YouGov have a new European poll out in the Sun this morning, the fieldwork was done over several waves of daily polling, so has a chunky sample size of 5000 or so. Topline European figures are CON 22%, LAB 29%, LDEM 9%, UKIP 28%, GREEN 8%. Unlike the ComRes and TNS polls earlier this week YouGov still have Labour and UKIP almost neck and neck for first place. Note also the Greens, just a single point behind the Lib Dems in the race for fourth place.

YouGov also asked people who were going to vote UKIP to say why in their own words. Now, I should start with a caveat here – as I often say, as people we are not very good judges of what drives the decisions we make. The non-political example I always give is that empirically we know that in supermarkets it increases sales if a product is put on the middle shelf… yet if we asked people what drove their grocery buying decisions I doubt many would say “well, I always go for the stuff on the middle shelf”. Asking people why they vote seems like the obvious and easy way to understand voting intentions, but it’s really a lot more complicated that that. Hence things like this are interesting, but don’t take it as gospel.

Answers essentially fell into three groups. The biggest was the issue of Europe – I’d urge some caution here, it’s obviously an important driver (especially it seems to those people who would vote Conservative at Westminster but UKIP at the European election, who were significantly more likely to cite Europe amongst their reasons for splitting their vote in this way – back in 2009 there were significant differences between committed UKIP voters, and those who voted UKIP only at the Euros. I expect we’ll find similar this time), but it’s also the “correct” answer in way. If we ask people why they are voting as they are in the European election, the party whose European policy you agree with almost seems like the “right answer”. The other two things very commonly cited were immigration, and disillusionment with the main parties (sometimes that came across as “don’t like the other three”, “can’t do worse than those three”, “need to shake up the establishment” sort of expressions, sometimes people specifically said it was a “protest vote against the main parties”). Whatever the relative levels of those three things, it’s what I’d expect to find as the main drivers: anti-immigration, anti-establishment, anti-EU.

290 Responses to “YouGov/Sun European poll – CON 22, LAB 29, LD 9, UKIP 28, GRN 8”

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  1. @”An oxymoron surely?”

    Just an ordinary one , I think :-)

    Actually -on the contrary. Tautology I suspect.

  2. Re: Tory UKIP pact- in polling done on this, UKIP had by far the highest number of people who said they would never consider voting for them. The Tory right leaning floor appears to be in the low 30’s. They attracted some with the detoxification project before the 2010 election. A pact with UKIP would probably mean that a no. of those voters stay at home. Also, for UKIP, the protest voters and voters that have swung from Labour will probably not vote Tory – that’s why they are not Tory already.
    (Ashcroft did detailed polling on this, and found that it was not good for the Tories)
    @pressman – I am surprised that NI journalists, who I presume are researchers, are not aware of all the polling on this.

  3. MrBeeswax

    Based on their 2010 manifesto policies and their general comments I think they are definitely more conservative than liberal and definitely more capital rather than labour

    Sometimes there is common ground but I think there is much more in common with the Tory ‘philosophy’ than Labour

    It is actually quite difficult to say because apart from this fixation on Europe they do not seem to have any policies!

  4. @chatterclass

    I’m not sure that there’s been a great deal of polling on this. Ashcroft’s “considerers” etc are a wee bit nebulous when it comes to a nailed down VI.

    The eve-of-Tory-conference YouGov asked only about a “Conservative Ukip Alliance” and contained too many don’t knows… and of course it was only one poll.

    If Pressman is correct then NI would be thinking along the lines of getting a high profile politician or two to prepare the ground first, and then go ahead with commissioning some carefully worded polls?

  5. At least one of Murdoch’s titles will back Labour if they look certain to win.

  6. Roger H

    Absolutely no way – the prior support for Labour was hard to stomach for many in the organisation. Backing Miliband would see mutiny even if RM wanted to go that way – which he doesn’t.

  7. You obviously know little of NI. The Sun has backed the winning party every election since 1979. Murdoch won’t want to break that record since he likes to pretend he’s responsible for the victory.

  8. Let’s not forget that if UKIP is running strong, there may be some tacit cooperation between the two in terms of marginals they focus on. You won’t get anything formal (the last time two significant-sized parties did anything like that, the Liberals let Labour in the back door), but I could see a few cases of channeling resources into different marginals to avoid over-cannibalization in seats likely to turn into three-way or four-way fights (i.e. Eastleigh). That said, I suspect that in some safe seats you will see some rather “interesting” tactical voting in various directions.

    Something to consider: Assuming the current numbers hold and UKIP ends up around 15% nationally, that result isn’t much worse than what the LibDems pulled at the ’97 election (16.8%). The Tories’ polling right now is roughly in line with where it was in ’97 (a bit over 30%) while the LibDems and Labour are polling a lot worse (each one is off by 5-10% from ’97). Likewise…I find it hard to believe that UKIP won’t bash their way into a few seats in the South if they basically tie Labour there (Labour won 8 seats in the SE and SW on 15-16% of the vote in those regions, and that was against the Tories running up nearly 50% in the SE. Unless something changes, the evidence seems to indicate that the Tories will not be anywhere near 50% there in 2015).

  9. RM will be too busy with his latest acquisition to bother.

    One can see the influence of the ‘bodice-ripping’ type of reading in at least one of his UK publications.

  10. Roger

    So were you confident of a Tory majority in 1992 ? If so I hope you availed yourself of the 7/1 available from the bookmakers only the day before.

    No way will an NI publication back Miliband. He will be torn to shreds in The Sun over the next 12 months.

    ‘Based on their 2010 manifesto policies and their general comments I think they are definitely more conservative than liberal and definitely more capital rather than labour
    Sometimes there is common ground but I think there is much more in common with the Tory ‘philosophy’ than Labour
    It is actually quite difficult to say because apart from this fixation on Europe they do not seem to have any policies!’

    My opinion like yours is just an opinion but I object to people asserting that ‘we all’ think a certain way. My own take on Ukip’s philosophy is that it resembles the often confusing mixture of left and right that the general public seem to have – what you might call ‘populism’ or even ‘common sense’.

    I can tell you why myself and others from the liberal left amongst my acquaintance have come to support them.

    1. We don’t like being lied to.
    2. We don’t like being ruled from afar.
    3. We don’t want to have our wages undercut by imported scab labour by capital in an unholy alliance labour.
    4. We don’t want our green and pleasant land to be concreted over.

    The idea that all ukippers are closet Tories is laughable to me. My opposition to the Tories was formed on the picket lines in 84/85, so my support for Ukip is not in any way transferable in that direction.

    Liberalism as I understand it both in the ‘classical’ sense of Locke and Hulme and in the Millsian sense is an idea that seems to be completely absent from the LibDems.

    So for me Ukip are greener than the greens, more conservative than the conservatives, more liberal than the liberals and definitely more on the side of the working man than labour.

    Ukip is a broad church and I am happy to share common cause with those who have come from right left and centre because we all share the love that dare not speak its name – love of country.

  12. Congratulations Mr Beeswax on one of the most eloquent (perhaps the only eloquent) enunciation of UKIP’s appeal that I’ve seen to date. Essentially boils down to “UKIP are all things to all people, and I’m one of the people”.

    I suspect the problem with such a broad brush appeal is that when the minutiae are examined, the individual ingredients tend to dissolve into nothingness.

    The idea, for example, of voting for Neil Hamilton “because you don’t like being lied to” is enough to raise an eyebrow of Roger Moorean proportions…

  13. PRESSMAN: “So were you confident of a Tory majority in 1992?”

    Most predictions were for a hung parliament. Afraid I don’t believe your 7/1 odds.

  14. NeilA
    Precisely, MrB told me off for comparing the BNP and the UKIP regarding racism, with Farage’s statements of them not being racist being proof that they’re not. Clearly , this is not the opinion of some of their activists and many (?) of their supporters.

  15. Roger

    I got those odds, you don’t forget a bet like that !

  16. There’s a new party standing in the Newark By-election called the Patriotic Socialist Party which is pitching for similar support as UKIP – a populist mixture of left and right policies.

    As a patriotic socialist myself I was curious and checked their website. They have a 10 point manifesto, most of which any reasonable person would agree with but perhaps a bit “motherhood and apple pie”.

    Also it has a slightly sinister emblem, vaguely reminiscent of the British Union of Fascists.!

    I’ll need more info on this party before making any further judgement but I’ve often thought there is a gap in the political market for a party that is economically on the left but culturally and socially on the right – the BNP came close but were too overtly racist and fascist to attract much support.

  17. At the end of the day the Sun is pretty well focussed on ESN readers anyway!

  18. @ Pressman

    It is nice to hear an NI perspective on things and I still believe they can have some influence on the outcome (they certainly would if they backed Labour) but I think your posts are a bit too big on testosterone (we’re going to bash this and that) and lacking in deep analysis.

    My comments would be that:

    a) Only Rupert Murdoch knows who his papers are going to back and journalists will do what they’re told (now it’s me getting testosterone fuelled!)
    b) The key demographic of ex-Thatcherite working class will not be easily be brought back into the Tory fold given the bigging up of UKIP and criticisms of Cameron over the last few years. You admitted that yourself in an earlier post.
    c) Labour does not necessarily need to win over that group that voted for Blair to get a majority as long as they do not go Tory and stay with UKIP or do not vote.
    d) There are still events unfolding with News international the outcome of which may determine how much credibility they retain.
    e) A nasty campaign against someone who has already shown a willingness to take on the press is risky were he to be the next PM.
    f) increasingly people get their news from the internet and you are behind a paywall which only people who have a real interest in such things will pay for and generally these are not floating voters.

    I think Murdoch will have to weigh up all those considerations before making a decision and above all he is a businessman making calculated decisions much more than he ideological.

  19. I’ve just started reading Thomas Piketty’s “Capital in the Twenty-First Century”.

    Jeez, it’s good stuff!


  20. @Reggieside

    I’ve given old Pressman the benefit of the doubt for quite a while, but there’s something about him that doesn’t really ring true to me. There’s no evidence of any inside knowledge of NI that I can discern, just a recital of threats that can be basically watered down to; “Rupe’s coming to get yer!”

    Mind you, he’s got a fan in Colin. He’s gone weak at the knees!


  21. ‘I got those odds, you don’t forget a bet like that !’

    Oh behave. I

    Last Saturday at half-time, I got odds of 14/1 from Bet365 on a Man Utd 4-0 win & sure, I remember it now but there is no way on God’s earth will I remember it 22 years later.

  22. CB11

    @”Jeez, it’s good stuff!”

    Well I’m not sure about “good”. It is certainly popular on the left -but somehow I don’t see EM adopting the prescription which bombed so spectacularly in the author’s own country.

  23. He (jointly with others) has a ‘Manifesto for Europe’ in today’s Guardian:

  24. It’s not what’s been tried in France (or anywhere else), though. And no surprise that The Economist doesn’t like it.

  25. Well, CB, as far as I can work out, according to Pressman, NI is going to tear Ed to shreds and win over to the Tories all those LibDems who defected to the Labour Party in protest after Nick Clegg went in to coalition with the same Tories they are now going to vote for…..or something like that.

  26. @”Mind you, he’s got a fan in Colin”

    What I think about his true identity is unsaid.

    I said ” you are awful-but I like you” to him because it is absolutely hilarious how he has got you lot responding to his every prod. lol.

  27. At my dad’s house for the day and he’s got a leaflet from An Independence From Europe – their chief policy is straight withdrawal from the EU without a referendum, which MEPs have no power to do but never mind.

  28. Hey Colin I agree with your 1.04 pm post.
    The best way to deal with trolls is to ignore them.

  29. Does anyone know anything about an outfit called the Communities United Party, which pushed an EU election leaflet through my door this week?

    The website suggests it’s primarily east London-based and led by a chap called Kamran Malik, but is otherwise pretty short on policy specifics. It’s even quite hard to tell what they think about EU membership.

    I’m just interested to know how they’re positioning themselves.

  30. As a tory this hurts to say but I have been predicting a labiur maj of 20 since 2012 my reasons are tgat qhilst ukip will face squeeze it will not be enough I can see them polling 8% in tge general election more than enough to see labour win. But in the long term I think yhey have limited appeal the next conservative leader will promise an in out referendum. Will almost certainly take a robust line on immigration. Coupled to that a labour party that could well be in trouble for running a campaign against cuts yet still having to make them and you are looking atca perfect storm for tge consercatives and labour to see them well beaten at every election including 2020. The toeys biggest mistake gas been to underestimate em this is a man who was happy to take th tge leadership from his brother knowing the fall out it would cause in his family the one thing you cannot label ed is weak.

  31. ….’though looking more closely, it appears to be largely a vehicle for Mr Malik’s own candidacy, rather than a for slate of candidates.

  32. @ Ewen,

    Well, the logical extrapolation of Mr. Beeswax’s “greener than the Greens, more conservative than the Conservatives, more liberal than the Liberals and definitely more on the side of the working man than Labour” is that Ukip are also more fascist than the BNP.

    @ Paula,

    There’s a new party standing in the Newark By-election called the Patriotic Socialist Party

    That’s an… um… evocative name choice there.

  33. “Well, the logical extrapolation of Mr. Beeswax’s “greener than the Greens, more conservative than the Conservatives, more liberal than the Liberals and definitely more on the side of the working man than Labour” is that Ukip are also more fascist than the BNP.”

    I know you’re being mischievous but hardly any scrap of logic – even BNP don’t CLAIM to be Fascist like Labour claim to be for the working man, and the other parts were straight extrapolations from the party names (conservative, green, liberal).

    ‘More nationalist’ or ‘more British’ maybe, but twisting it to Fascist (even if that’s what BNP actually are) is just naughty.

  34. So which of Ukip’s policies are actually left wing?

  35. Crikey, can we please not get into a is “party X” left or right wing discussion. Long experience has taught me that they never end anywhere other than an unpleasant partisan back-and-forth

  36. @AW

    Er… that was my point. I put an end to it for you…

  37. new thread

  38. @Neil A

    The idea, for example, of voting for Neil Hamilton “because you don’t like being lied to” is enough to raise an eyebrow of Roger Moorean proportions…’

    erm… well… er… I’ll have to grant you that. OK apart from that Ukip are absolutely ace.

    I wouldn’t describe Ukip as left wing. People who say Ukip should get out of the fifties should get out of Nineteenth century France.

    The policies that appeal to me as someone coming from the left are… not undermining workers wages by bussing in immigrants to do their jobs. Not enriching wealthy landowners by subsidising windmills. Not ripping up the common land to make room for endless new arrivals.

  39. @MrBeez

    That’s not a bad stab at it, to be fair. Impact on working people isn’t a bad proxy for “left wing”… it’s less nebulous. Immigration is complex in this regard, because it can grow the economy and leave people better off. Immigration’s impact on jobs was less significant in the Sixties when we had full employment. (That’s presumably why you mentioned the “bussing” aspect, which artificially undermines wages, juices up the wage issue).

    When it comes to subsidy, it is not uncommon for people to make money from energy. Subsidy is designed to make it so it is favourable for people to make money from energy in environmentally preferable ways. Regardless of the merits of windmills in this regard, unless Ukip are in favour of something more radical like renationalising energy, you are not going to stop rich people making money from energy. It simply becomes a case of which rich people make the money. (Some might make quite a bit from fracking).

    As for the common land, sure, that’s an issue with immigration. But it could possibly be more a concern of the better off. The rest might welcome more housebuilding anyway to make housing more affordable, in an era where there is pressure on housing regardless of immigration (people living longer, more people living alone etc.)

    (Besides, we looked at it a little while ago and there’s still a lot of land left even after building lots more housing and anyway you can have policies to reclaim land instead of using green belt etc.)

    I dunno if there has been polling on attitudes to housebuilding with respect to usage of land, and to how the working classes see or experience it compared to the better off, but it would be interesting in this regard.

    (I think I should point out, that you have to be careful with cherry-picking. With windmills, you worry about private landowners… With housing, now it’s the use of not private, but common land that’s the issue…)

  40. I should add, that in this country, it seems that unlike in the States, you don’t have to compensate landowners if you extract energy at sufficient depth. So you are more likely to need to use subsidies for surface operations like windmills, whereas things like fracking or mining etc. have the deck stacked in this regard. We could always change that law to balance things up…

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