Voters go to the polls today in the last major electoral test for all the parties before the General Election, which is now less than a year away.
Voters go to the polls today in the last major electoral test for all the parties before the General Election.
All the parties will be holding their collective breathes for the results, due to begin with local authority votes tonight and the results of the European elections coming in on Sunday evening.
For UKIP, anything less than meeting its ambitions of topping the polls in the Euro elections will be deemed a failure given Farage’s less than modest assertion that this is what his party will achieve – the political earthquake he so frequently talks about.
For Labour eyes will be fixed on both the north and south. In the north the nerves will be felt about the potential inroads UKIP could make in Labour’s heartland areas, while in the south Ed Miliband will be desperately hoping for news that points to a party revival nationwide.
Meanwhile, Conservative HQ will be hoping that the UKIP froth might just be that and avoid the humiliation of coming third in the elections. Whatever the outcome, expect Tory frontbenchers to conclude that UKIP coming first is a sign that it has peaked too early before the general election next year; whilst if it comes anything other than first it will be labelled a humiliation for Farage.
And finally, what of the Lib Dems? If, as some polls have predicted they end up coming behind the, Greens one has to wonder about the future of Nick Clegg.
Against this background, in the final polling by YouGov for the Sun and the Times, published before polling stations opened this morning, when asked about European voting intentions UKIP are on 27 per cent, Labour are on 26 per cent, the Conservatives 22 per cent, Greens 10 per cent and the Lib Dems 9 per cent. The SNP/Plaid polled 3 per cent, while the BNP languish on just 1 per cent.
Asked how they would vote in a referendum on Britain’s membership of the EU, 42 per cent said that they would opt to stay in compared to 37 per cent who would prefer to leave.Like this article? Sign up to Left Foot Forward's weekday email for the latest progressive news and comment - and support campaigning journalism by making a donation today.