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Remember the 1999 Euros: Tony Blair’s LAB was 32 pc ahead in the GE VI polls but trailed Hague’s CON by 8pts on the day

March 13th, 2014

General election polls not good indicators for EP election

What we mustn’t forget as we approach the May Euro elections is that this is not a national vote where LAB has prospered since the introduction of the party list voting system.

The chart shows the CON deficit in the main Westminster polls from April 1999 and compares them with what happened a few weeks when the nation decided on who should represent it at the European parliament.

    The issue, of course, is that the driver of the apparent electoral bias to LAB in general elections works against it in the Euro Election system.

In the former the red team is hugely efficient and votes don’t generally pile up where it doesn’t matter – in the party’s heartlands or Tory strongholds.

For the Euros things are so different and all the votes in each electoral region have value in determining how many MEPs each party gets allocated.

If the Tories can contain the UKIP threat then they might, just, surprise us. As I’ve mentioned before I’m on them to win most votes at 10/1.

Mike Smithson

2004-2014: The view from OUTSIDE the Westminster bubble