Poll: Labour set for gains if European Parliament election goes ahead

Written by Nicholas Mairs and Tom Freeman on 10 April 2019 in News

Blow for Theresa May as poll shows Tories face European elections humiliation

European Parliament - EP audiovisual

The Conservatives face being humbled while Labour would soar ahead if European Parliament elections are held in the UK next month, according to a new poll.

Theresa May hopes to get her deal through ahead of 23 May so that Britain does not have to take part, however it appears increasingly likely that the UK will need to send MEPs to Brussels as part of an agreed extension with the bloc.

A poll for Open Europe found that fewer than one in four voters (23 per cent) would opt for the Tories, while Jeremy Corbyn’s party would rake in 38 per cent of the vote.

Pro-Brexit votes look split between Nigel Farage’s Brexit Party on 10.3 per cent and his former party UKIP on 7.5 per cent.

In the last European election in 2014, UKIP won 26.6 per cent of the vote, Labour 24.4 per cent and the Conservatives 23.1 per cent.

Despite being the most outwardly pro-EU party, the Liberal Democrats would pick up just over 8 per cent of the vote, although this is a rise of nearly two per cent from 2014.

Change UK, the group of disaffected Labour and Tory pro-European MPs, known until recently as The Independent Group, was on around four per cent, as was the SNP and Greens. This would represent an increase for the SNP from 2014 but a two per cent drop in support for the Greens.

The study found that turnout would likely be low if the UK takes part in the election next month, with just 35.2 per cent of respondents saying they would definitely vote.

Meanwhile, another UK-wide poll on general election voting intentions by Kantar puts Labour on 35 per cent and the Conservatives on 32 per cent, a nine point drop from March.

The SNP has already said its MEPs Ian Hudghton - the party president - and Alyn Smith are both standing for re-election. Labour's longest-standing MEP David Martin has agreed to stand again for Scottish Labour but will be joined by new candidates on the list after Catherine Stihler stood down in January.

Conservative Nosheena Mobarik, who took Ian Duncan's seat after he joined the House of Lords to become a Scotland Office minister, will likely top the Conservative list.

Scotland's UKIP representative David Coburn has since left the party and joined Farage's Brexit party.

The Scottish Greens, who got 8.1 per cent in 2014, have said they will target Coburn's seat. Co-convener Patrick Harvie said: "The stakes in an EU election have never been higher, and we are determined to send a Scottish Green MEP to Brussels where they will join dozens of Green MEPs from across Europe and make the case for Scotland's place in the EU, taking on the climate crisis and building a green economy."








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