January 20, 2014
The UK Independence Party is the nation’s favourite political party, a poll for The Independent on Sunday reveals today.
Voters regard Nigel Farage’s party more favourably than Labour, the Conservatives or the Liberal Democrats. The surprising finding will underline concerns inside the mainstream Westminster parties that Ukip is on course to come first in May’s European elections and could deny Labour or the Tories an outright victory in next year’s general election.
What is more, Mr Farage is favoured over Ed Miliband and Nick Clegg as a party leader, beaten only by David Cameron, the ComRes survey reveals. Ukip is the favourite choice of 27 per cent of voters, while Labour is favoured by 26 per cent. The Conservatives are next, on 25 per cent, and the Lib Dems last, on 14 per cent. Although the differences in the first three parties are within the margin of error, the findings will fuel unease inside Downing Street that the Prime Minister has failed to close down the question of Europe and that Ukip’s support remains strong. A YouGov poll last week suggested that Ukip could come second behind Labour in the European elections.
Questioned about the individual party leaders, Mr Cameron wins most support, with 27 per cent; Mr Farage is favourite for 22 per cent; Mr Miliband is backed by 18 per cent of voters and Mr Clegg 13 per cent. Men are more likely than women to favour Ukip – 31 per cent compared with 23 per cent.