Nick Tyrone has worked for the Electoral Reform Society for eighteen months, working across all political parties handling public affairs, parliamentary liaison and press for the ERS. Follow Nick on Twitter.
The LSE and the Electoral Reform Society have commissioned a YouGov poll on the next European elections, due to take place in 2014. At a sample size of 8000, it is one of the largest polls conducted on Europe in Britain this year.
What was discovered is that as things stand now, under the current closed list PR system used for European elections in the UK, Labour will win with 30 per cent of the vote, UKIP will come second with 25 per cent, the Conservatives will gain 23 per cent, the Greens 12, and the Liberal Democrats 10 (note the Liberal Democrats in fifth). What was discovered of note was that if you changed the voting system to open list, or indeed anything candidate based as a form of voting, UKIP went down six points and the Tories up five – meaning the Conservatives would then leapfrog UKIP into second, just barely behind Labour.
This builds on previous research into Eurosceptic voting patterns, particularly the relationship of this block of voters to UKIP and the Conservative party. It seems that a significant number of people are happy to vote for UKIP as an entity, but when it comes to voting for an individual lots of them would prefer to vote Conservative. The numbers on this are stark.