious reasoning, which is, and consistently has been for decades, the opposite of the truth.

    “”May 28th, 2013 at 12:09 am
    PAULCROFT”
    You’re up late, Paul.

    “sp
    “Nick and Dave are lame ducks – the way things are going, Labour could probably win with stuffed toy in charge, oh wait…! ”
    hahahahahahahahahahahahahahaaaaaaaaaaah
    That is brilliantly funny –
    1/ ‘s cos of the hiarious “oh wait…!” – and
    2/ because its true – labour DO have a stuffed toy in char……. oh wait …… !”

    BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAaaaaarghgshgprplplt
    This is even funnier… wait, let me write it down…
    1. because of the incisive way you deconstructed the quip and used irony to draw focus on the punchline; and
    2. because it was so true!!! the quip wasn’t witty at all, yet you managed to coat it in a clever ascorbic coating of post-post-modern edgy comedy – brilliant!

    You’re wasted on here… I mean that… put the bottle down now.

    “Or, to put it another way, its pathetic and, one assumes, is from someone who hasn’t yet achieved the dizzy heights of an MP him/her/seal self – never mind what the three mentioned so disparagingly have.”

    …or put another way, you’re leaping to the defence of those dizzy individuals and the lofty status you’d love to have.

    Why you think anyone would want to be an MP is beyond me, Lord Protector would be much more fun.

  25. @Dan …it’s a tempting suggestion, but I think part of what’s going on is that the rump of voters who still vote tribally for the main 3 parties tend not to care about the EU elections.
    You get Kippers and Lemons voting because it matters to them, the typical Labour voter who lives down the Coronation Street type place where I grew up wouldn’t be bothered to vote in Euro elections, because they don’t perceive it having any impact on their lives, whereas they’ll have plenty to say about the local council, and Westminster. They may slag off the leadership of the party, but then say how their MP is the exception, and a wonderful sort – which seems to me to be a large part of what maintains the post-war status quo… but this is also a generational thing, and related to an economy where people either got a council house or bought a house and stayed in it. I think this status quo will diminish over the next 10-20 years, and will lead to a more volatile electorate.

  26. @Dan – ” …by voting in UKIP to represent them, they are likely to get the UK the best deal, fighting the UKs corner”

    Guy Verhofstat:

    “Oh no Mr Farage, let’s be honest about it, you are member of the fisheries committee and you’re never there. Never. In 2011 no attendance. In 2012 no attendance.”

    “It’s fantastic what you’re doing, you are coming here saying it’s a scandal, the salaries we are paid, and you pay yourself a salary without doing any labour in your committee.”

    Farage and the other UKIP MEPs are very close to the bottom of the list in terms when it comes to attendance at the EU Parliament.

  27. To be fair Farage is not not going to change fisheries policy by attending a few meetings. When you disagree so much, not much point in talking.

    He can make more of a change by drumming up support in the UK and putting pressure on the PM.

  28. Richard

    “Note that I am not a UKIP supporter. As an immigrant myself I couldn’t vote for them because of their anti immigration message”

    UKIP have nothing against immigrants, they are not going to kick them all out like the bnp.

    The people already here are welcome, but longer term the UK needs an immigration policy that is taylored to its needs. Immigration needs to be at an economically sustainable level. Where there are skills shortages then immigration will be encouraged. Where the is mass unskilled unemployment, then it wouldbe unwise to flood our labour market with more unskilled labour. Which is financially and socially costly.

    People are waking up to this and hence the rise in the polls, that and many ex-liblabcon party members are joining UKIP.

  29. Wot no poll? Forgot about Bank Holiday, got withdrawal symptons.

    On the immigration topic, I recently had to remind my brother ( who likes UKIP ) that our Great Great Grandma came over from Ireland (Mayo) c1860 after marrying our Great Grandad who was a soldier serving in Enniskillen. Made my bro think !

  30. errr, our Gt Gt Grandad that is

  31. CBI Service Sector survey for qtr. to May is another encouraging sign :-

    Consumer Services :-
    Optimism strongest since Sept. 1999, and third qtr. of improvement. Business volumes & Profitability both positive.

    Business & Professional Services:-
    Optimism strongest since Feb 2010, though current Business volumes & Profitability disappointing.

  32. Seal Pup

    Does your rather school boy description of the influence of UKip’s 11 MEP’s, out of a total 751 MEP’s in the EU have any substance in fact.

    Standing up and having the odd rant is not going to change anything, it just puts him in the camp that nobody takes seriously, unless you can tell me of anything UKip have achieved in Europe to cause the EU to be on the brink of collapse, or infact anything positive they have acheived in Europe come to that.

    Better Farage had the strength of his convictions and stood down and stood in the next GE were he can make a difference should he be elected, at least he could be a proper party leader as an elected MP.

    As for FPTP, your if the public were given the facts or presented with a different system of PR they would embrace it, where is your evidence for that.
    The majority of voters support FPTP and that’s what they voted for in the last referendum by a large majority 67.9% for FPTP and 32.1 against.
    And after 5yrs of a coalition government I would think those for FPTP would be even higher if you could find a major political party foolish enough to call for another referendum on the subject, which is very unlikely.

  33. @ Billy Bob

    “Guy Verhofstat:
    “Oh no Mr Farage, let’s be honest about it, you are member of the fisheries committee and you’re never there. Never. In 2011 no attendance. In 2012 no attendance.”
    “It’s fantastic what you’re doing, you are coming here saying it’s a scandal, the salaries we are paid, and you pay yourself a salary without doing any labour in your committee.””

    There is a BBC Parliament broadcast on this session. Farage’s face is a picture…

  34. I gather due to the BH there was no poll yesterday. Will look in tomorrow as, by then, the Woolwich outrage polling effects should be clearer (even if there are none, thus).

    I am so isolated, I didn’t even remember it was BH yesterday. Good job I didn’t go anywhere.

    That was my ‘straight man’ line…..

  35. LASZLO

    It is on YouTube-and it is indeed very funny.

    …until you get to the last words spoken by Verhofstat before he sits down.

    Those aren’t funny.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wj2_ZdRjkBc

  36. @Laszlo – “Farage’s face is a picture…”

    There is a QT from 2010 where Paddy Ashdown studiously ignores Farage, while comprehensively demolishing his anti-EU rhetoric – though that part has been edited out in the many activist uploads. Guy Verhostat can also be found on Youtube if you are prepared to wade through.

  37. So Farage seems to be winning the youtube race.

    -So all UKIP needs is to find a Xenophobic Cat playing a Piano and they are sure fire victors in 2015!

  38. @ Colin

    I don’t necessarily agree with Verhofstat. My interest in this respect is PR techniques, more specifically the ways in which Farage’s (and similar masters’) rhetoric can be countered and whether any of the other parties would apply some of these ways if the situation was to become sharp (not the EU elections, but the GE). What he does is not commonly used here (but rather common on the Continent – OK, as far as my language skills go).

    @ Billy Bob

    Thanks. I have looked a lot of material on Farage earlier, but not QT bits. Fascinating the ease with which it is possible to manipulate YouTube… On the other hand, there is enough stuff up there that the other parties can use to study Farage.

  39. @Laszlo

    I’ve tracked down one where Ashdown’s contribution hasn’t been edited out… it can be seen here at 6.10 (he does much better than Ken Clarke or Gloria De Piero for that matter):

    h
    ttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s5LxWwfyHyY

  40. @Amber Star

    Au contraire, having the least views on YT is the benchmark for a politician; having most views probably means people think you are a cat flushing a toilet
    ____________________________________________

    @Steve

    So all UKIP needs is to find a Xenophobic Cat playing a Piano and they are sure fire victors in 2015!
    ____________________________________________

    We are living in the age of x-factor and Britain’s got talent. Farage is excellent entertainment! That will translate into votes, and Ed with his bottom of the pile youtube ranking is clearly not competitive, he simply doesn’t excite people. He doesn’t connect with people.

    @Colin

    Thanks for the link to the video. Verhofstat was as entertaining as Farage.

    If only we had politicians like that across all parties, people who actually believed in what they were doing!

  41. SP [can’t bring mysef to address someone who may be an adult with the full title]

    “the best way to demonstrate that the EU is a pile of manure is to gatecrash it, vandalise it,” [blah blah blah]

    We know each other here simply by our written words: yours are generally crass, arrogant and overstated.

  42. @ Billy Bob

    Thank you. I wouldn’t have looked at that one because of the title. Yes, Ashdown (irrespective what one thinks of the content) does a rather good countering.

  43. I think you can demolish the argument about internet populartiy translating into real votes with two words:

    Ron. Paul.

  44. @Pablo420

    Look at Italy
    Bepe Grillo – won 25% of the vote in 2013, top youtube clip 2.2m views

    http://www.beppegrillo.it/listeciviche/liste/cagliari/2013/03/italian-five-star-movement-surprises-everyone-with-elections-results-including-itself.html

    See this article:
    “While both left and right-wing parties generally disregarded it as irrelevant, after its strong electoral performance, they increasingly slam it as a danger to democracy. The media largely dismissed the movement, mentioning it only in reference to Grillo’s famous stunts.”

    “Ahead of the polls, Grillo’s electoral tour had been taking over Italy’s squares one by one, with three speeches a day and tens of thousands of YouTube hits”

    That looks very much like what we are seeing in the UK today with Farage.

    The old days of 2 or 3 party politics are over, and that is a good thing for democracy.

  45. RICHARD

    @”If only we had politicians like that across all parties, people who actually believed in what they were doing!”

    By & large , I think we do.

    Their ways of expressing their beliefs differ-and preference for any particular style is a matter of personal taste.

  46. LASZLO

    Thanks.

    I certainly don’t agree with Verhofstat on “Federal Union” or Direct powers of tax raising for the Parliament.

    I do agree with him that Farage does nothing constructive there-(how can he given his platform?)-and basically just turns up to blow raspberries at the rest of them.

    But then , I agree with Farage that their pay & expenses are disgraceful . ( no wonder they always get twitchy about expenses whistleblowers)

  47. @pablo420

    I disagree with your idea that the example of Ron Paul demolishes the argument about internet populartiy translating into real votes.

    While “internet popularity” with regard to youtube hits or similar data on that subject doesn’t translate into real votes in terms of *US Republican primaries*, and while at the same time it might look as if the lack of youtube or other internet impact might have helped Mitt Romney (since a lot of attention, and for that matter, negative impact, dropped on the other contenders for the Republican nomination, in the form of, say, “the-third-agency-Rick-Perry-couldn’t-name”) – I give you the same “Mitt Romney” as an example for why the “lack of internet popularity” (or for that matter, lack of impact) only works for the [registered] Partisan True Believer, but not for the general public, since President Obama won, in the end, a safe re-election against not-so-internet-popular Mitt Romney on account of what might have been a last-minute reaction of people thinking about that New York/New Jersey storm relief and, for that matter, the imo very popular (media/internet) image of “The Commander-in-Chief reaching out to the people, and doing so across party lines”… I’d have to get some data first ofc, which would probably be tricky to do about 7 months after the event/phase (with regard to all kinds of side-effects) – but I’m pretty sure Obama’s internet impact was way closer to the “silly-funny-fluffy-kitten” region than Mitt Romney’s…

    [And yes, by this I also state that our dear Nate Silver was simply very lucky with his prediction model this time around…]

  48. The BBC Scotland reporter got under Farage’s skin and Farage put the phone down. Farage seems very easily rattled when challenged. So far he has had a very easy ride I imagine he would lose it in the debates.

  49. ComRes Westminster VI (EU elections):

    Con 26% (21%), Lab 37% (23%), LD 9% (18%), UKIP 20% (27%), Other 8% (12%).

    Frankly I can’t make sense of the EU election VI (table 6):

    http://www.comres.co.uk/polls/Open_Europe_EU_and_Westminster_VI_Poll_May_2013.pdf

  50. I think I can help explain the surprisingly low Labour share of the vote and the surprisingly high UKIP & Lib Dem share:-
    this poll only includes people who are certain to vote in a European election. It is therefore biased in favour of the 2 parties who are most fanatical abut the EU ( ie extreme anti in the case of UKIP and pro in the case of the Lib Dems)
    I’m a staunch Labour voter in a General Election but even I can’t summon up any enthusiasm for Labour in a European election – if I vote at all it maybe for the Greens or a Left wing anti EU party such as Bob Crow or Arthur Scargill.

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