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Could Labour be heading for 3rd place in the Euros?

May 15th, 2009

sun-yougov-euros
The Sun

Is it time to re-think June 4th betting?

After arguing yesterday that UKIP that UKIP were unlikely to perform as well on June 4th as they did in 2004 I’m afraid I’m going to have to eat my words. For while we were all putting the focus on YouGov’s 22% share for Labour in a general election we over-looked the figures from an EU election voting intention question as well.

There is a discrepancy between the body copy in the Sun’s story and the paper’s graphic featured above but the message is very clear – UKIP has seen a big boost in support over the past few days. The latter suggests EU election voting shares of CON 29: LAB 20: LD 19: UKIP 15: GRN 6: SNP/PC 4: BNP 3.

What could happen is a repeat of the 2004 campaign when a similar poll from YouGov at about this stage created real traction for the party that wants us out of the EU completely.

Their advance could become the anti-politician narrative even though in terms of MEP expenses their record is about as bad as any party has ever been in the UK. For one in six of the contingent of UKIP MEPs elected in 2004 had criminal proceedings taken against them.

A good performance by UKIP in the election could create real problems for David Cameron as well. His share in the poll is now down to less than 30% – which is hardly a figure to give confidence in the run-up to the general election.

Of the three mainstream parties the one that seems to be weathering the storm is Nick Clegg’s Lib Dems – now up to within one point of Labour in the EU poll. This is even more marked because it’s from the pollster that traditionally gives them amongst the worst figures.

The possibility that Labour could end in third place is surely a real one. If that was the outcome it might have a big impact on Mr. Brown’s retirement planning.

In my betting I’ve now got a wager on UKIP to do better than Labour in terms of MEP seats won on the William Hill market. The price I got 9/4 to run alongside my 6/5 that Labour will come on top. What I have not got covered is the two parties ending up with the same number.

Mike Smithson






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