We are unlikely to get any proper polling on the budget until tomorrow night, so in the meantime here is some new YouGov polling on the European elections that was published in this morning’s Times. Topline voting intentions for Europe are CON 24%, LAB 32%, LDEM 10%, UKIP 23%, GRN 5%. Labour retain their lead for the European elections, the Conservatives and UKIP are still in a tight race for second place… but with UKIP in a narrow third place.
If we look at just those people who say they are certain to vote then it is better for UKIP, as their supporters are the most likely to say they’d turn out. Taking just those who say they are 10/10 certain puts UKIP up to second place and 26%, ahead of the Tories on 22% and behind Labour on 34%.
How the European elections play out will be very much a game of expectation management. In the event UKIP did get 23% it would be a very strong performance and a solid increase on their 2009 score… but coming third would in practice probably be seen as a huge disappointment when there was talk of a victory. As it happens I still think there is a fair chance of them winning – they will get a lot more publicity in the two months running up to the campaign (especially given that OfCom has ruled they they should be treated as a major party in England and Wales and given equal coverage to the other major parties), and I’d expect their support in European election polls to climb in the coming weeks – also this is just one poll, and others have shown them doing better. As ever, time will tell. Full tabs are here, European election polls so far are here.