Friday 24 November 2017

Ukip on course to top Euro polls with 27pc of vote

UKIP Leader Nigel Farage poses for photographers as leaves Cudham Church of England Primary School in Cudham, Kent, after casting his vote in the Local and European elections. PA
UKIP Leader Nigel Farage poses for photographers as leaves Cudham Church of England Primary School in Cudham, Kent, after casting his vote in the Local and European elections. PA
A defaced UKIP poster in Sheffield as votes are cast across the country in today's Local and European elections

DOMINIC HARRIS

Ukip will win the European elections and the Liberal Democrats will be left back in fifth place, pollsters have predicted.

The prediction, based on a poll of 6,124 adults over the last two days by YouGov for 'The Sun', is that Nigel Farage's UK Independence Party will gain most votes with 27pc, despite him being involved in a number of racist and homophobic controversies in the lead-up to election day.

Labour is projected to come second with 26pc, the Tories third with 22pc of the vote, followed by the Greens on 10pc and the Lib Dems with 9pc.

The poll suggests that Ukip and Labour will both have 22 MEPs, an increase of nine each on the last elections in 2009.

The Conservatives are expected to get 16 of the 70 European Parliament seats being voted on in England, Scotland and Wales, 10 fewer than before, while the Greens will get four – an increase of two.

The Lib Dems are expected to lose eight, leaving them with just three MEPs, while the far-right BNP will lose both its MEPs, the poll predicts.

The survey also found that less than a quarter of voters planned to go to the polling booths to actually influence the European Parliament, with 63pc saying they would do so to express their views on the political scene in Britain and its relationship with the EU.

Immigration and membership of the EU were the key issues for voters, but 42pc still said they preferred to stay in Europe.

Meanwhile, a leaked internal Lib Dem document suggests the party is braced for the possibility of failing to win any seats at all in the European parliamentary elections.

The document is said to advise senior party figures to say it was "expected" should it win no seats. If the party wins between zero and two MEPs, Lib Dem spokesmen have been briefed to say they are "disappointed with the result but the party remains resolute and this was expected at this point in an electoral cycle".

Press Association

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