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. @Mr Nameless

    Re PR in local elections, Scotland and NI have STV . What is the position in E and W?

  2. More evidence that UKIP drains support from both parties. This is added to the fairly robust evidence that the drop in LD vote for GE VI actually benefits Cons slightly more than Lab. So if I were Lab I’d take no comfort in the boost for UKIP or the decline of the LDs.

  3. @AW,

    I understand the reasoning but it doesn’t exactly fill pro-Europeans with confidence either to see a major party ashamed of their own candidate.

    Moreover, people have a right to know who they’re voting for and what effect that vote will have. Imagine if the Arkansas Democrats told Obama to keep away just because some people in that state don’t like him.

    Furthermore, it’s all well and good avoiding the press barrage now but it’s hardly going to look good if he wins and the headlines are all “LABOUR’S PRESIDENT VOTERS NEVER SAW”.

  4. @ Old Nat

    “Rather like the cosy arrangements in the USA, where Republicans and Democrats co-operate to create Congressional Districts that are unlikely ever to change hands.”

    Until the voters get fed up with it and vote to create an independent redistricting commission. That’s what happens when you go too far for incumbency protection. I actually find it kinda funny when there’s incumbency protection where both houses are controlled by opposite parties. And the leaders of the respective chamber actually sell out their own parties in the other chamber in order to protect themselves. Because you often get states with majorities that just don’t make sense without massive ticket splitting among all voters that’s almost unheard of.

  5. @BILLY BOB: “Perhaps the arugments were not rational, but people would ask why should someone who votes MRLP then get a ‘second vote’ for for Ukip, and a ‘third vote’ perhaps for the Tories?”

    Which rather neatly demonstrates how irrational were the arguments. Of course everybody gets the same number of votes but for some people their second vote just goes to the same candidate as their first one. It was the failure of the AV campaign to explain this simple fact (and after all, Tory Party members manage to understand it when using AV to pick their own candidates) that helped ensure their defeat.

  6. Apparently up to one fitth of crimes are not reported. I have said this before on here and a few have explained why some crimes may not appear on official statistics.

    The other day we had a report that crime was down and now the truth is out, Theresa May says that crime may start to go up. My personal opinion is that under successive governments Police forces have carefully managed the way crimes are recorded and government ministers have been happy to accept the falling crime statistics, without too many enquiries.

  7. A party that can get younger voters out to vote at all may get themselves an advantage.

    I’m a homeowner but I have kids. It is very obvious to everyone who rents that the rental market doesn’t work properly for renters (it’s great for landlords, of course), and it is also obvious that one section of the population will welcome changes to that situation and another will not.

  8. @Mr Nameless
    Re PR in local elections, Scotland and NI have STV . What is the position in E and W?
    -The Only Elections in England under PR are the European Parliamentary Elections in Wales assembly elections are also by PR.

  9. @Socal

    “Thank you for the kind compliment. You know what’s cool about having a half-British candidate in this race, I have finally found people who understand my David Dimbleby-Vin Scully reference.”


    No probs, always good to have other perspectives, and ever since meeting some Americans at Uni I’ve enjoyed reading a bit about US politics, though I’m not well up on it like Billy Bob etc… like to while away the odd hour reading Salon and stuff tho’….

  10. @R Huckle

    And what makes you think that the proportion of unrecorded crime has changed over time? Most observers don’t look at the statistics from the Police in a vacuum. Two other useful stats are the British Crime Survey and evidence from hospital admissions (in the case of violent crime). Both have shown a general downward trend for many years.

  11. Labour go for rent reform… the kraken awakes.

    I have to say this for Ed Miliband, he has nerves of steel. Team Red (well, I at any rate) were getting twitchy about the polls for the past two months, but does he panic? Nope, he waits to launch his big populist policy until the immediate lead up to the May elections when he needs it.

    He couldn’t have timed this better. The “Business leaders say it’s worse than bombing!” “OMG, Stalinism!” “Polling shows widespread support for Policy X.” “Miliband has scored an unexpected triumph with Policy X.” “The Tories have announced a watered down version of Labour’s policy.” media cycle seems to take about four weeks, so the elections should hit right at the point where everyone has heard of the policy and the press all agree it’s brilliant, but before the Government has a chance to U-turn on it.

  12. ONS have reported that zero hours contracts have tripled to more than 1.4 million over the last year. This rise no doubt accounts for a significant part of the drop in unemployment. It seems that the era of casual labour is back with us. 1.4 million is a significant element of the voting population who probably don’t feel thinhgs are getting better. Additionally for those under 25 pay was down more than 14% and for in the 25-29 age group down 12%, at levels not seen since the late 1990s.

  13. @ Adrian B,

    This is added to the fairly robust evidence that the drop in LD vote for GE VI actually benefits Cons slightly more than Lab.

    What evidence is that? It’s certainly not the evidence from the LD switchers, who consistently break to Labour at around a 3:1 ratio.

    If you mean that there are more Tory-facing Lib Dem marginals than Labour facing ones, that’s true, but it’s not yet clear there has been a substantial drop in LD general election VI there.

  14. @R HUCKLE: “My personal opinion…”

    Based on what, though? On your personal experience? Or just what the tabloid press and cable cop shows encourage people to believe? The annual British Crime Survey is well-respected and records all crime in face-to-face interviews. It backs up the statistical evidence of falling crime rates.

  15. BFIELD – “ONS have reported that zero hours contracts have tripled to more than 1.4 million over the last year”

    No, they haven’t. They’ve released a new attempt to quantify them using a business survey, which comes out at 1.4m. Previously they attempted to measure them through the Labour Force Survey and came to an estimate of 583,000.

    It doesn’t mean they’ve almost tripled in a matter of months, it means two different approaches to trying to measure the figure have come to very different results.

    To quote from their report –

    “Estimates from employers are likely to be higher than those from individuals for a number of reasons. Employers may be more aware of formal contractual arrangements of their employees. In addition, one person can hold more than one contract and/or there may be people working on such a contract in addition to their primary employment and/or their working patterns may mean they do not consider themselves to be covered by such a contract. However, even if it were possible to take account of all these factors, it remains unlikely that the two estimates would be the same. This is because they are based on the perceptions of two different groups.

    In comparing both figures, it must be noted that they are both ‘point-in-time’ estimates, and that whilst the LFS data exists for several years back, the business survey data is the first estimate of its type. It is not, therefore, possible to say from the business survey whether the number of employee contracts without a guaranteed minimum number of hours of work is increasing or decreasing.”

    (Emphasis added)

    Never trust newspapers reports of statistics.

  16. Mr Nameless
    The Welsh Assembly election uses the “Additional member System.”
    The voting papers are also unique in being dual language.

  17. @Spearmint

    “The “Business leaders say it’s worse than bombing!” “OMG, Stalinism!” “Polling shows widespread support for Policy X.” “Miliband has scored an unexpected triumph with Policy X.” “The Tories have announced a watered down version of Labour’s policy.” media cycle seems to take about four weeks”

    Nicely put and wry smile is in evidence here.

  18. @ ROGERSH

    I go by what people tell me and what is reported online by people who have had difficulty having a crime recorded by their local Police force.

    There was also an offiicial report into Kent Police which showed that crime was not being recorded correctly.

    Speak to most people and they will tell you that they don’t think crime levels have changed that much over the last 30 years. They don’t trust the annual reports saying that crime has fallen.

  19. AW
    Thanks. I bow to your expertise on such matters.
    However, not sure average readers of the papers, such as me, have such knowledge. You must find us frustrating.

  20. We have a date for Newark: 5th June, 2014.

    I must say it’s brave of the Tories- they’re not giving the Ukip bubble any time to subside.

  21. Mike Smithson is reporting a new European election poll from YouGov, although I dunno where he got it because it doesn’t seem to be up anywhere.

    Assuming his numbers are right, Labour regains the lead (barely):

    Lab: 29%
    Ukip: 28%
    Con: 22%
    LD: 9%
    Green: 9%

    Also note the Lib Dems and Greens tied for fourth.

  22. New Euro poll
    Lab 29
    Ukip 28
    Con 22
    LD 9
    GRN 9

    UKIP could suffer from not making expectations if they do not end up with most votes. GRNs closing in on LDems

  23. @ r huckle

    but the british crime survey and casualty admissions – as has been pionted out – indicate steadily falling crime levels for the past 20 years. These have nothing to do with dodgey police records. And the same results are reported all over the advanced industrial nations.

    You can always find people who will tell you that its getting worse and the streets are safer ‘in my day’. But for some reason you choose to accept their anecdotes over the clear empirical evidence.

    The UK was a far far more violent place in the 70s and 80s – rioting, football hooliganism, violent industrial disputes and just general street aggro were far more common. When I moved to leeds in 1991, the area I lived in was claimed to be the most burgled in europe and their were certin areas were you definitely didn’t go at night because of the risk of street robbery. These problems are nowhere near as great now as then.

  24. @ Couper2802,

    First! :p

  25. I am guessing that the latest YouGov euro poll is using different LTV measure. 5,331 sample fieldwork completed yesterday

  26. Spearmint,

    [Snip – again, by all means discuss whether a policy is likely to be popular or not, but this is not a place to discuss if it’s actually a sensible policy – AW]

    However, while the economics of rent control suggest it’s a bad idea, it’s a politically profitable idea, especially now that (since rent control was abolished) the proportion of renters in the population is going up. It’s an ideal policy politically, since the benefits are immediate and apparent, whereas the costs are gradual and subtle. It’s the lead petrol of politics. Consequently, I expect that Labour will benefit from this announcement, and it strengthens my prediction that Labour will win a majority in 2015.

  27. Spearmint

    Please pardon the ignorance of an occasional visitor to UKPR, who is Mike Smithson and where does he report this?

  28. Surely Clegg will have to go if he finishes fifth? I know he did in the PCC elections but the Lib Dems didn’t stand everywhere and the turnout was so pitiful you could draw almost any conclusion from it.

    I cannot comprehend how there’s been not even a peep of a leadership challenge while he marches his troops not only towards the sound of gunfire, but into the path of the bullets.

  29. @Steve

    Thanks for the info re PR and elections in England and Wales.

    Interesting that in England the only PR elections are for the European Parliament while in Scotland the only elections without some element of PR is for the Westminster Parliament!

  30. Falling crime statistics.
    I blame it all on security cameras!

  31. @Mr Nameless
    “Surely Clegg will have to go if he finishes fifth?”

    Be careful what you wish for.

  32. Poll Corrected:

    LAB 29
    UKIP 28
    CON 22
    LD 9
    GRN 8


    Mike Smithson runs the PoliticalBetting blog, which is basically similar to this one. He’s also a former Lib Dem candidate but seems to have some antipathy towards them now.

    Phil Haines,

    I don’t actually think it matters who takes the reigns of the party now. Even if a more popular leader took command (maybe Kennedy) the damage caused by the defenestration would more than mask it.

  33. @ Bill Patrick,


    And from a UKPR standpoint, all that matters is that the policy is certainly populist, it will probably be popular, and if so it will leave the Government floundering around for a response in the same way the energy freeze did last autumn.

    @ Ian,


    His twitter is often a good source for the latest polling data (and unsubstantiated by-election rumours).

  34. I feel like almost every day there’s a discussion on here about the unfairness of FPTP.

    I don’t know how Labour politicans who so vehmently campaigned against AV can keep a straight face – knowing how fundamentally unfair their positions are.

    I think it’s one of the most tragic issues that hasn’t seeped into public consciousness because of it’s superficial complexity and is pretty much the root cause of voter/political apathy.

  35. If anyone’s looking for a good book to help them understand UKIP’s appeal, I’d heartily recommend Thomas Frank’s “What’s the Matter with Kansas?”

    It’s ten years old but spookily parallels what’s happened here over the past few years.

  36. If FPTP is the root cause of voter apathy, why do all the elections that use proportional systems (the European elections, the national assemblies) have much worse turnout than the Westminster elections that use FPTP?

    Why has turnout declined so starkly in Germany and other countries that elect their parliaments with a proportional system?

  37. Wow. Rent controls, abolishing estate agent ‘admin’ fees, and more secure tenancies are a smart move. Polling has shown an outright majority of voters in favour.

    As someone who rents in London, I’m one of the 9 million stuck in the dysfunctional private rented sector and I am personally delighted by this policy announcement. And I many of the other 9 million people will be too – be interesting to see some further polling on this issue.

  38. Interesting the ‘silent’ rise of the Greens. This has happened against a backdrop of them being almost ignored by the media.

    Perhaps, without being lead by the nose, people are scrutinising their policies and finding out they agree with them. They offer a clear ‘socialist’ alternative. They have been described as ‘watermelons’ – green on the outside, red on the inside.

    On a previous thread a poster gave some of the reasons why socialists would not support them and they were plausible arguments – but very much to do with ‘style’ rather than substance.

    It is also likely that in some polls the Greens are being underrepresented due to them not being prompted for. (or if you prefer it the prompted for parties are being over represented)

    Wouldn’t it be a hoot if The Greens were to come fourth in the Euros?

  39. Spearmint,

    One could add: if FPTP is the source of voter apathy, then why did this take several centuries to manifest itself?

  40. Mr Beeswax,

    The Greens got 8.1% in the European elections in 2009, so they’ve actually moved backwards in most polls.

  41. I think if Labour unveil leftish policies like rent controls they will have an easier time wooing minor parties, some nationalists, etc if they do end up just short of a majority. Among the public, it ought to be a vote winner. But so ought tax cuts, if they are possible.

    About Clegg and LD’s, the first thing they need to do is not be in power, so whatever happens next cannot be blamed on them, although regaining lost trust takes a long time. It’s way too late for Clegg resigning to make much difference. As for “Marching to the Sound of the Guns” – it’s probably going to be more like what happened in Picardy, 1st July 1916. Perhaps it is a good and necessary thing for any political party to suffer a disasterous defeat every so often – it makes them stop and consider what is really important.

  42. @Spearmint/Bill Patrick

    FPTP isn’t the sole or even the main cause of voter apathy but it’s undoubtedly a contributory factor that causes many to think that there’s no point voting. It also props up the obsolete and anachronistic two party system, narrowing the choice available to the electorate and, even if turnout is declining in countries with PR voting systems, I doubt that any of them are looking enviously at FTPT as a way of reviving enthusiasm in their politics. Voter apathy for them probably springs from a variety of other quarters, not the electoral system.

    I’ve heard FTPT defended on the basis that it produces decisive electoral results, as if decisiveness and clarity trumps the representative expression of the democratic will. In essence it’s indefensible and only surviving out of the self interest of the two main political parties.

    ‘Mr Beeswax,
    The Greens got 8.1% in the European elections in 2009, so they’ve actually moved backwards in most polls.’

    Well yes, but since then they have dropped off the political map quite a bit. The ‘greenest government ever’ promised to steal some of their thunder. And their tenure of office in Brighton hasn’t exactly covered them in glory. A few months ago they looked dead in the water, but it seems they are still very much alive and kicking.


    “Even so, it’s fair to say that the new figure looks pretty big. In addition to the 1.4 million contracts on which some work was done at the end of January, there are another 1.3 million contracts on which no work was done.

    That may be because no work was offered during the period, but it may also be because the worker was sick or on holiday at the time, or indeed because they had gone and got another job and not bothered to cancel the zero-hours contract.”

    so numbers maybe reaching 2.7 million not the 1.4 in the headlines… after all because no work was offered does not mean the contracts are void, the job centres will not accept that for unemployed status.


  45. The Greens punch well above their weight on social media, which seems to be helping them. They don’t have the numbers to have strong local presences in many areas and that hampers their progress.

    There will always be room for a solidly socialist party with liberal tendencies and a propensity for green issues, but the problem is there’s simply no reason at the moment for most socialists to join the Greens. If another Blair took over, that would be an incentive.

  46. @crossbat11

    Your post at 12.30pm states very well the situation we are in.

    I have been an advocate of PR ever since I had the right to vote decades ago. When you have 400 seats out of 650, which are not likely to change hands, then something is wrong. They might as well not bother. Just hold the election in the seats, where there is a genuine competition.

    A PR system with regional lists of party candidates would be a reasonable system. There should also be some way for independent candidates to stand, although I am not sure how. With a FPTP system it is easier for an independent to stand, but with a PR list system, I am not sure how independents would fit into this.

    Then there is the issue of which MP that is elected on a list system represents each area. How would they decide who hold surgeries for their constitutents and takes up cases for them to mininsters/parliament. There would need to be some way for regional MP’s to work together.

  47. As Anthony hasn’t put up a new thread, I suppose we’d better change the title the “Three new Euro polls and look at the details of the latest YouGov one, the details of which are here:

    It’s a big sample of 5331, which is presumably the combined last three daily YouGovs (27-30 Apr). The figures are:

    Con 22% (+3) (-)
    Lab 29% (+1) (-1)
    L/D 9% (-) (-1)
    UKIP 28% (-3) (+1)
    Green 8% (-) (+2)
    SNP/PC 3% (-) (-)
    BNP 1% (+1) (-)
    Other 1% (+1) (-)

    But for likelihood to vote (LTV) of 10/10 they are:

    Con 20% (+4) (+2)
    Lab 28% (-) (-3)
    L/D 8% (+1) (-3)
    UKIP 32% (-4) (+2)
    Green 8% (-1) (+2)
    SNP/PC 3% (-1) (-1)
    BNP 1% (+1) (-)
    Other 1% (-) (-)

    First changes are since the YouGov poll in the Sunday Times (24-25 Apr); second since the one previous to that (21-22) about a week before this one. The latest looks as if the Conservatives are pulling back voters from UKIP, but the two changes together show it is not so dramatic.

    There may be an increase in enthusiasm among Tory voters though as shown above and though they are still the least enthusiastic (LTV=10 of 53% as opposed to UKIP’s 66%), it’s not as bad as it was. You would expect that this would increase nearer the election date anyway, but it may also be a reaction to some of the negative coverage as Conservative voters who might have been tempted think that UKIP “Aren’t our sort of people”.

  48. R Huckle

    To assess the local advocate usefulness of constituency MPs, acting as social workers, one would need to investigate how useful it was using an MP as a post box to an official, as opposed to dealing with the official oneself and what the outcomes would be in each case.

    During my 15 years in The Netherlands, which has a very ‘pure’ list system, I never heard anyone complain that they were hindered by such in dealings with authority, nor did I hear or read about any complaints due to the electoral system.

    The Christian Democrats (CDA) has recently started muttering about having some local or regional element, and wonder upon wonder, this may not be entirely unrelated that they have been swept from power and are now desperately looking for a way back.

    I suspect we may hear similar noises if matters go the same way with one of the ‘established’ parties here.

  49. I mean of course similar noises but a mirror image (i.e. for a PR variant)..

  50. Number of candidates in May’s council elections;

    Lab 4000
    Con 4000
    LD 2750 (down 500)
    Ukip 2100
    Green 1750

    The two surprises for me in this was firstly that Ukip were only contesting half the seats, there will be no landslide for them, even if the percentages voting for them were they stand is high.

    The Greens were the other great shock, I had no idea they had that many candidates. In this respect at least they are almost as big a force as Ukip. So they do have the foot-soldiers and their support seems to be concentrated. Conhome (where these figures come from) suggest that there may be as many Green candidates in London as there are Ukip.

    IMO those of us not in denial know that Ukip are here to stay. The surprise is quite how resilient The Greens have been.

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