As well as the normal Sun voting intention poll, they also had a YouGov poll on the European elections this morning. Topline voting intention figures were CON 23%, LAB 32%, LDEM 9%, UKIP 26%, Greens 5%. Labour in first place, UKIP in a strong second and the Conservatives in third, the Lib Dems way behind. Full tabs are here.
Looking at only those certain to vote puts UKIP in an even stronger position – they would be on 30% to Labour’s 32%. I’m somewhat cautious about European election polls more than a month or two out – in 2009 polls done in January bore very little resemblence to what the result turned out to be, with UKIP advancing strongly in teh months leading up the election (though to sonme degree that was down to the expenses scandal breaking). These figures already look very positive for UKIP.
Worth noting is if these were the results there is a chance that the Lib Dems could be wiped out. On a uniform swing this give Labour 28 MEPs, UKIP 23 MEPs, the Conservatives 15, the Greens 1, SNP 2, Plaid 1 (and three in Northern Ireland). In practice it would be very close, who gets the final seat in constituencies with a large number of MEPs can come down to fractions of percentage points and the Lib Dems would just miss out in the South East and South West, but a wipe out is a realistic possibility. (The reason, if you are wondering, for the slightly odd suggestion that the Greens could get a seat with far fewer votes than the Lib Dems is because the strongest Green region is the South East and the Lib Dems strongest region is the South West – you need fewer votes to win a seat in the South East).
Finally, for methodology anoraks amongst you, YouGov’s question prompts for all the parties in the European Parliament – so including UKIP, Green and the BNP. This is a change from 2009 that we pondered for a while. In 2004 YouGov prompted for all the parties, and overestimated UKIP support. In 2009 we only prompted for Con, Lab, Lib Dem and SNP/PC and got UKIP pretty much right (our last poll had them on 18%, in the event they got 17%). However, given they came second last time (and on that basis the broadcast media will presumably be required to give them as much coverage as Labour and the Conservatives during the run up to the election), and the media focus is very likely to be on how well UKIP do and whether they win, we thought it more appropriate to put them in the main prompt for the European elections. Peter Kellner has written more about it here.