The weekly YouGov/Sunday Times poll is up online here. Topline figures are CON 31%, LAB 36%, LDEM 9%, UKIP 15%. UKIP at 15 is high by their recent standards, though we’ve seen a couple in recent weeks. Also worth noting is that the Greens are on 4%, once again, high by recent standards but something that’s popped up a couple of times this week. I suspect in both cases there is something of the impending European elections boosting parties outside the traditional big three. This also happened at the last European elections, though back then it was impossible to confidently distinguish it from the effect of the expenses scandal.

There is even better news for UKIP and the Greens on European election voting intention. YouGov have been showing UKIP challenging Labour for first place since the debates, they’ve now overtaken – topline European VI stands at CON 19%, LAB 28%, LDEM 9%, UKIP 31%, GREEN 8% – UKIP in first place, Greens challenging the Lib Dems for fourth.

The strong UKIP showing at the European elections does NOT mean people support leaving the EU. Asked how they’d vote in a referendum on EU membership 40% say they would vote to stay, 37% say they would vote to leave. While the lead is only three points, YouGov’s regular tracker is now consistently showing a lead for staying in. In the event David Cameron managed to renegotiate Britain’s membership people would be almost 2-to-1 in favour of remaining within the EU. This raises the question of what counts as a successful renegotiation – the thing people would most like to see is, by some distance, a limit on EU immigration, picked by 56% of respondents. Presented with Cameron’s actual renegotiating priorities 42% say they don’t go far enough, 15% that they go too far, 25% that they are about right.

Cameron’s own position doesn’t seem to be under much risk as a result of the EU elections or the Scottish referendum. As we discussed with the Maria Miller issue, on resignation questions political opponents tend to say people should resign *anyway* – the relevant thing to look at seems to be more the supporters of a politician’s OWN party. So as things stand 44% think Cameron should remain Tory leader and PM (including 88% of Tories), 27% think he should go (mostly Lab, Lib and UKIP). Asked what should happen if the Tories come third in the European election 40% think he should stay, 35% think he should go (amongst Tories 15% think he should resign, 76% think he should stay). If Scotland votes to become independent 49% think he should stay, 26% think he should go (amongst Tories 6% resign, 87% think he should stay). Of course, this is just public opinion, and hypothetical opinion at that: if Scotland votes YES (which would be the far more unprecedented and unpredictable event we don’t know how Westminster opinion would react, or how the public would react to it actually happening.

Turning to UKIP, most people do tend to see UKIP as a protest party (57%) rather than a serious party (20%) – but amongst UKIP voters themselves 71% think they are a serious party with workable policies. Only 25% of people say the UKIP posters this week are racist – 66% do not. Asked about Nigel Farage personally 27% think he is racist, 50% do not. Judging by this and the European election voting intention figures the fuss over the UKIP posters is more likely to have helped their support than damaged it.

Asked about the leaders debates at the next election half of people now want Nigel Farage included. 13% would prefer debates between just Cameron and Miliband as the only potential Prime Ministers, 19% to have three way debates with Clegg like last time.

There was also the fortnightly Opinium poll for the Observer last night – they had topline figures of CON 32%(+2), LAB 34%(-2), LDEM 7%(nc), UKIP 18%(nc)


378 Responses to “YouGov/Sunday Times – CON 31, LAB 36, LD 9, UKIP 15”

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  1. Normally I am wary of cross breaks but UKIP’s Scottish figure of 18% is such a huge jump that I wonder if it is enough to distort the headline figure.

    If the Scottish figure was in any way accurate ( and I have my doubts) we would be looking at 3 SNP, 2 Lab and 1 UKIP.

    Peter.

  2. The Independent has produced this handy little chart for the European and local elections, outlining basic policy towards the EU, best-case scenario, worst-case scenario and likely local election prospects.

    http://www.independent.co.uk/incoming/article9292728.ece/alternates/w460/graphicUKIP.jpg

    Seems odd to me that the local election prospects for urban Liberal Democrat councillors elected in 2010 isn’t the single word “massacred”.

  3. I find it hard to believe tht UKIP’s teflon coat will withstand the impact of 4-5 weeks of inevitable concerted attack by all sections of the media. So the Green surge does not come as a surpise, as ‘protest’ voters skip UKIP for the Greens – albeit in small numbers but enough to make a difference for the 3rd/4th/5th positions.
    I also wonder if the gradual CON moves to outKIP UKIP will result in losing their centre ground voters to LD

  4. ERICGOODYER,

    UKIP’s current tactic seems to be to claim that the “Westminster Elite” are ganging up on them with smears as they are afraid to talk about the real issues and that only “Straight Talking” UKIP are saying what people think.

    I don’t think it’s true but tactically I think it is a smart move that will be very popular with current and potential UKIP voters. UKIP’s objective isn’t to get a majority it is to get more than before and hopefully the most.

    Appealing to those frustrated by the current national situation looking for someone to blame by playing the plucky bulldog being hounded by the Westminster pack may well work as the more they get attacked the more they can say it proves they are right.

    Peter.

  5. “YouGov have been showing UKIP challenging Labour for first place since the debates, they’ve now overtaken – topline European VI stands at CON 19%, LAB 28%, LDEM 9%, UKIP 31%, GREEN 8% – UKIP in first place, Greens challenging the Lib Dems for fourth”
    _____

    UKIP now in the lead and Greens challenging Lib/Dems for 4th!! Lib/Dems could come in 5th in European elections… Uh oh..

    UKIP might be a protest party in GE terms but in Euro elections I really think they will remain a major party from now on.

    We have seen in Scotland (up until now) people tend to vote labour for GE’s and for Holyrood they switch to the SNP. Not that I’m calling Labour a protest party in Holyrood of course!

    So what for EM if Labour fail to grab the initiative and come in behind UKIP? This is his first election as Labour leader and results in Europe could throttle any momentum for going into 2015.

    It’s all very exciting I say..

  6. I think the problem that most of UKIP’s opponents have is they haven’t properly learnt their lesson from 2013. Back then, the standard anti-UKIP tactic was to call them loonies and/or racists, and dismiss them as an irrelevant fringe party. It didn’t work.

    There is now more of an understanding that UKIP’s policies need scrutinising and debating, but what most UKIP haters are still doing is attacking UKIP for having a caricatured version of UKIP’s policies, which is substantially different from UKIP’s actual policies. And that’s a pity, because most of their actual policies are still deeply flawed, but don;t get any proper scrutiny.

    All the current campaigning is doing is hardening opposition amongst people who weren’t going to vote UKIP anyway. If UKIP do top the poll next month – and I suspect they will – it will be a self-inflicted defeat for the UKIP haters.

  7. UKIP continue to put downward pressure on the main parties – Greens unaffected, there’s not much obvious common ground between these two parties.

    Labour won’t want to be pushed into 2nd place in the EU elections, it would point more firmly at next year’s GE being even muddier.

    If UKIP stay high then interesting times lay ahead.

  8. PETER CAIRNS SNP

    It’s 100% blatantly obvious there is a media and political witch-hunt against UKIP.

    The media are split between Labour and Tory so UKIP don’t fit the narrative hence the infamous tweets and twits on twitter making headline news.

    It’s not doing any harm in the polls and any publicity is good publicity… so my Granny tells me.

  9. The thing about the UKIP posters and recent press about racism, even if the majority of voters would disagree it might still help UKIP. For them, 40% approval / 60% disapproval is a useful result that should see an increase in their support.

    The same goes for the LibDems and the Greens. It’s just the Tories and Labour for whom 40% approval / 60% disapproval is a bad result…

  10. Labour will, of course, prefer to come top in the Euros but whether it does or not its effect on next year’s GE will be approximately nil.

  11. CHRISTIAN SCHMIDT

    “It’s just the Tories and Labour for whom 40% approval / 60% disapproval is a bad result…”

    Is it? I think you’ll find that 40% approval 60% disapproval would deliver Labour or the Tories a working majority at Westminster, as long as the 60% is spread amounts there rivals.

    ALLAN CHRISTIE

    “It’s 100% blatantly obvious there is a media and political witch-hunt against UKIP.”

    No it isn’t.

    The Media are only too happy to cut and paste any salacious story about a Party fed to them by that Parties opponents, UKIP aren’t being subjected to anything the others don’t get.

    UKIP might not be used to it and might think it is a witch hunt but you shouldn’t confuse a lazy press for a bias one, unless of course you are inclined to vote UKIP in which case you are free to take it as prima-facie evidence of an establishment conspiracy to silence the truth!

    Next time try using BLOCK CAPITALS and making it 200% blatantly obvious

    Peter.

  12. “Labour will, of course, prefer to come top in the Euros but whether it does or not its effect on next year’s GE will be approximately nil.”

    @RogerH

    Id mostly agree…BUT…there is the possibility that a big UKIP win in the Euros unleashes an unstoppable train for the party.

    Our FPTP system hugely mitigates against a smaller party making a break through to become a serious player so perhaps this will ultimately supress UKIP in GE 2015. However they have the potential to draw votes in from all of Con, Lab and LD (not to mention new voters or voters getting back in the market) and at a certain point under FPTP there is a tipping point where instead of all these votes being wasted they actually elect a cascade of MPs. That scenario would even today appear only a small chance but I dont think can be totally discounted against what appears to be a fairly febrile anti-politics backdrop.

  13. I have no doubt that although the UKIP posters were not racist in themselves, the furore surrounding them and the reaction from UKIP, has allowed a number of racists to crawl out of the woodwork in the mistaken belief that their views are now acceptable. Some of the comment threads on the right of centre newspaper sites have become almost unreadable and there seems to be little attempt to moderate such comments.

    Whether your average protest voter will be put off by this or whether they really notice it at all only time will tell. The dangerous time for UKIP will be after the EU elections when they will have a lot of people who will want to speak for them and how they deal with the inevitable racist outburst will help determine whether they are regarded as a serious party come the GE.

  14. @GRHINPORTS: “Id mostly agree…BUT…there is the possibility that a big UKIP win in the Euros unleashes an unstoppable train for the party.”

    Don’t see it myself. Their performance isn’t even close to the Alliance’s in the early ’80s with not even a single by-election victory. The irony is that their biggest (only?) success is likely to be to a parliament that has no power to reduce the UK’s involvement in the EU.

  15. @ Ewen (FPT),

    Further investigation reveals a lot of people tweeting about a Sunday Times story about Mercer being on the verge of resignation, a story which doesn’t seem to exist, at least not in the online edition of the paper.

    I blame Mike Smithson, who appears to be Patient Zero for this rumour. (He’s how I contracted it, at any rate.) I apologise for relaying it to all of you without verifying- it just never occurred to me to check because it sounded like he’d already seen the paper.

    We’ll know early next week whether or not it’s true, because the mechanism that would trigger the by-election is Mercer getting chucked out of Parliament for several months by the Standards and Privileges Committee, and they’re supposed to report once Parliament comes back from recess.

  16. @ERICGOODYER

    ‘I find it hard to believe tht UKIP’s teflon coat will withstand the impact of 4-5 weeks of inevitable concerted attack by all sections of the media.’

    If you want to know why an ‘inevitable concerted attack’ is taking place rather than a balanced scrutiny, google ‘BBC EU funding’ . I didn’t realise people were unaware of this, but it seems they are, the BBC is VERY shy of reporting it.

    Glad the Green renaissance has been noticed. The ground they occupied was muscled in on by all parties five years ago, but that was political expediency not conviction. The Greens have also been consistently socialist in a way the Labour party abandoned when Tony Blair came to power.

  17. Contrasting group of polls here. Apparently a very close race for Westminster, until YG suggests again a reasonable Lab lead. Their low scores for both Lab and Con could suggest some UKIP and Green influence on depresssing votes for the big two.

    I would also wish to register my agreement with @Peter Cairns. I see no UKIP witch hunt – just the normal response of the press looking into details once a party starts to become a more serious contender.

    No doubt there are a few dark holes in the recesses of the UKIP landscape, which is almost inevitable for a party with a limited internal structure and a rapidly expanding membership base and ground operation. It’s clearly a risk for them, but one that Farage is trying to manage.

    For what it’s worth, I view the UKIP position as more of a progression than a surge, and I suspect it’s impact will be more long lived than other Euro election events previously seen. More like the SDP in the mid 80’s than the Greens in 1989.

    Since it’s formation in 1993, UKIP are one of the few parties to increase vote share at every GE, and unlike the Greens in the 1989 Euros, their national poll standing has been much higher for much longer than the conventional range for minor parties.

    I’ve no doubt that they will slip back for the GE, and I’m personally doubtful that they will win any MPs, but throughout this parliament I have maintained the view that they will contribute significantly to the 2015 result, and I currently feel that my original view that they might get 4-6% is short of the mark. Their influence on the balance of power is likely to be bigger as a result.

  18. “I find it hard to believe tht UKIP’s teflon coat will withstand the impact of 4-5 weeks of inevitable concerted attack by all sections of the media.”

    I don’t. Read Rawnsley in today’s Observer regarding how Boris deflects serious attacks. I see Farage as similar.

    Every now and then we see a politician come along with special qualities – not necessarily positive or good, but different. Attacking these types is like nailing a jelly to the wall.

    My own sense is that UKIP will survive many of these such attacks, so long as they remain a protest party and not a serious contender for government.

    To seriously damage them, I feel the main parties need to concentrate on their own credibility, connection with real voters, and remoteness from real life. This is a long term project for all of them.

    When non political politicians come along, the conventions of politics that have been built by conventional politicians break down, which is why traditional politicians can’t understand why UKIP is doing so well.

  19. Nevermind, it was buried at the bottom of the “OMG UKIP! Polls! Panic!!!” article.

    “UKIP could profit from further Tory troubles this week because the disgraced MP Patrick Mercer is set to quit and force a by-election over a cash for questions scandal.

    The Commons standards committee will meet on Tuesday to ban him from parliament for six months. The MP for Newark, a winnable seat for UKIP, has told friends that if he is suspended for more than a month he will have to stand down.”

    That all sounds very definite, although parsing it I think what it actually means is “The Standards and Privileges Committee might ban Mercer for six months if they don’t wimp out like they did with Maria Miller’s expenses, and then he might keep his word and resign, if we can trust the integrity of someone who took cash for questions.”

  20. The so-called BBC EU-funding seems a classic non-story. The EU hands out billions in grants for all sorts of reasons and it would be surprising if some part of the BBC hadn’t applied for money at one time or other.

  21. @ Spearmint

    Thank you for following up on the Mercer story.

  22. daodao (fpt but more relevant here)

    A vote for the Greens can be very dangerous in letting extremist parties in – that is what happened in the 2009 EU elections in the NW England constituency, where the Greens gained 7.7% of the vote, just behind the BNP at 8.0%.

    It is safer to vote for a party likely to win a % of the vote likely to exceed the d’Hondt threshold, as this helps to raise the threshold for gaining a seat under the d’Hondt system. Based on current opinion polls, in England the only parties that meet this criterion are Con/Lab/UKIP, and the LiDems in a few larger regions with more MEPs.

    This is actually completely wrong and misunderstands how d’Hondt works -for one thing there isn’t a ‘threshold’ as there is with STV say. Once a Party has gained a seat in the d’Hondt process the power of an extra vote given to it is reduced to 0.5 then 0.33 if they get a second seat and so on. So the most effective way to use your vote is to help a Party that hasn’t got a seat yet, but might.

    In the example you quoted:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/North_West_England_(European_Parliament_constituency)

    the Greens would have beated the BNP and taken the eighth seat if 5061 voters had chosen them rather than the Lib Dems. However it would have taken 28,750 Green voters to switch to the Lib Dems to give them a second seat (or 59,751 to switch to Labour to give them a third).

    Of course this only applies if you choose a Party that does have a chance. In this case if 2648 English Democrat voters say had switched to UKIP, then UKIP would have got the eighth seat rather than the BNP.

  23. Is it a protest is it not? is it a message to the government about 1 particular policy is it not? is it a verdict on the EU is it not? & so on & so on…. I now genuinely believe the opinion poll VI question is as much use predicting which party people will actually vote for in the 2015 GE as rolling a dice. IMO the only way to try and get to the truth of peoples VI is to drill down into the answers people give to the more specific questions e.g how’s the economy, best pm/chancellor, most in touch, most competent etc etc. If any pollsters VI figures match the actual 2015 GE it will be more or less sheer good luck!

  24. @Roger Mexico

    Thank you for explaining the implications of how d’Hondt works.

    I wonder why d’Hondt was chosen when especially with such small numbers to be returned (especially in some of the smaller EU regions) Modified Sainte Lague or Hare-Niemeyer would have given far more accurate results.

    Does anyone know why parliament chose d’Hondt?

  25. Christian Schmidt

    The thing about the UKIP posters and recent press about racism, even if the majority of voters would disagree it might still help UKIP. For them, 40% approval / 60% disapproval is a useful result that should see an increase in their support.

    The same goes for the LibDems and the Greens. It’s just the Tories and Labour for whom 40% approval / 60% disapproval is a bad result…

    That’s true as far as UKIP are concerned, but as you also imply it begins to become a limiting factor the higher their VI becomes. This is why they seem to find it very easy to score 20-30% in council by-elections for example, but much harder to get over 30%.

    As it happens we do have polling on what the public thinks of those posters[1] as YouGov asked a few days back:

    http://d25d2506sfb94s.cloudfront.net/cumulus_uploads/document/3jirmp3lvi/YG-Archive-140423-UKIP-Posters.pdf

    Above are some posters that UKIP are running for the European elections.
    To what extent do you support or oppose the message in the posters?

    Support 50% Oppose 41%

    Some have described the advertising as racist. To what extent do you agree or disagree with this view?

    Agree 34% Disagree 59%

    UKIP voters overwhelmingly support them. You don’t see many cross breaks that go 98-0. So going “Ooh – what a bunch of racists!” is hardly going to convince them to switch votes.

    [1] Obviously like most poster campaigns the purpose isn’t for the posters to be seen but for them to be reported. Hence the way in which many ‘controversial’ posters during campaigning for the last GE turned out to have only been put up on half a dozen sites around Central London where the media might see them as they sped past in their taxis.

  26. Ukip performed at about their (then) national par in the Newark parts of CC elections last year.

    Tories lost one councillor to an Independent in an otherwise clean sweep.Typically wards went Tory by 40+% with Labour/Ukip/LD in effectively a three-way split.

    Although Labour would be starting from second place, it seems likely Newark will be presented as a Con/Ukip contest.

  27. @ericgoodyer

    Don’t see why not. The SNP / Yes Scotland have been doing reasonably well after 4-5 months or more of it.

    The bottom line is that some people want change. They want something new. Yes Scotland or UKIP represent some form of change to some people.

  28. As to whether Labour or UKIP come top in the Euros, I think UKIP would nudge ahead if the Euros were happening in isolation – but don’t forget the relatively pro-Labour local elections taking place on the same day.

    Unsure how much crossover there will be for Labour from the local elections to the Euros ( I don’t doubt many will vote Labour for the council but still vote somebody else for the Euro Parliament ) but I’d be surprised if there was no crossover at all.

    This might just push Labour back ahead of UKIP.

  29. Not sure if it is a coincidence… and if it’s not, whether it’s in any way representative… but looking at the Hastings part of the Hastings and Rye constituency, Ukip have seven candidates for the 16 wards to be contested next month.

    A noticable feature is that Ukip seem to be avoiding safe Labour wards (excepting the council leader’s ward), the other six candidates are either in Tory wards or Lab/Con marginal wards where Con have won in recent years.

    Either way another little headache in a marginal seat to add to the ongoing Con/Ukip migraine.

  30. Roger,

    “Hence the way in which many ‘controversial’ posters during campaigning for the last GE turned out to have only been put up on half a dozen sites around Central London where the media might see them as they sped past in their taxis.”

    It’s easier than that.

    The Party’s round up the media and bus them to the site for the official unveiling!

    That way they get their poster in every paper the next day without paying for full page adds.

    No wonder the papers are losing money!

    Peter.

  31. @Statgeek

    I see a lot of common ground between the UKIP surge and the YES surge (if such it be) and the emotions underlying both.

    I think they both we a lot to the sense of the b*st*rds in Westminster lording it over ‘us ordinary people’ – a plague on all your houses and the more you tell us how wrong headed we are the more we’ll show two fingers.

    [snip]

  32. On Sky News William Hague was responding to the rise of UKIP in the polls saying that “a vote for UKIP (in the 2015 GE) only risks allowing a Lab govt committed to no referendum on the EU”.

    This seems to be the standard Con rebuttal about UKIP and to me it seems they might be making a mistake about the rise of UKIP since Im not sure its about the EU all that much.

    Rather its seems a combination of standard anti-establishmentarianism, meeting concerns about immigration, mixed with a social conservative desire to return to a perceived UK of a bygone era.

    Polling still seems to indicate that a majority would vote to (just) stay in the EU and yet still UKIP rise – so making the point that its the Cons who are offering an EU referendum and a UKIP puts that at risk might not shift that many votes.

  33. Chris Neville-Smith

    I think the problem that most of UKIP’s opponents have is they haven’t properly learnt their lesson from 2013. Back then, the standard anti-UKIP tactic was to call them loonies and/or racists, and dismiss them as an irrelevant fringe party. It didn’t work.

    There is now more of an understanding that UKIP’s policies need scrutinising and debating, but what most UKIP haters are still doing is attacking UKIP for having a caricatured version of UKIP’s policies, which is substantially different from UKIP’s actual policies. And that’s a pity, because most of their actual policies are still deeply flawed, but don;t get any proper scrutiny.

    Again that’s very true, but it’s actually difficult to pin down UKIP on its policies. There was a rather good interview with Farage by Decca Aitkenhead:

    http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2014/apr/25/nigel-farage-ukip-european-parliament-elections

    where Farage

    Farage point-blank refuses to specify a single Ukip policy before 22 May, other than withdrawal from Europe (“Oh, and bringing back grammar schools, you can have that”). He even refuses to rule out any of the policies that featured in the party’s 2010 manifesto, a document he describes as a “load of late-night ramblings” and has never actually read.

    So if you actually do decide to criticise anything, there’s a strong possibility that the Party leader will inform you that he agrees with you entirely.

    To some extent this is wise. Apart from the fact it’s more difficult to hit a moving target, the increase in UKIP’s membership since 2010 may mean that most of them may be unhappy with the policies as well. But such vagueness may not be possible to maintain after 22 May and there isn’t much time to produce something that the Party agree or at least not make to much of a fuss about.

    UKIP is a noticeably fractious Party[1], perhaps understandable in group whose main motivation is discontent with the way things are but without much agreement on how they should be or how to get there. Policy formation has to be done to some extent though, and they haven’t left themselves much time to come up with something to at least stop them looking clueless.[2]

    [1] Of the 13 MEPs elected in 2009 only 8 are still with the Party one of whom refuses to join its EP grouping EFD). Only 6 are standing for the Party in 2014.

    [2] This will of course be worse if Farage does actually take part in the leaders’ debates. To some extent excluding not only allows him to play the martyr, it also means he avoids (the admittedly limited) scrutiny such programmes provide.

  34. Guymonde,

    As someone who is now out most nights knocking on doors I have to say that I have rarely if at all heard people talk about the “B’s” in Westminster.

    The most common response as undecided and people are taking a real interest in just how important and series the referendum is.

    There really is little sense that people are going to use it to take a kick at anyone!

    Peter.

  35. Peter

    To be fair to the Press they did get wise to that one and tend to mock a Party that does it. I suspect the poster site management companies get a bit fed up as well and may insist on a minimum spend. So there is usually a token effort on a few prominent sites around London and maybe opposite the odd station outside it. I doubt it reaches Scrabster or Wick though. :)

  36. Roger,

    Wait and see!

    Talk is that Yes Scotland booked what for a political campaign was an unprecedented number of poster sites for September as long ago as 2012!

    Peter.

  37. @Peter Cairns

    “There really is little sense that people are going to use it to take a kick at anyone!”

    I bow to your knowledge – being a long way from Scotland I have no understanding of what’s going on with voters. However there seems at least to be a lot of rhetoric about being ‘bullied’ whenever any scrutiny or rebuttal of yes policies is attempted.

  38. @ Roger Mexico

    Thank you for your comment of April 27th, 2014 at 12:08 pm.

    There is effectively a threshold in the d’Hondt system, but it is variable and depends on the votes cast. I accept that the way the seats are allocated under d’Hondt is not based on this threshold, but it can be determined retrospectively and makes seat allocation easier to understand. For the NW England EU constituency in 2009, it was between 7.9 and 8.0%. In simple terms (and d’Hondt is anything but simple), a seat is allocated to parties for each vote share of the d’Hondt threshold that they obtain, so for example the Cons (who gained 25.6%) won 3 seats (>3 x 7.95%).

    As you point out, if 2700 or more eurosceptic voters had voted for UKIP instead of an alternative minor eurosceptic party (which includes the Greens, although they just want major reform of the EU rather than leaving it), the BNP would not have won a seat.

    I note that the UKIP slate on this occasion in NW England includes 2 ethnic minority candidates at positions 3 and 4 on the list, which has convinced me that they are not a racist party and might win them a few more votes.

  39. Spearmint
    Thanks for clarifying the Mercer issue , we shall see if it comes to anything.
    BillyBob
    I mentioned Hastings and Rye a week or so ago, along the lines that if and it’s still a moderately large if, the electorate are canny about 4 party politics then it may be lethal for the Tories. Interesting that the Kippers are only standing against Tories , pretty much.

  40. What Anthony doesn’t mention is the result of the ST Euro poll if you apply the likelihood to vote filter of LTV=10[1]:

    Con 19% (22)

    Lab 28% (28)

    Lib Dem 7% (7)

    UKIP 36% (31)

    SNP/PC 4% (3)

    Green 9% (8)

    BNP 0% (1)

    Other 1% (1)

    NB 10% of those who say they will vote (LTV=10) are still undecided. Figures in brackets headline Euro VI

    This makes things look even worse for the Conservatives and Lib Dems. The unusual reluctance on the part of the Tories is particularly damaging (normally LTV makes things better for them not worse) and has been seen in other polls as well.

    46% of the sample give LTV=10. The sample was taken four weeks before polling day. The same time gap before the AV Referendum:

    http://d25d2506sfb94s.cloudfront.net/today_uk_import/yg-archives-pol-st-results-08-100411.pdf#page=2

    59% said they would definitely vote[2]. However on polling day 79% did in fact say they had done so[3], which suggests that say LTV=6-10 might be a better assessment of who might vote, at least as far as YouGov panelists go. This might help the non-UKIP Parties a bit, though the Tory voters would still be the least enthusiastic.

    [1] There is actually a failing in YouGov’s question here as it doesn’t remind people that in many areas there will be local elections on the same day as well. Because some people might turn out for those (and so also vote in the Euros) who might not if it was just the EP, a reminder might alter some people’s responses.

    [2] Not quite comparable because in 2011 voters were reminded of the other elections, specifically I assume to the Scottish Parliament/Welsh Assembly.

    [3] Of course 79% is much higher that the actual proportion of the population who voted (42%), but people who sign up for pollsters’ panels are much more likely to be voters, have opinions and so on than average. The same is true to a lesser extent for those who agree to answer phone polls.

  41. @RMJ1 “The dangerous time for UKIP will be after the EU elections when they will have a lot of people who will want to speak for them and how they deal with the inevitable racist outburst ”
    @Roger M “Farage point-blank refuses to specify a single Ukip policy before 22 May, other than withdrawal from Europe”

    Farage has also said that after the European elections he expects UKIP to have a good number of very capable women MEPs who will speak for the party and UKIP will look very different. See http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=daily+politics+ukip especially at 9min 20 onwards.
    I am continually surprised that what NF says very openly about UKIP strategy, tactics and ambitions seems to be generally disregarded. So far as I can see, UKIP plans are right on track. Their policy statements will be based on what they have learned from walkabouts and public meetings. I remember in particular a Farage answer to an interviewer who said that the other party leaders visit constituencies and regions as well. He said something to the effect that ‘Ah, but I do it properly. They turn up for a photoshoot and then swan off’. Remember that in UKIP’s first two GE efforts, Farage was their only candidate to retain his deposit, [Revolt on the Right p30 “I was the only one who tried”]
    Farage has now been around at the heart of UKIP’s efforts for 20 years.
    UKIP may have had more than their share of fruitcakes in the past, but Farage is not one of them.

  42. ROGERH

    “Labour will, of course, prefer to come top in the Euros.”

    LP stands to make massive gains on the last EU results so there will have plenty to celebrate either way. However perhaps the disruption to the TP would be so much greater if UKIP came first that in terms of next year’s Election a second place would work just as well for Labour.

    I agree with others it will be a fun night. Well as I am six hours in front of you guys I suppose it will be a fun day.

  43. “They turn up for a photoshoot and then swan off’.”

    Our Nige would never do that.

    http://i.huffpost.com/gen/1612191/thumbs/o-FARAGE-570.jpg

  44. My link should have been
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o9IO8e9z84Y
    Sorry.

  45. @RogerH
    I’m sure NF doesn’t miss a chance for a photoshoot but he hasn’t got cabinet meetingsd to worry about, and can hang around before and after to listen and learn. I don’t know, but I would bet that he has conversations with local people before putting himself in front of reporters.
    eg “Ukip leader Nigel Farage will be hitting the [Swansea] city centre for an afternoon walkabout before holding an evening rally”

  46. @ PETER CAIRNS (SNP)

    The Scottish crossbreak only contains 160 respondants, so the MoE is ±7.7 points… Besides which, the demographic weightings (other than location) will have been done at GB level only. So your skepticism is probably justified.

  47. In Kirklees UKIP are only putting up five Candidates, in a mix of wards held by Labour, Conservative and Lib Dem.

    TUSC are putting six Candidates up.

    The Greens have people in twenty two out of twenty three wards (including myself). The only one without a Green Candidate is ward held by an independent who votes with the Green block in Council anyway.

    For Labour, the Conservatives and the Lib Dems it’s a full house.

  48. @RogerH,Dave.

    I am sure people don’t realise how difficult it is for a government minister to campaign outside of election times. Ministers are more or less controlled by their civil servants who see that they do everything even handedly when on a visit. Party stuff has to be arranged separately and is hard to fit in. It absolutely can’t be part of a ministerial visit which leads to a lot of complaints from party activists who can never understand it.

  49. The EU funding the BBC is no more a non-story than the Cyril Smith one. It’s one many vested interests would have kept buried though. This pertains directly to the EU elections as the BBC IMO are actively campaigning against Ukip.

    When someone vile is discovered in the LibDems the tone towards the party is one of sympathy. When someone vile is discovered in Ukip the automatic reaction is to tar them all with the same brush. It’s not cricket.

    If the BBC wants to seek funding from the EU that is fine, but I don’t want them demanding funding from me as well. Sack the management and stop taking bribes or end the licence fee.

    http://blogs.spectator.co.uk/culturehousedaily/2014/02/the-millions-in-eu-funding-the-bbc-tried-to-hide/

  50. @ DAODAO (& Roger Mexico)

    After your last post Daodoa, I am now completely baffled about how d’Hondt works. I thought that it was a system devoid of quotas and thresholds, unlike the Hare-Niemeyer method used in Germany. I had always read before that d’Hondt is a system, like Sainte Lague, that uses a divisible system to allocate seats, not a threshold or quota system? Please can you clarify this as you seem to imply there are allocation thresholds?

    I’m just now very confused…….

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