There are two new European election voting intention polls out today, both showing substantial leads for UKIP.

TNS-BMRB have European figures of CON 18%(-3), LAB 27%(-3), LDEM 10%(+1), UKIP 36%(+7), Others 9% (tabs here). Changes are from their last poll in early April.

ComRes/ITV have European figures of CON 18%(-4), LAB 27%(-3), LDEM 8%(nc), UKIP 38%(+8!), GREEN 4%. Full tabs are here and changes are once again from a previous poll in early April.

Note that both polls are based on only those certain to vote. This tends to boost up the support of UKIP, who have the most enthusiastic supporters in the European elections – if ComRes had taken those saying they were 5+/10 likely to vote it would have decreased UKIP’s lead to four points.


205 Responses to “Two new European election polls”

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  1. I’m more than skeptical about the levels here, but somewhat neutrally. If that makes sense…

    My scepticism comes from, as AW points out, UKIP voting intent respondents having a substantially higher “certain to vote” response. This means that the final pass of shaping on “certain to vote” benefits UKIP with a not-yet-proven advantage.

    Now, it could be that UKIP will benefit from low turn out on European Parliament votes. An irony of those who hate the EU being more willing to participate in it speaks volumes about voter apathy. But I also think it’s not yet proven that UKIP voters beyond their do-or-die core have this high a turnout differential.

    And personally, I think the UK’s EU problems stem from first refusing to seriously take part in the EU parliament’s decision making, and then blaming the EU for taking decisions without us. At the same time as shoving unpopular things that Government wants/needs to do through the UK’s appointed commissioners, so they can then claim to be ‘European Mandates’. There is truly very little that the EU mandates for the UK that has not been approved by the UK Government. And if we keep sending a raft of EU Parliament members who do nothing but abstain, then the EU Commission will have the upper hand.

    We really really do need a more involved electorate in the UK, voting in active participants for the European Parliament who will act in the UK’s interests. There needs to be promotion that these elections are just as important as the Westminster ones.

  2. JayBlanc

    That’ll be the day. I doubt whether more than a small number of voters have the faintest notion of what they are voting for, regardless of party.

    From Belgium, we learn that with the approach of their general election (25/4, – I know, it seems only yesterday) Di Rupo is tweeting almost exclusively in French. Previously all tweets were in French and Dutch. As he is standing in Wallonia, that’s understandable. There’s not much point in producing election leaflets in Welsh if you are standing in Witney is there?

  3. Er, 25/5.

  4. Some interesting points.

    But the fact remains UKIP have been widely accused of being racist and at the same time their support has risen significantly.

    To assume it would have risen without the publicity surrounding those accusations is what is daft.

    Put simpler: publicity boosts, suffocates or does nothing for a party. UKIP are benefitting from the current publicity which revolves around them being called racist.

  5. @David in France

    you’ve got some front accusing the British of racism living in a country where a Socialist has banned Muslim dress.

  6. @ Wolf

    a) France is a secular society
    b) Islam is not a race

  7. Number Cruncher(3:52)

    Oh I realised a lot of that but I wanted to make the point the ‘relatively’ low for Labour in the South West was still a lot higher than people think. In part that’s because the ‘South West’ includes a lot of places people don’t usually think of in that way: Swindon, Bristol, Gloucester. But in general Labour have indeed increased their ratings in the South West and will get two seats (from zero) on these figures.

    It’s also worth pointing out that the Lib Dems didn’t do that extraordinarily well in Euro elections in the area. It was their second best region in 2009[1], but only with 17.2% at a time when nationally they were polling 18-19% with YouGov. So if the equivalent YouGov rating is now 9-10%, it’s not surprising if the Lib Dems Euro rating is sub-10.

    Generally the Lib Dems always leak votes to the Greens at the Euros – presumably a mixture of Lib Dems who want to big up environmental issues and Greens who normally support the Lib Dems to avoid wasting their vote in FPTP. But I think in the South West they have also lost votes in these elections to UKIP on specific anti-EU issues such as fishing and because of a general anti-centre feeling. The South West first returned a UKIP MEP back in 1999 (though it did have 7 seats then).

    I don’t think that Lib Dems will be able to shore up their vote in the whole of the South West either on 22 May or in 2015. What they may be able to do is hang on in their areas of greatest strength against losing votes to Labour and letting the Conservatives win in particular seats. At the moment, if you apply the figures in Anthony’s rolling average (Con 32, Lab 36, LD 9) to his seat calculator, the Lib Dems lose 11 of their 15 seats[2] in the South West – a worse performance than anywhere else even Scotland (8 from 11).

    But if in the seats they hold and even the ones they are challenging in they can prevent votes going to Labour (who are often under 10%) or the UKIP, while UKIP pick up discontented Conservatives[3] then they may hang on to more than four or maybe even gain some (in the same way that under UNS the Tories win these seats even though their national vote is dropping). Such things will mainly depend on local factors and local election results will be the best way of assessing that on a constituency basis, both the show the strength of the vote and the local organisation that will be needed if the Lib Dems are to buck UNS.

    [1] The winner was the North East with 17.6%. Hands up anyone who guessed without looking. Presumably many dissatisfied Labour voters may have helped out in that.

    [2] They only hold Bath, North Devon, Thornbury and Yate, and Yeovil. One seat (Bristol West) goes to Labour, ten to the Tories.

    [3] In such seats the Lib Dems may already have got the support of many such of course, which may explain the LD to UKIP swing in part. Whether such people would switch back to LD as the most effective anti-Tory vote is another matter.

  8. I thought Cyril Smith was big until I saw both the UKIP leads.

  9. Roger M

    Your SW is not the one I know (fishing an issue, oh yeah!) but I believe the catastrophe for LD that you postulate in the 2015 GE is a possibility. If the ABT vote weakens from a LD to a Labour protest vote, then it’s all up for them. Clearly the danger for Con is that UKIP takes from them (what they might otherwise net gain) to neutralise the LD to Lab protest.

    It all depends on voter ignorance of their local situation. I envisage a deluge of ‘can’t win here’ and don’t waste your vote and let in…’ leaflets next year.

  10. I see Nigel Farage is not standing in the Newark by-election!

    Who can blame him when he looks to be steering his party into a storming victory at a national election…

    Of course his opponents will say he’s bottling it but away from the spotlight of the MSM the Tories will sleep better tonight.

  11. Allan Christie

    Doesn’t seem surprising. If he had said he was standing, the Tories would promptly have moved the writ for the by-election to take place on 29 May.

  12. Roger M – I should have known you would not be wrong.

    Alll these years I have thought half and then half again not 1/2 then 1/3 etc of the original number; apologies I should have checked first before posting.

  13. Howard

    The SW cross break is way too small, unless you know otherwise

    Oh I know it’s hardly reliable but it’s all we have (and the previous ComRes had the equivalent figure at 4%!, though on an even smaller sample). But coupled with the Populus figures it indicates that the Lib Dem vote may not be holding up as well across the whole of the South West as some hope. Individual constituencies may be a different thing, but it may be more difficult for the Lib Dems to keep their South West MEP than they think.

    Incidentally it’s worth remembering that we can get more detailed information from the Euros than just the regional because the results are issued on a local area basis – usually the LA area in England. Here are the ones for 2009, courtesy of the Guardian:

    http://www.theguardian.com/news/datablog/table/2009/jun/09/european-elections-elections-2009

    But these also illustrate the difficulty of drawing conclusions from the Euro. For example UKIP actually ‘won’ Torbay with 34% of the vote. Yet a year later the Lib Dems (who got only 13.5%) held the Constituency with 47% and UKIP barely held their deposit. (This also illustrates the point I was making about Lib Dem to UKIP switchers).

  14. OLDNAT

    It’s a pity Farage isn’t standing and I agree with his reasons but what if?

    A 16,000 majority seems a tall order for any party to overturn but the SNP managed to overturn a Labour majority of 345’000 in Glasgow East so anything is possible.

  15. howard

    It all depends on voter ignorance of their local situation. I envisage a deluge of ‘can’t win here’ and don’t waste your vote and let in…’ leaflets next year.

    Indeed, which is why I made the point on organisational strength. One advantage that the Lib Dems will have in 2015 is that there will be no boundary changes so more people will be aware of the situation in the seat they live in. Practically every single seat in the SW had had, often very substantial, boundary changes in 2010. Some of the seats the Lib Dems ‘lost'[1] or failed to win when expected to were completely new or substantially altered ones. It’s another reason why they were right to vote against the boundary changes which would have done the same thing all over again to them.

    [1] Something similar happened to the Tories in Scotland in 2011 when they ‘won’ an extra three constituencies on the new boundaries that they then ‘lost’ on polling day.

  16. Jim Jam

    No problem – there’s a zillion variants of the system, so I had to check myself before I was sure.

  17. Roger M

    If UKIP can’t win Torbay in the Euro elections, then they will never win anything. On the chances of Sir Graham Watson, I don’t think LDs are under any illusions. I think he will be OK actually, but I admit it will be close.

  18. Allan,

    “the SNP managed to overturn a Labour majority of 345’000 in Glasgow East”

    I knew we were good but what size of swing does it take to win over more than a quarter of a million voters from your opponent !!!

    Peter.

  19. ” Chelsea came out after half-time as if they were still in the dressing-room.”

    A cracker from Robbie Savage that had the pup wuffing with larfter.

    Mind you, they were already wuffing with larfter at the score.

  20. “I thought Cyril Smith was big until I saw both the UKIP leads.”

    Eh ???

  21. @RHuckle
    “If these Tories lending their support to UKIP don’t go back to the Tories in 2015 in sufficient numbers, we could have Labour with a majority, after winning a third of the votes. That would be a peverse outcome and could well be the final nail in the coffin for FPTP.”

    Wanna bet?

  22. Rosie and Dasie,

    He’s referring to Cyril Smith, a very popular Liberal politician in his day. John Lennon caused controversy back then for saying that Cyril Smith was more popular than Jesus.

  23. PETER CAIRNS (SNP)

    “I knew we were good but what size of swing does it take to win over more than a quarter of a million voters from your opponent”
    _______

    I think the swing was 230% ;-)

  24. Every time people speculate about the damaging effect on the FPTP system of Labour getting a working majority on around 1/3 of the vote, I just have to mention…

    *cough*

    2005.

    It’s getting repetitive…

  25. Neil A,

    Back in 2005, there was over 2/3rds of UK voters who thought their preferred party could win a GE if they, say, got a 7% lead. These days? Not so much.

    FPTP basically lasts for as long as the Tories retain their faith in it.

  26. Bill P

    Yes, I remember that well.

    I recall Cyril calling John “Fatty” – which was a bit rude I thought.

  27. Rosie and Dasie,

    Yes, he could have stuck to political problems with John e.g. his role in the Russian Revolution.

  28. YouGov/Sun poll tonight – Labour lead up one to six points: CON 31%, LAB 37%, LD 9%, UKIP 15%

  29. NEIL A

    “*cough*

    2005.

    It’s getting repetitive”
    _____

    Have you tried BENYLN? Great for repetitive coughs..

  30. Tories must be cross that there was no budget bounce after all. Budget bounce followed by UKIP-dip will presumably even out to exactly where they were before.

    Also, Labour’s turning the guns on UKIP. Could be an interesting development. http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/ed-miliband-vote-ukip-vote-3476030

  31. Allan Christie

    Other expectorants are available.

  32. @MSmithsonPB: Tonight’s YouGov/Sun poll
    CON 31
    LAB 37
    LD 9
    Ukip 15

  33. Good Evening All.

    Happy Mayday to all .

  34. FPTP wont go for many years.

    And I will continue to not vote, nor will a few people I know, as my local seat is dominated by one part for the past 50 years and voting is pointless.

  35. These 31s are very bad for the Tories.

    [I shall append the above to my application for political leader writer for the Star.

    On second thoughts its perhaps too detailed.

    Anyway they are: they need to add about 20% more voters to have a chance – and then it would just be of a narrow defeat.

    Like the ole Chelsk result its a bleedin’ shame.

  36. …Oh, and Gerry Adams has been arrested. And Labour’s just unveiled some rather strident private rent reforms. Some of these things may get lost in the mix.

    Happy May Day. The people’s flag is deepest etc…

  37. OLDNAT

    They say Covonia is just as good for repetitive coughs.

    Boots are doing BOGOF on some expectorants.

  38. ” my local seat is dominated by one part ”

    One part of what Ed?

  39. @OldNat
    “Other expectorants are available”

    I just have to think about Alex Salmond.

  40. Ed

    FPTP wont go for many years.

    And I will continue to not vote, nor will a few people I know, as my local seat is dominated by one part for the past 50 years and voting is pointless.
    _______

    Don’t be too disheartened. My Gran lives in a Glasgow seat which has been held by the same party for so long even the Caesar Crassus and Pompey political alliance failed to budge them.

  41. MR NAMELESS.
    Good Evening: The song written by James Connell was not meant to be sung to the tune of the Christmas Tree song.

  42. CON 31
    LAB 37
    LD 9
    Ukip 15

    Does this put the “UKIP taking from labour as much at the tories” interpretation to bed?

    Several very low scores for the tories – with labour pretty much unchanged and ukip up to 15%.

  43. “@ Ed

    FPTP wont go for many years.

    And I will continue to not vote, nor will a few people I know, as my local seat is dominated by one part for the past 50 years and voting is pointless.”

    You could spoil the ballot paper in protest. Or people who felt the same could all get together and see if they could get a local anti-party candidate to stand.

    I think people within the next 20 years will demand a change to a PR voting system. Actually I hope that if Labour go into coalition with the Lib Dems that they will offer a referendum on a change to PR from the 2020 election.

  44. R Huckle,

    “Actually I hope that if Labour go into coalition with the Lib Dems that they will offer a referendum on a change to PR from the 2020 election.”

    What could the Lib Dems offer that would be as valuable as FPTP to Labour?

  45. @Jayblanc – “We really really do need a more involved electorate in the UK, voting in active participants for the European Parliament who will act in the UK’s interests.”

    That really sounds very close to blaming the voters.

    Maybe we really do need politicians more involved with real people, who can go to the European Parliament and act in their constituents best interests?

    These may or may not mean the same things, but I feel the different emphasis is important.

  46. Non-partisan report of Labour’s proposed rent changes here: http://uk.reuters.com/article/2014/04/30/uk-britain-labour-rent-idUKKBN0DG1X020140430

    Not going into the pros and cons of the actual policy (as per the Comments Policy) but it’s a big pitch and previous polling tells us it’s a relatively popular one.

    We’ll see how bold Labour dare to be with it.

  47. “YouGov/Sun poll tonight – Labour lead up one to six points: CON 31%, LAB 37%, LD 9%, UKIP 15%”

    Recent positive numbers on the economy having no effect on the polls by the look of it. 31% is a very low YouGov score for the Tories and they’re not just in the doldrums here, they’re actually slowly going backwards. Their only consolation, and it’s a small one, is that Labour seem stuck in the 36-38% range and the days of 40+ for them seem long gone.

    I think it’s worth reflecting on what these polls are telling us at the moment and tonight’s seems to be more or less smack bang in the mean and therefore pretty representative of the current state of play. We’ve become inured to the polling numbers of late but they’re absolutely extraordinary, aren’t they? The major governing party, presiding over a rapidly recovering economy and up against a leader of the opposition with awful approval ratings is on 31%. Let’s repeat that for effect. 31%, for pity’s sake????? Then we have a party with no MPs and hardly any local councillors, UKIP, on 15%, coupled with the once teflon-coated preferred party of protest, the Lib Dems, with 58 MPs and a partner in a coalition government, on 9%. To cap it off we then have the main party of opposition, Labour, enjoying a comfortable 6% lead in the polls, on the mighty total of 37%.

    As I said, utterly extraordinary really, and anybody still arguing that this is just some sort of mid-term eccentric and transitory tomfoolery by bored voters, who will all dutifully and obediently revert to type by May 2015, is guilty of wishful complacency. I’ve become convinced for some time now that political terms of trade have changed utterly and tried and trusted levers and triggers from the past no longer produce the voter obedience they once both demanded and secured.

    These polls tell me, as does the 35% of the electorate who don’t vote any longer (65% maybe in the Euros?), that the gap between our politicians and the electorate has never been wider. Disaffection is widespread and there just isn’t the audience out there any longer for the old political songbook.

    We need new songs and more tuneful singers. At the moment we’ve got UKIP penning a few catchy hits, but we are crying out for something much more edifying and substantial.

    Amongst our mainstream political parties and politicians, who might be the Lennon and McCartney of the modern era? They’ve never been more needed than they are now.

  48. Bill Patrick – Waving through budgets for five years and the defenestration of Clegg ought to do it.

  49. I intend to vote as follows:
    Euros – UKIP
    Locals – CON
    GE – CON
    Im sure others like me will do the same depending on their constituencies. Mine is Crawley (a semi CON marginal) so do not want Labour getting in.

  50. @Reggie

    Well it’s possible Labour leaked softer support to Ukip, but that core of 37% or so is much harder to shift.

    Anyways, still reeling from the shock of how many Tories favour nationalisation (!!!!), I’ve been casting around somewhat randomly for other proxy indicators.

    From the same poll as the Nationalisation figures, there’s a question about whether Labour if elected in 2015 should stick to the current govt’s planned cuts programme…

    Should stick…
    Cons/Lab/LDs/Ukip
    = 84/14/54/50

    Should not…
    = 5/67/31/30

    Point being to note the discrepancy between Tories and Ukip…

    (and that 14% of Lab think we should stick to the cuts programme…)

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