Latest Euro election polls: Ukip take the lead, but what about the Lib Dems?

It’s the last day of April, a month which began with the second ‘Nick v Nigel’ debate and has seen 11 polls asking specifically about voting intentions in the European elections on 22nd May. Here’s what they show:

euro election polls april 2014

Quite a lot of movement, but the trend appears now to be that Ukip are in a clear first place above 30%, followed by Labour around 25%, then the Tories on 20%. The Lib Dems are some way back in fourth place, at or around 10%, with the Greens fluctuating around 5% and the BNP nowhere.

If those figures turn out to be the result, here’s what it might well mean in terms of seats won, according to EuroElection2014:

    Ukip = 26 seats (+13)
    Labour = 23 (+13)
    Conservatives = 13 (-14)
    Lib Dems = 5 (-6)

The Greens wouldn’t win a seat, while the BNP would lose both theirs.

Of course, these figures come with a huge pinch of salt. For a start, there’s still three weeks of the campaign left. Secondly, turn-out is unlikely to be high (maybe 35-40%?) which makes polls more prone to forecasting error. And thirdly, the parties’ get-out-the-vote operations will be crucial – this will probably favour Ukip because their voters are so motivated by anti-Europeanism, but also Labour because (unlike in 2009) these elections coincide with local elections in London and other urban areas where they’re strong.

In terms of Lib Dem support in the Euro elections, by the way, it won’t come as much surprise to know the party is faring better in England (11%) than either Scotland (7%) or Wales (7%), according to a poll released this week. The Lib Dems also stand at 11% in London, according to a YouGov poll published earlier in April.

* Stephen was Editor (and Co-Editor) of Liberal Democrat Voice from 2007 to 2015, and writes at The Collected Stephen Tall.

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This entry was posted in Europe / International and Polls.


  • “Quite a lot of movement, but the trend appears now to be that Ukip are in a clear first place above 30%, followed by Labour around 25%, then the Tories on 20%. The Lib Dems are some way back in fourth place, at or around 10%, with the Greens fluctuating around 5% and the BNP nowhere.”

    Sorry, but what are those numbers meant to be? An average for the whole month, an average for the most recent polls, or what?

    In fact. the graph shows that Labour has averaged around 30% over the month, and has never actually been as low as 25%. And the Lib Dems have been between 5% and 10%, and have never been above 10%.

    The last three polls would indicate the Lib Dems winning no more than two or three seats, according to the predictor you’re using. And those last two polls would indicate UKIP well in the lead, with more than 30 MEPs.

    What an incredibly stupid idea it was to give UKIP more exposure by talking about them incessantly…

  • That debate with Nigel Farage is even more of a tactical disaster than we all first thought. I never thought I’d see the day when a lib dem leader would put UKIP in a position of winning a plurality of seats.

  • Charles Rothwell 1st May '14 - 7:47am

    I think the main ‘lesson’ from this will be that Labour needs to get its vote out by any means it can. It is obvious that Farage thinks he has reached saturation point among the thousands of disillusioned Tories who have now definitely given up on the Conservatives for good as long as ‘Posh Boy’ Cameron and his cronies are on top of the party and is now well and truly trying to focus on what he sees as fed-up ex-Labour voters who are utterly sick of what has become of their party since the days of Blair and Brown and their total fixation on “Worcester Woman” and similar creatures of their focus group gurus. My view is that Labour will manage to come out first (and if they cannot manage to point out the total inadequacy of UKIP being able to present serious economic arguments in place of platitudes and fear, then they no longer deserve to exist as one of the two main parties!) and the real ‘losers’ will be the Conservatives and, in particular, Cameron who will face a very uncomfortable Party Conference, at which I expect the first real challenges and soundings will begin to emerge among serious Tory players (unlike joke figures from the past like Dorres).

    Where will this leave the Lib Dems? Possibly where they were in the 1989 EP elections, even coming behind the Greens. (The latest poll I saw on Channel Four was predicting just two seats for the Liberal Democrats). As after 1989, however, I have no doubt the Party will re-emerge and ultimately regain its strength as the pustule of UKIP (which, as the recent academic study of them makes clear, has been building for decades (at least since the Major debacle over the ERM, if not in some ways all the way back to Thatcher’s Bruges Speech)) finally bursts, the Tories implode after Cameron is ejected and people are left with the prospect of managerialism under Labour (the party which brought you PFI, targets and total City deregulation). There is , of course, no reason to be complacent at all and expect the Party will just ‘bounce back’ without seriously examining its policies and communication strategies but if anyone says there is no room for an open-minded, internationalist, reforming party which really is committed to a “strong economy and a fairer society” in Britain any more, then the future for the country really will be a worrying one indeed.

  • “Even if you wouldn’t ever vote for Labour to run your council or represent you in parliament, please think about lending us your vote at the European elections. Before you shout me down, imagine how you’ll feel on May 23rd if Nigel Farage wins a national election. Then think about who’s best placed to stop him.”

    And of course that is entirely consistent with Nick Clegg’s “party of IN” argument. Which only goes to show what a disastrous tactic it was.

  • Robin Wilde

    There are two pro-European parties in British politics, and only one of them is in serious contention.

    To be fair, the Tories are officially, and certainly at Prime Minister/Chancellor level, pro-EU. They just want it reformed. And who doesn’t?

    This line may not survive Cameron though.

    Also, in Scotland and Wales the nationalist parties are also pro-EU, so voting for them would be considered a pro-EU vote.

    UKIP are an English problem, as is virulent Euroscepticism.

  • Jayne Mansfield 1st May '14 - 9:29am

    @ Robin Wilde,
    I learned my lesson last time. I did not vote at all. Coming home from celebrating the our valiant fight against Nazism, to find that there were two BNP MEPs, it was a hard lesson to learn.

    First, the only leaflet I have had has been a UKIP leaflet, it is the same for family and friends in other areas of the country and it is rousing stuff even though I am not taken in by it.
    Second, there are many people who are not enthusiastic about the way the EU runs at the moment and they don’t want it to be much the same as it is now in ten years time, they want some reform. I really think that the Liberal Democrats, ( sometimes too earnest for their own good) , have made a tactical error in seeming uncritical of an organisation that many have some concerns about.
    Three. I agree with you, those of us who have misgivings about UKIp should vote tactically. That is what some of us intend to do.

  • It is possible the breakaway UKIP party lead by Nattrass may get 4 – 5% of the vote, polls do not include them for some reason. It is also possible that we might even manage to come 6th, behind Nattrass and the Greens, that would be an achievement!!!

  • @ Charles Rothwell

    You say “there is no reason to be complacent at all”, and then spend your second paragraph giving us an object lesson in complacency

    Having been campaigning for UKIP in the North since their birth after Maastricht, and as a Euroceptic for many years before UKIP came into existence, there has been a narrative created by the establishment and the MSM that UKIP has always been only a Conservative problem, and this ignorance bordering on arrogance by the left has created a false sense of security, despite plenty of warnings over recent years by people like John Mann and Jon Cruddas.

    For years the attacks on UKIP have been aimed at unsettling the southern middle classes who the Lib/Lab/Con thought were the only likely constituency for UKIP, they were completely unaware that under the radar every attack on UKIP was creating a constituency in the working class heartlands, because the concerns of UKIP were actually concerns of the old working class as well. Once UKIP were able to break the conspiracy and accusations of racism that everybody was trying to pin on them, people stopped hiding their support out of sight, and one event caused this change, when the UKIP supporting foster parents had their foster children taken off them by an over zealous council that believed all the rhetoric and lies. That did more to expose the establishment and the MSM for what they were than any other single incident, and since then UKIP is being increasingly accepted in the industrial areas as the party that speaks for them.

    I watched the growth of the LIbDems in the North over the years, not on the back of national policies that people wanted, but simply as the only alternative to Labour or the Conservatives. Hardly anybody I know voted for the LibDems for your national policy positions on the major issues of the day, in my experience you were always simply the default protest vote to most people and nothing more. Your local councillors do not deserve the fate that is awaiting them, because they are perhaps the one part of the Lib Dems that in most part had their constituents interests at heart, and not some greater remote project. What has happened is that these same people have realised that they not only have a party that is not the Lab/Con to vote for, but also a party that actually advocates policies that they believe in.

    Many of us have said since 2010 that 2020 is the election for making serious inroads into the Labour vote, and the work for the 2015 election was always to try and break the spirit of the Conservatives. The fall back of the Lib Dem Party was inevitable once a party evolved that actually addressed the issues that the voters wanting addressing.

    I just can’t see how you can rebuild your party to its former glory, UKIP is not going away even if we leave the EU, and it exists as a growing grass roots movement, not a top down construction like the SDP. It will always be the soft nationalist alternative, for those proud of their country, who believe we should have control of our borders, and that we should be able to deport people that threaten us, for those that believe charity begins at home and who believe threats to our energy supply, and energy poverty should not be an acceptable price to pay for Green ideology.

    To be honest your whole political ideology, could not have been better chosen to alienate the majority of those who you would seek to vote for you. You stand against everything the British people aspire to, and try and impose policies that the British people are fundamentally against. From where I am standing it is the politics of the madhouse, but I suppose you are entitled to have a madhouse of your own for your own fruitcakes and loonies.

  • I don’t understand what Jayne means by voting tactically. Surely the essence of PR is that you vote first for your real choices and then the most favourable or least unfavourable alternatives. The votes then transfer automatically.

  • @John Kelly
    No, you’re confusing proportional and preferential voting systems.

  • Nick Collins 1st May '14 - 10:05am

    @ John Kelly Correct me if I’m wrong, but isn’t the ballot on 22 May a closed list; i.e. not transferable? In that case a tactical vote for the one party which might conceivably beat UKIP is perfectly sensible.

  • @RobinWilde

    You seem to be forgetting the SNP (leading the Euro polls in Scotland)

  • daft ha'p'orth 1st May '14 - 11:53am

    Anyone know of a source of local polls? I might vote tactically if I had any information on which to base my vote…

  • Charles Rothwell 1st May '14 - 11:56am


    I admire your chutzpah in stating that UKIP “advocates policies [people] actually believe in”. Farage, in his usual clowning, “Oh, it’s nothing to do with me. I am only the Party Leader” manner (we had yet another classic example of this on Channel Four news yesterday evening when he dismissed the £15,000 UKIP had received in the past 12 months from some dinosaur who lives in Belgravia and believes women should be banned from wearing trousers, as this ‘makes them less attractive to men’ and is hence helping to prevent the propagation of the species) has admitted he never read the 2010 UKIP Manifesto and they have dumped virtually everything in it. As far as I can see, all that UKIP’s “policies” consist of are fear, resentment, alienation and a deeply held belief their followers have been ‘left behind’, combined with a belief that leaving the EU will, at a stroke, bring back some sun-kissed golden age when Johnny Foreigner was locked out and everyone knew their place (starting with the 11 Plus). Far from “advocating policies people believe in”, like their many counter-parts in other European countries, I think UKIP are, in fact, “beyond politics” and are in essence just the complete embodiment of the desire to stick two fingers up at anyone and everyone they blame for their own feelings of disgust and frustration. The real crime is that, despite Nick Clegg’s endeavours, these feelings are now running so high that no amount of valid counter-arguments (where do most immigrants into the UK come from? what is the real economic benefit of immigration for the UK economy? why do such figures such as Richard Branson oppose EU withdrawal? etc. etc.) are now just cries in the wind. The poison has got to work its way out of the system (as with Powellism in the 1960s and Poujardism in France in the 1950s) but, obviously in total contrast to you, that is all I can see UKIP as; a passing political phenomenon which will subside and break up, (e.g. between those UKIPpers who want good old-fashioned full-blown protectionism (a la Marine Le Pen in France) and ex-stock broker Farage who wants a completely ueber-Thatcherite open market economy). Only a question of time in my view and its collapse will leave the already frustrated and embittered even more so, realising they ad been sold a pup by a polished and accomplished con-man.

  • paul barker 1st May '14 - 12:42pm

    I think Mike Smithson has a point (over @ Political Betting) that pollsters should be prompting for the UKIP split : An Independence… They will come at the top of every Ballot paper with UKIP at the bottom & some voters are bound to be confused.
    I still think the Polls are underestimating us & overestimating Labour so I wouldnt be surprised if Labour, Tories & UKIP are bunched together around 20% with Libdems around 15%.

  • Richard Dean 1st May '14 - 1:09pm

    What might be the point of voting LibDem, now or in 2015? Lab and Con are clearly distinguishable from each other, but Libdems don’t seem to have a distinct identity, or a distinct set of policies, or any distinctive pro-EU arguments. UKIP are up there in the 30% range because they do have all of these things.

  • “I still think the Polls are underestimating us & overestimating Labour so I wouldnt be surprised if Labour, Tories & UKIP are bunched together around 20% with Libdems around 15%.”

    Hmm. Do you really think it’s likely the Lib Dems will poll more than they did in 2009?

    But in any case I’m afraid you and Stephen are badly “off-message”.

    What you’re meant to be telling us is something like “It looks as though the Lib Dems may be wiped out [but be sure to insert here some reasons why it’s not at all the party’s fault and doesn’t in the least reflect badly on the leader], BUT every percentage point makes a difference, so it’s vital for everyone to work as hard as possible.”

    And then when the results are in you can say “The party has exceeded all expectations in difficult circumstances [insert again here whatever those reasons were]”.

  • John Roffey 1st May '14 - 1:38pm

    Perhaps those who are complaining of UKIP’s success should have heeded this Guardian survey published on Boxing Day last year.

    If those who are thinking of voting UKIP are primarily ex Tory voters – this would mean that if UKIP did not exist – the Tories would be on course to get 50% [20 +30%] of the vote!

    Clearly UKIP’s support is not just from ex Tory voters – but, I would venture to suggest, significantly increased by those who would not otherwise vote [who did vote when turnouts were 75%].

  • @Richard Dean: I’m quite sure that UKIP don’t have any “distinctive pro-EU arguments”!

  • Alex Macfie 1st May '14 - 2:02pm

    @Robin Wilde:

    “There are two pro-European parties in British politics”

    While this may be so, Labour and the Lib Dems (and their respective European Parliamentary party groups) have very different ideas on what sort of Europe they want to make. To put it very simplistically, Labour/S&D want a more socialist, statist EU, while Lib Dem/ALDE want a liberal EU. And the whole point of voting for MEPs is to elect the people who help make EU law, to create an EU based on a particular ideological vision.
    I am seriously disturbed by how in this European election campaign everyone is talking about an issue on which MEPs HAVE NO SAY WHATSOEVER, namely UK membership of the EU, which is a DOMESTIC ISSUE, and NOT a European issue. Meanwhile, practically NOBODY is talking about the things that MEPs actually do have an influence over, namely the actual laws and policies made by the EU (and which everyone complains about post-hoc without realising that the way you influence them is to VOTE IN EUROPEAN ELECTIONS). And the Lib Dems are playing along with this fool’s campaign, making no attempt at all to say why people should vote Lib Dem based on the records of Lib Dem MEPs to create a specifically LIBERAL EU, and allowing the election campaign to become about two polar extremes: uncritical support for everything the EU does, or withdrawal. Which is exactly how Farage wants it.

    They just want it reformed. And who doesn’t?

    Well , of course, everyone wants the EU reformed. All EU politicians have their own particular ideas about how the EU should be run, and what laws and policies it should have. And that is why we have the European Parliament, so that we EU citizens can vote for whom we want to shape EU legislation. It would have been so easy to nail Farage’s claim that the EU is “undemocratic” by pointing out that we are right now in the middle of an election campaign for the European Parlaiment, a democratically elected body that helps shape EU legislation. And then giving specific examples of how the European Parliament has improved EU legislation, and on occasion vetoed it. And make particular reference to what his own party’s MEPs have done. We as a party should be leading a discussion on this,not participating in the media conspiracy of silence over what the European Parliament actually does.

    Liberal Democrats … have made a tactical error in seeming uncritical of an organisation that many have some concerns about

    Well yes, that is the impression we tend to give, particularly during this campaign. But it is wrong, since we are not. If the Lib Dems were uncritical supporters of everything the EU did, then the logical thing for their MEPs to do would be to nod through everything and anything that the European Commission proposes, making no attempt to amend it, just supporting everything on the basis that it’s an EU proposal so it must be a good thing. Of course, they DO NOT DO that; they look at legislative proposals with a critical eye in the same way as any legislator would look at proposals from the executive branch, and they propose amendments to these, some of which will get included in the amended laws; and sometimes they find the whole idea of the law is a bad one and veto it. But for some reason we never talk about what our MEPs do, even while we are fighting for their re-election.

    Now to get out of Huntbach mode and back to work…

  • jedibeeftrix 1st May '14 - 2:16pm

    “Many of us have said since 2010 that 2020 is the election for making serious inroads into the Labour vote”

    100% correct raddiy, but not just an opportunity for ukip.

  • Richard Dean 1st May '14 - 2:35pm

    @David-1. Ah yes. silly me, but they do have their own distinctive brand of anti-EU rhetoric.

  • @Raddiy

    You do not speak for the British people. UKIP doesn’t speak for the British people.

    Your party has had precisely no impact in Scotland or Wales, a fact that could well play a part in ending the British union later this year, should your man Nigel continue to set the political agenda. And there’s the point – your man Nigel gets hounded out of even the most gentrified parts of Scotland.

    But we’ll set aside such technicalities, since I think we all know that when a Kipper says Britain he means England. Still, were you to ever poke your nose outside the narrow confines of the two bubbles of English politics, the City and Belgravia set on the one hand, and the post-industrial pensioner bracket on the other, you’d realise that UKIP doesn’t even speak for the English people’s aspirations. Only their fears, a party for the interests of the rich sold to the poor wrapped in patriotism and pride.

    Now, you may very well have bought into that. You are might even be one of the well off who will do well out of England letting itself be turned into Europe’s Mexico by UKIP’s hard right ideology. But you cannot be so daft as to expect that nobody will oppose your plans.

    @everybody else

    A line currently doing the rounds up here says it fairly well: There’s a banker, an immigrant and a working local sat at a table with a plate of fifteen biscuits on it. The banker eats fourteen of them and says to the local, watch out for that immigrant, he’ll have your biscuit.

    We cannot be a party that says to the local he must break his biscuit into two democratic halves in the interests of cooperation. That’s how UKIP keep their hold on people. We need to get an extra biscuit, either through economic growth or by challenging the vested interests that are funding the UKIP project. Preferably both.

  • Yorkshire Guidon 1st May '14 - 3:37pm

    At what point does the expected disaster later this month become a call for the Leader’s head? Is the loss of 200 council seats and half the MEPs within the bounds of acceptability? Or does it have to be worse? Or is he in fact safe from any palace revolution?

  • Richard Dean 1st May '14 - 4:50pm

    I like the joke, but another option could be to claw back some of the 14 taken by the banker. What really is preventing us from joining the Euro? Probably bankers who make profits from the inefficiencies of not being in it, and who encourage the idea that devaluation is a useful tool to help a recovery – a tool whose use any competent banker can see coming and take steps to profit from!

    It is precisely because we can be proud of our heritage that we can be strong within the EU, but weaker outside of it. Where are the 26 million Romanians that Farage predicted would come here? Still in Romania!

    The major threats to the UK are the same as the major threats to Europe, and come from outside Europe, so it makes sense to be part of Europe rather than outside it, and to have common approaches to European border controls. One of the threats is our dependence on oil from regimes we cannot otherwise support, and green energy makes sense from this perspective as well as from the environmental one.

  • @Richard Dean – those are the vested interests funding UKIP that need challenging, yes. Farage doesn’t have old university friends backing him with cash and friendly interviews, but his old colleagues in the City more than make up for it.

    @Yorkshire Guidon

    At what point does the disaster call for someone’s head? When it has happened. We’ll no doubt be arguing about it after the election, but changing leader three weeks in advance would be daft. Not least because it will take more than three weeks for the process of starting and concluding a leadership contest to happen.

  • @ Richard Dean.

    I have no problem at all in your continuing along the path you have chosen, if you think you can convince the people to be enthusiastic as you over the EU then good luck.

    The thread header, included the term ‘what about the LibDems’ ,I was simply giving my opinion based on my experience working and campaigning in the North for UKIP, Whilst there will always be Liberals and Lib Dems, and a constituency for them, it is the protest vote that allowed your party to grow that has gone, and If you still think you can relate to that protest and the NOTA constituency, with your current views on the EU and its toxic link with immigration, then you should go full blooded into the EU election and the GE beyond selling unlimited open door immigration for all its worth. That would suit us admirably, although I have a sneaking suspicion that you will tray and avoid talking about it like the plague.


    Brave words bonny lad, but just so much empty rhetoric. I think you need to get up to speed on the current polls for UKIP for the EU elections in Scotland and Wales, because we are polling something like double the support of the Lib Dems in both countries.

    @ Charles Rothwell.

    I suppose I could have responded in kind, but whats the point, what with paedophilia, perjury, misogyny, sexual predation, racism, and thieving it would just take too long, there is just so much distasteful and criminal behaviour within the LIbDems, that I would struggle to decide whether to focus on your hyperbole or your hypocrisy.

  • Richard Dean 1st May '14 - 6:49pm

    You’d better watch out then, because it’s the protest vote that now supports UKIP. That will evaporate sooner or later, sooner when the protesters see that the only thing that UKIP delivers is hot air.

    While we are on the subject of bad things, what about the lie that LibDems and others “sell unlimited open door immigration”. What we have is a realistic approach which recognizes that the Romanians didn’t come here. The borders that protect us best, and which need protecting most, are the borders of Europe.

    Apart from threats from hard right tiddlers like UKIP, the threats we face as a nation come from the US and Russia – the US with its huge economy and ultra-nationalist ideology, and Russia with its inability to compete commercially in a civilized manner, evidenced by its behaviour re Ukraine. A really bad scenario is that Russia fails to develop an internal efficient market and falls behind a successful Europe and collapses, or invades.

    We also face potential economic threats from China, India, Brazil, and from many other developing nations and groups. Even the relatively small Caribbean nations are banding themselves together in an increasingly influential Caricom group.

    UKIP seem to be totally ignoring these important issues, which are threats if we continue to ignore them but opportunities if we embrace them. To that extent UKIP are the traitors in this story. The next few decades will be turbulent for everyone. Being in Europe, including in the Eurozone, is likely to be our only option for a successful prosperous future.

  • Nigel Jones 1st May '14 - 9:24pm

    I think Richard Dean is right, at least as far as the Lib-Dem image is concerned. Nick and Danny have stopped making clear to the public what previously we stood for. Instead they major on ‘centre ground’ and ‘coalition’ power, insisting on being in government in whatever way seems sensible. Nick once said at a conference speech that we had not lost our identity, but as far as most of the public are concerned, we have; what is more we have lost so much trust that recently on the doorsteps we find more and more people not wanting to listen to a word of what we say let alone read our leaflets. As to the EU campaign, it seems to be focussing too much on fear of leaving rather than the positives of staying with it and lacks the message that Lib-Dems want to reform the EU from within.

  • @Raddiy,

    You should know about empty rhetoric – what was it your own leader said about his election campaign in 2010? Its all drivel?

    UKIP in Scotland simply don’t exist. Your activist base is non-existant. You’re polling 7%. That the Liberal Democrats are polling 6% is a disaster, but you can’t sit there and suggest that getting 1% more, a mere 7% during the hour of your greatest insurgency, your Cleggmania moment, is somehow a great victory. You’re polling 7% on English emigres, hardline Tories who have finally given up on the Scottish Conservatives and the anti-politics vote that literally has nowhere else to turn now that the SNP are in government at Holyrood and the LibDems are in coalition at Westminster.

    Quite frankly, from my experience dealing with Scotland’s independence question, your party’s existence and performance in English polls makes England look a laughing stock and the Union look bad. And the possibility that you’ll win a plurality or even majority of English votes in Europe makes independence the option more and more Scots are preferring.

    I can’t say I blame them.

  • Alex Macfie 1st May '14 - 10:57pm

    lacks the message that Lib-Dems want to reform the EU from within

    But reform in what direction? We need to be talking about our specifically LIBERAL vision of the EU, get the idea out there that there are ideological differences in what direction EU policy should take, in the exact same way as there are for domestic policy, Not everything is about whether you are for or against the EU, or how much integration there should be.

  • @ Alex Macfie

    ” We need to be talking about our specifically LIBERAL vision of the EU, get the idea out there that there are ideological differences in what direction EU policy should take ”

    That would be a useful start, but as far as I can see the only vision is to stay in and accept anything and everything without reservation.

    Let’s not forget before UKIP came to the fore, getting senior LibDems to question anything about the EU was impossible. The few weasely words we here today, with the same coming from Labour and the Conservatives are simply a political tactic to respond to UKIP without selling an inch of the EU pass.

    When NIck Clegg called out NIgel Farage telling us we had to have a debate on the EU, he spent nearly the whole time using dodgy and discredited statistics such as the 3 million lost jobs to simply scaremonger. He had the opportunity over two debates to sell the merits and positives, and it would seem he could not find a single positive thing to sell the project to those watching and listening, prefering a totally negative and UKIP bogeyman scaremongering style.

    This man has been heart and soul with the EU since 1999, and he had absolutely nothing positive to say.

  • Richard Dean

    “You’d better watch out then, because it’s the protest vote that now supports UKIP. That will evaporate sooner or later, sooner when the protesters see that the only thing that UKIP delivers is hot air.”

    I don’t think the protest vote will evaporate untill one of the major parties gives people a reason to vote for them and I certainly can’t see anything on the horizon at the moment. To a lot of voters it’s a case of anyone, but the 3 main parties. It doesn’t matter about manifesto’s or what they promise because very few people believe them anymore. A sad state of affairs I know, but I can certainly see UKIP having a larger share of the vote than the LibDems at the next GE.

  • Richard Dean 2nd May '14 - 12:50am

    I certainly agree that it’s astonishing that the LibDems can’t even manage 1/3 of the support achieved by a party that has no coherent policies at all.

  • Paul In Twickenham 2nd May '14 - 8:03am

    Well here’s a turnip for the books: over the last few weeks I’ve pointed out the EU 2014 spread betting on A few weeks back this had a mid-point of 0.5 indicating that a lot of people expected the Lib Dems to end up with ZERO MEPs. Then about 2 weeks ago the mid-point moved to 1.5. I suggested people might want to stick a small wager on > 1.5.

    Well now…. the mid-point has moved out to 4.5!

    This now seems too high and I’d be quite tempted to supplement my previous wager on > 1.5 with a secondary hedge strategy on < 4.5.

    But it indicates that people aren't buying into the "wipeout" narrative – which will make it more difficult for Mr. Clegg to find easy excuses for the losses on May 23rd.

  • Jayne Mansfield 2nd May '14 - 9:37am

    @ malc,
    At some point, if UKIP get an MP, that person is going to have to vote for something in Parliament.

    Maybe at that point, those voters that he is drawing from the Conservative party, the Labour party, the Liberal Democrat party and the BNP will be able to judge whose interests Ukip actually serves. I doubt he can serve the interests of all those who are voting for him because the interests of the disparate groups often competing and conflict. For example, will Ukip scrap paid maternity leave?

    At some point the penny will drop with the ‘none of the above’ electorate.

  • @ Paul in Twickenham

    A fellow political bettor! I like your style. Before the campaign opened I took out two big bets on UKIP winning the popular vote at just over evens, and an even bigger bet on UKIP topping the Tory vote at 1.67. It was such a gimme I pretty much bet the farm. 🙂

    Your spread bet on the Lib Dems looks a great play too. I know it is a hedge for you, but I don’t hedge I take a view and go for it, right or wrong.

    The Lib Dems aren’t going to get five seats or more, so I would go bigger on it, not just use it as a hedge. Of course those odds might have moved now?

  • @ TJ

    You said:

    “Still, were you to ever poke your nose outside the narrow confines of the two bubbles of English politics, the City and Belgravia set on the one hand, and the post-industrial pensioner bracket on the other, you’d realise that UKIP doesn’t even speak for the English people’s aspirations. ”

    I don’k know if that is fighting talk to keep up your spirits at a depressing time, or whether you really believe this? If the latter then I think you will find 22 May a dispiriting day. 🙂

    Having said that, I don’t think things are as bleak for the Lib Dems as some of you are making it. You can forget these elections obviously and that may lead to the removal of your leader, who knows. But you are well dug in to quite a few constituencies and can rely on tactical voting, as always. I can see you holding up surprisingly well in the GE of 2015.

    The paradox of your position is that as your popular vote craters your influence in Gov’t has hardly ever been as strong. A VERY plausible scenario is for a minority Labour position and a Lib Dem/ Labour coalition. Even if Clegg doesn’t survive.

    As some have said, the 2020 GE is the really interesting one. UKIP aren’t going away, though for some of you the wish is father to the thought. The main parties can’t listen to its voter’s concerns. They will continue to be excluded. So an equally plausible scenario is of a small UKIP breakthrough in 2015 and then a spectacular showing in 2020.

    Lot’s of variables, and of course it depends on what Farage actually wants. I am not convinced he is up for that.

    Fascinating stuff though!

  • Simon, UKIP doesn’t speak for anyone’s aspirations, only their fears. I fully expect that strategy to pay off for you in the short term, but nothing lasting or worthwhile can be built on foundations of fear.

  • Alex Macfie 3rd May '14 - 10:11am


    That would be a useful start, but as far as I can see the only vision is to stay in and accept anything and everything without reservation.

    Yes, that is the perception, and it’s partly encouraged by the style of my party’s own European election campaign, which just talks about wanting to be IN without saying much about exactly what sort of EU we want to be in. But it does not reflect what our MEPs do. As I wrote above, if we did just “accept anything and everything without reservation” then our MEPs would presumably follow a line of slavish obedience to the European Commission, just voting for all the Commission proposals and against any and all amendments to them. But that is exactly what they DO NOT DO, and it would be pretty pointless for us even to have MEPs if that was all that they ever did. Actually our MEPs are much more critical of specific Commission proposals than our MPs in government are of UK government proposals, and so they do vote in ways that the Commission does not like; of course, there is no payroll vote in the European Parliament so MEPs can do pretty much what they like. Lib Dem MEPs also sometimes take positions that contradict those of their Ministers in the Council; this should not be surprising, as the EP is a separate institution from the Parliament seated at Westminster and is a “Coalition-free Zone”.

    I think the party is really missing a trick here by not talking more about the specific work of and policy pursued by our MEPs, who are largely free to take an undiluted Lib Dem position on all sorts of policy areas, not just those about European integration, but ordinary bread-and-butter issues that happen to be discussed at an EU level. We are also not saying enough about where our elected representatives actually disagree with the other two EU institutions on specific issues. Of course, if we pursued such a strategy, we would be open to accusations from Eurosceptics that we are just wanting to “tinker” with the EU system; accepting the EU and UK membership of it as an established fact and not wanting to talk about what (the Eurosceptics see as) the “real question”, namely whether we want to have an EU at all. So we would not be able to win either way. Nonetheless, I think the Lib Dems are making a big mistake by talking up Nigel Farage as their main enemy, because all this does is give him the oxygen of publicity, and allows him to set the terms of reference for this Euro election campaign.

  • @ Alex Mcfie

    “Nonetheless, I think the Lib Dems are making a big mistake by talking up Nigel Farage as their main enemy, because all this does is give him the oxygen of publicity, and allows him to set the terms of reference for this Euro election campaign.”

    True, but it was Clegg challenging Nigel to those debates and then losing badly which was the catastrophic tactical error.

    There is no other coverage of the Euro Election, but UKIP, that I can see anyway. It is one long media narrative of how racist and loony UKIP candidates and donors are, and how hypocritical and financially corrupt Nigel is.

    My prediction for the next day or so?

    1. Nigel stands next to some BME Kippers.

    2. The press did up some dirt on these poor individuals and it is smeared all over them.

    3. The UKIP vote holds or even grows when the next poll is published.

    Rinse and repeat. You guys in the “bubble” just never learn. 🙂

  • Jayne Mansfield 7th May '14 - 5:36pm

    @ simon,
    Given that Nigel Farage has already said that he will start to be seen standing next to ethnic minority candidates, you prediction is hardly on a par with those of Mystic Meg.

    Let me make a prediction . I predict that your candidate for the by-election at Newark will be saying outrageous past comments that were attributed to him, were taken out of context/ misrepresented.

  • I didn’t realise people are now believing in policies which privatise and franchise out NHS services, that’s my parner’s job in the blood service gone then, dismantling the welfare state and workers rights by getting rid of holiday pay and maternity pay, paying women less, bringing back tearing foxes to shreads and smoking in public buildings.Let alone opposing equality and gay marriage Are these now the new populist policies which will win your party votes?

  • @ Jayne Mansfield

    The prediction wasn’t about him standing next to BME Kippers, that was in the public domain. It was about the MSM reaction to it.

    As I write, teams of researchers from the political parties, think tanks, media outlets are digging through the social media comments for dirt to heap over those BME candidates. Many many hours and much treasure will be expended on the attempt to discredit them. And who of us, even you perhaps Jayne Mansfield, would resist such scrutiny?

    It is the politics of the dung heap. You should all be ashamed of yourselves for being a part of this campaign to stir up hatred against UKIP voters and candidates.

    It is a wonder anyone has the bravery to stand as a UKIP candidate, so degraded are our politics, by the legacy parties and the mainstream media.

    The only cheering thing is that it isn’t working! You guys are getting creamed. Nigel speaks to sell out meetings up and down the country and Clegg travels hours by train to speak to 60 of the faithful.

    You had it coming, all of you. You can’t treat the electorate with contempt, attempt to strangle debate by playing the race card and use your media friends to bully a small party with no resources and MP’s and not expect the British people to punish you.

  • @ David

    Those aren’t our policies, old son. We designedly don’t have any polices! Get with the programme…

  • Jayne Mansfield 8th May '14 - 10:51am

    @ simon,
    I am not in politics but even in my daily life, I am subject to scrutiny and criticised when my words or action fall below a standard that is expected of me.

    You say that you don’t have any policies. Well your party presented a set of policies to electors in 2010. One that had a foreword from Nigel Farage, Lord Pearson and David Campbell Bannerman an MEP who I believe was the main author and who I believe has now returned to the conservative fold.

    I have to say, I find ‘straight talking. Nigel, anything but. Given that you don’t run any councils and don’t have an MP in parliament, it seems that you have the luxury of saying to the electorate anything that comes off the top of your heads, then changing your minds at the first whiff of scrutiny.

    Maybe you would like to read an article on the BBC politics page- ‘ Nigel Farage: 2010 manifesto was ‘drivel’.and tell me why I should trust Ukip with my vote.

  • A Social Liberal 8th May '14 - 10:52am


    Is your argument that we shouldn’t hold UKIP members to account, that we shouldn’t flag up the nasty, homophobic or racist comments some of them are making? Perhaps we shouldn’t similarly point to your leaders simply staggering hypocrisy in paying his wife secretarial wages when he commanded that no elected UKIP MEP should do so, or the truly misogynistic outpourings of Mr Bloom before he was given the boot.

    You and your party are playing with the big boys now, where EVERYTHING you have ever uttered or written in public will be scrutinised by the other parties and the media. When your MEPs accept their wages and then deliberately fail to do their job they will be reported upon, when your councillors and MEPs misbehave in any way it will be reported – just as happens to every other politician. Those elected under the UKIP banner will be forced to keep the standards in public life that politicians in the major parties have committed to, and when they fail to do so they will, as politicians from the major parties are, brought to account.

    In other words Simon, accept the reality of your parties situation and stop ticking about it. It happens to the major parties, it is starting to happen to yours

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