The Liberal Democrats are on course for the largest vote share in the capital in Thursday’s European Parliament elections according to a new opinion poll, with parties unequivocally backing a further referendum on European Union membership collectively enjoying more than double the support of both the Brexit Party in second place and Labour in third. The Conservatives are struggling in fifth place.
The London findings form part of a national poll by YouGov and Datapraxis for pro Remain Best for Britain campaign and the anti-extremism group Hope Not Hate, which surveyed a weighted sample of 1,111 Londoners, the number required for a reliable dedicated poll of the capital. There is a marked difference from a YouGov poll of 1,015 Londoners for Queen Mary University (QMUL) published six days ago, which put Labour in the lead in London and the Lib Dems third. That poll was conducted between 7 and 10 May, and the new one between 8 and 17 May.
The new poll has the Lib Dems on 24 per cent, the Brexit Party on 21 per cent and Labour on 19, followed by the Green Party on 14 per cent, the Conservatives on 10 per cent, Change UK on six per cent, Others on five per cent and UKIP on two percent. Combined backing for the three parties pledging unconditional backing for a further referendum – the Lib Dems, the Greens and Change UK – stands at 44 per cent. Labour’s policy has been that a second referendum would be only an “option” for it should neither a Brexit deal to its liking be got through parliament or a general election be held.
The previously-publish YouGov poll of Londoners had Labour on 24 per cent and the Lib Dems on 17 per cent, indicating that a large swing away from Jeremy Corbyn’s party to Vince Cable’s may be taking place among the capital’s Remainers as a reaction against Labour’s attempts to negotiate a Brexit deal with the government and its leadership’s ambiguous attitude to another referendum.
These differences are in marked contrast to support among Londoners for the other parties found in the two polls, are almost identical. In the new YouGov poll, the Brexit Party scores one per cent more than in the company’s survey for QMUL, with Change UK receiving one per cent less support and the Greens and the Conservatives the same.
A major collapse in support for Labour, which has dominated elections of other kinds in the capital in recent years, could see them lose three of the four European Parliament seats they currently hold – half of the London region total of eight. The YouGov poll for QMUL indicated that the party had already fallen back by 13 percentage points compared with its results in the last European elections in 2014.
The new poll suggests the Liberal Democrats are on course to win two European Parliament seats and possibly three. They currently have none. The newly-formed Brexit Party is in line for two and the Green Party one, which is what it presently has. The results for two or three of the seats look uncertain, with the Conservatives still in contention to retain one the two seats they currently hold. UKIP appears set to lose its single seat.
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