Monday, 9 December 2013

European Parliament Election 2014: With 5 months to go, who will be the winner?

European Election result last time:

With 5 months to go until the 2014 European parliament Elections, seen as a dress rehearsal for the General Election in 2015, who is the favourite to win? And what impact would a poor EU election result have on the Conservative Party?

It is generally accepted by everybody that the UK Independence Party will poll very strongly. I attended a European Parliament election strategist meeting a couple of Months ago, and was warned that UKIP would probably outpoll all 3 main parties. This certainly seems to be the case in opinion polls for voting intentions for the European Parliament: I have calculated what kind of result can be expected for the European Parliament elections based on opinion polling:

I have calculated the average number of people who would vote for various political parties at the European Parliament elections, using opinion polls by Survation for this purpose.
Polling average for the European Parliament:
Labour: 30%
UKIP: 26%
Conservatives: 21%
Lib Dems: 12%
Others (Greens, Libertas, We demand a referendum, SNP, Plaid Cymru, BNP, Respect, Sinn Fein) 11%

What this would mean in terms of seats (If the swing was uniform):
Labour: 24 (+11)
UKIP: 26 (+13)
Conservatives: 8 (-18)
Lib Dems: 7 (-4)
Others: 8 (-3)

The vote shares are also weighted to Westminster levels...Which means that I would assume that on polling day both Labour and the Conservatives would have a lower vote share and UKIP a slightly higher share. It is going to be a very tight race for 1st place next year. This kind of result would be absolutely disastrous for the Conservative party. David Camerons party have already rebelled against him on his support for Gay Marriage, and do not like him because they do not think he is Eurosceptic enough. But this kind of result would cause absolute pandemonium within the party, and there would be a lot of gnashing of teeth and turbulence within the party, and some Tory MPs who are fearful for their seats may defect to UKIP. This is all speculation, but history shows us that governments who lose European Elections tend to struggle. Tony Blair was crushed in the 2004 European Elections by the Conservatives, and Labour then had their majority slashed in 2005, with Blair being re-elected with the lowest popular vote that any Prime Minister had ever won an election with.. The 2009 European Elections were used as a springboard for David Cameron, and the disastrous Labour result prompted calls for Gordon Brown to resign and plunged the Labour Party into disunited chaos, a big reason for its defeat the next year at the General Election. Unsurprisingly so, since it is a major national election. This kind of result would be seen as massively positive for Labour, as based on these seats it would win back seats in the West Midlands, Scotland, and the East Midlands where they were desecrated in 2009 and also in the General Election. It would be a sign that the recovery for the Party is well and truly under way. For UKIP this would be a massive result that would send shockwaves through the Conservative party, and reiterate UKIPs claims to be a major power in British politics. They could use this as a springboard for the 2015 General Election, where they are expected to win some seats. Since the next Local Elections are also at the same time, they are also expected to poll quite strongly in those elections, and could conceivably pile up enough council seats in concentration to start winning seats at Westminster, in the same way that Caroline Lucas piled up seats in Brighton and Hove Pavillion council before she won that seat.
Either way, 22nd May 2014 will be a massive day in British politics, and will play a large part in determining the General Election result in 2015.

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