Tories and Labour set for EU elections disaster as Brexit Party and Lib Dems top poll

Posted On: 
23rd May 2019

The Conservatives and Labour will finish behind the Brexit Party and Liberal Democrats at the EU elections, according to an opinion poll carried out hours before voting began.

The Brexit Party leader, Nigel Farage, and Liberal Democrat leader, Vince Cable
PA Images

Ipsos MORI has predicted that Nigel Farage’s new outfit will storm ahead to pick up 35% of the vote today, while Vince Cable's pro-Remain party will take 20%.

Labour is to finish third on 15%, while the Tories languish in fifth, a point behind the Greens, on just 9%.

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Mr Farage's former party Ukip is set to take just 3% of the vote - the same share as the Lib Dems' pro-EU rivals, Change UK.

The study, carried out for the Evening Standard between 20-22 May, found that more than half (54%) of Conservative voters from the 2017 general election plan to ditch them for the Brexit Party.

In a further blow to Theresa May, who could be ousted as leader by Tory MPs in days, just 20% of voters said they would stick to her team, while 13% will switch to backing the Lib Dems.

Jeremy Corbyn's party is expected to lose nearly one in four supporters (22%) from the 2017 snap vote to the Lib Dems, with 15% heading to the Brexit Party and another 15% to the Greens.

The study found however that just two-thirds of the voting public have "definitely decided" who they will opt for, while the rest said that they may change their mind. 

At the last snap general election, in which Theresa May lost her majority against expectations, some 80% had definitely decided who they were going to vote for.

This compares to 87% at the 2016 EU referendum and 78% at the 2015 general election.

Elsewhere just six in ten (61%) said that it is important to them who wins the European elections, compared to 86% in the EU referendum and the last two general elections.

Gideon Skinner, Head of Political Research at Ipsos MORI, said the vote was” particularly difficult to predict” given the occasion traditionally records a low turnout and with the emergence of new parties.

“Both Labour and the Conservatives are suffering in this election, while the Brexit Party looks set to be the winner,” he said.

“We’ve seen how Conservative party voters in particular dislike their party’s approach to Brexit, and prefer Nigel Farage’s party’s line, while Labour supporters are confused over exactly what Labour would do about Brexit if it were in power…"