UKIP’s bizarre feat of losing whilst winning

On any conventional measure of elections, UKIP is the big winner from Thursday’s European Parliament elections. Votes up, seats up, the anti-EU cause on a roll right?

Well not quite. Votes and seats up, yes – but during the UKIP surge of the last few months there’s been another, quite contradictory surge.

From being regularly behind in Europe referendum polling, the ‘stay in’ vote is now consistently ahead of the ‘come out’ vote. Just as UKIP has risen in popularity, its preferred choice in an EU referendum has fallen in popularity.

For three months now, YouGov’s referendum tracker has had ‘in’ ahead of ‘out’ in every poll.

Or to put it another way, in December-February the tracker averaged 35% for ‘in’ and 42% for ‘out’. In March-May, that’s become 42% for ‘in’ and 37% for ‘out’.

A 6% swing to the pro-European position and a consistent lead at the very time UKIP has been prospering.

Losing whilst winning you might say.


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