Poll: UKIP Surges Into First Place for European Elections Despite 'Smears' and Media Attacks
A new poll for the Sunday Times by YouGov shows the UK Independence Party "surging" into first place in the European Elections, with 31 percent of Brits now saying they will back Nigel Farage's Eurosceptic party on May 22nd.
The poll comes as Prime Minister David Cameron, leader of the Conservative Party, said he would make no further concessions to Eurosceptics in his own ranks.
The Times (£) reports:
The prime minister was struggling to contain a growing Eurosceptic tide last night as he faced calls from Conservative MPs and the public to take a tougher line with Brussels to counter the UKIP threat.
Senior Tory backbenchers disclosed that they would visit Downing Street after the vote on May 22 to demand that Cameron outline much more extensive plans for the repatriation of powers from Brussels.
But Cameron will put himself on collision course with his party after privately dismissing their concerns and vowing not to give an inch — even if the Tories are humiliated in the European elections.
Tory jitters will be stoked by today’s YouGov poll for The Sunday Times on the EU elections, which puts UKIP in the lead for the first time, with the Conservatives trailing a distant third.
Despite a week of controversy, Nigel Farage’s party has risen to 31%, three points clear of Labour, with the Tories languishing on a lacklustre 19 points.
In another blow to the prime minister, the former Tory donor now backing UKIP has indicated he will bankroll the party at the next general election — boosting Farage’s chances of winning seats at Westminster for the first time.
The poll is the first of its kind since UKIP's poster campaign highlighting the dangers of mass immigration went up across Britain.
This week, UKIP has come under repeated attacks following controversial statements made by its local activists, with some expressing racist sentiments. UKIP took swift action to suspend the offending members. The mainstream media even went so far as to report on 'revenge porn' used against one of UKIP's female activists Lizzy Vaid.
But the smears and attacks not only are not having a negative impact on Nigel Farage's party – they also seem to be assisting UKIP as it continuously dominates the British news cycle. The Independent reports today:
Breitbart London has also seen documentation that is being circulated claiming that there are "allegations" of a "paedophile ring" operating inside UKIP. The suspicious letter gets numerous facts about UKIP incorrect, and is believed to be a hoax. One party source told Breitbart London that the documentation is "fantasy" and hinted that it may be the work of ousted UKIP MEPs seeking to harm the party.
"Despite revelations over the questionable views of his candidates and officials, an on-air grilling about the employment of his German wife and accusations of a "racist" poster campaign, Nigel Farage last week remained on course for one of the greatest upsets in recent political history in next month's European elections."
Follow Raheem Kassam on Twitter: @RaheemJKassam