A final look back at the Euro polls

by Stephen Tall on June 4, 2009

Today is (in case you hadn’t realised) polling day – for much of England that means local elections, for everyone it means European elections – which means it’s our last chance to look at the polls for the Euros, and try and make some sense of them. There have been 11 polls in the last month asking voters to say which party they’ll choose on 4th June:

Here they are in chronological order:

>> Con 37%, Lab 22%, Lib Dem 19%, Ukip 7%, Green 4%, BNP 4%, Nats 5% (YouGov certain to vote, 10th May)
>> Con 34%, Lab 25%, Lib Dem 20%, Ukip 6%, Green 5%, BNP 2% (Populus, 13th May)
>> Con 28%, Lab 19%, Lib Dem 19%, Ukip 19%, Green 6%, BNP 3% 9% (YouGov certain to vote, 15th May)
>> Con 28%, Lab 23%, Lib Dem 14%, Ukip 15%, Green 11%, BNP 4% (ComRes, 17th May)
>> Con 26%, Lab 21%, Lib Dem 14%, Ukip 16%, Green 7%, BNP ?% (YouGov, 18th May)
>> Con 30%, Lab 24%, Lib Dem 18%, Ukip 10%, Green 9%, BNP 1% (ICM, 22nd May)
>> Con 27%, Lab 17%, Lib Dem 15%, Ukip 16%, Green 9%, BNP 7% (YouGov, 29th May)
>> Con 30%, Lab 16%, Lib Dem 12%, Ukip 19%, Green 10%, BNP 5% (Populus, 30th May)
>> Con 29%, Lab 17%, Lib Dem 20%, Ukip 10%, Green 11%, BNP 5% (ICM, 31st May)
>> Con 26%, Lab 16%, Lib Dem 15%, Ukip 18%, Green 10%, BNP 5% (YouGov, 2nd June)

For what it’s worth (which, frankly, isn’t much statistically speaking, but might be fortuitously close to the mark), this gives us a polling average for the parties of:

Con 30%, Lab 19%, Lib Dem 16%, Ukip 14%, Green 8%, BNP 4%

The incalculables of today’s elections are legion: the fact that much of England is going to the polls for simultaneous local elections will likely affect differential turnout, and result in much ‘split voting’; the expenses scandal might result in increased (or decreased) turnout, or make no difference; the ‘wildcards’ of Ukip, Green and BNP votes might wreak havoc with ‘normal’ general election intentions; etc.

My best (and boring) guess is that the Tories will poll a little under 30%, and that it’s a complete toss-up for second place between Labour, Lib Dems and Ukip, with the minor possibility that the Greens might pull a rabbit out of the hat.

The latest numbers have been fed into Predict09.eu‘s machine, and they are estimating the following results for the UK (seat numbers are in brackets, but bear in mind that the UK loses six of its 78 seats owing to EU expansion since 2004):

Con 28% (24 MEPs, -3 on 2004)
Lab 18% (15 MEPs, -4)
Ukip 16% (10 MEPs, -2)
Lib Dem 15% (10 MEPs, -2)
Green 11% (6 MEPs, +4)
BNP 5% (0 MEPs, n/c)
SNP 2% (3 MEPs, +1)
Plaid 1% (1 MEP, n/c)
N. Ireland parties (3 MEPs, n/c)

We’ll know how accurate the prediction is come Sunday night…