52% of Brits would vote to leave EU tomorrow

Nigel Farage's party could win more than 100 seats in parliament in the UK's 2015 general election.

The latest Opinium/Observer poll published on Sunday (19 January) suggested 52% of the British public aged over 18 would vote to leave the EU tomorrow, a small increase since last November when 50% said they would vote to leave.

Sunday's poll, carried out by Comres for the Independent on Sunday newspaper, also suggests the anti-EU and anti-immigration policies of the UK Independence Party (UKIP) remain popular even though Cameron has already deployed tougher rhetoric on both issues.

Vince Cable, Britain's minister for business, is reportedly telling foreign investors there was a 5% chance his country would leave the 28-nation bloc.

Asked by the newspaper whether foreign companies had raised concerns, Cable said: "The answer is yes. What I say (to businesses) as a government minister is that the risks of us leaving the EU are very, very low ... and I just try to reassure foreign investors."

UKIP is Britain’s favourite

The poll spelt more trouble for the Conservative British Prime Minister David Cameron.

Britons named UKIP as their favourite political party in the poll, dealing a setback to Cameron ahead of elections to the European Parliament.

The survey came days after another poll showed Cameron's Conservatives are set to finish behind UKIP in the May election, meaning they are on course to finish third in a nationwide vote for the first time.

Though UKIP has no seats in the British parliament, its popularity is a problem for Cameron because it threatens to split his own vote at a national election in 2015, depriving him of outright victory.

Its strong poll ratings also worry eurosceptic lawmakers in Cameron's own party who want him to adopt a tougher anti-EU stance, something he has balked at, raising the possibility of a damaging internal rift of the kind that contributed to the downfall of the last two Conservative prime ministers.

If the Conservatives do particularly badly at the May elections for the European Parliament, a significant number of eurosceptic lawmakers are threatening to stir up trouble for Cameron.

UKIP has 13 seats in the European parliament and took a quarter of the votes cast in local elections in May.

It wants Britain to leave the EU and an end to what it calls "open-door" immigration. There is evidence it has siphoned support from all political parties, but it has attracted a large number of former Conservative voters in particular.

The poll, which interviewed a sample of 2,029 Britons earlier this month, found 27% of them had a favourable view of UKIP, more than any other party.

By contrast, 25% said they shared the same view of Cameron's Conservatives, with 26% expressing the same opinion about the opposition Labour party.

Party discipline

Only 14% said they had a favourable view of the Liberal Democrat party, which is in a two-party coalition with Cameron's Conservatives.

Nigel Farage, UKIP's leader, also scored highly, with 22% of those polled saying they had a favourable view of him, a rating second only to Cameron's who scores consistently highly in polls about his leadership qualities.

The poll came as UKIP was battling to restore party discipline after one of its local councillors in England caused it embarrassment by saying recent flooding across Britain was God's punishment for parliament backing gay marriage.

Cameron has promised to try to renegotiate Britain's EU relationship if re-elected in 2015 and to then offer Britons an in/out membership referendum.

Labour, which polls show remains a narrow favourite to win in 2015, does not favour a referendum.

  • 22-25 May 2014: European elections
  • 1 Nov. 2014: Newly constituted European Commission takes office
  • 2015: British elections
  • 2017: Possible referendum in the UK on EU membership
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an european's picture

If it were Americans .. England wouldn't speak about "open-door" immigration.
England and will be the 51st common wealth U.S. State and speak the same language !

Nick Cowles's picture

Well I am Brit , and whilst I believe that being a member of a trading collective such as the European Union is an excellent idea ,I don't not think a political union is.

We Brits have enough problems to deal with be it the incompetence of our own politicians and we certainly don't need the incompetence of unaccountable highly paid bureaucrats of the E.U. to add to the mess we are already in.

The fact that in the E.U. the Accounts aren't balanced the bureaucratic waste as well as the rules which are followed by many and ignored by others with no apparent resolution. Obviously any collection of countries are never going to agree or even interpret the rules in the same way ...

There from my prospective is a common thread that the Management of the E.U. is heading towards Political Legal and Financial Union of all member countries ... don't forget we Brits were promised a Referendum on the Treaty of Lisbon which our Government at the time back traded on and the rest of our Political Elite did nothing about ... no wonder us Brits are annoyed.

That same Government also without my vote certainly opened the flood gates to immigration from outside the E.U ..even one of our Ambassador's got fired for speaking out... hence the reason why that political party is no longer in power ... lucky they are not in jail for Treason in my view and then we have our own Border control and passport control being labelled as '' not fit for purpose.''

On top of this a Welfare system which I cant claim on but is paying out huge amounts of money to some of our own and others .

So lets get down to the issue here Britain is in a mess socially politically systemically as well as financially so we the British people need a bit of a time out to sit down by ourselves and sort our own systems finances and sort out the Politicians ,perhaps once we have that sorted may be then we will be ready . Don't forget we have no constitution just a whole load of twits telling us what we should do and think ... they have to go .

fingo's picture

"Obviously any collection of countries are never going to agree or even interpret the rules in the same way ... "

I can't quite believe that. For example, the International Maritime Organization makes rules for international shipping. And most if not all countries apparently agree.

Mike Parr's picture

Ah yes UKIP - and its nutty members - note the one that claimed that the recent floods were caused by God as divine punishment for Dive (Moron-con) passing the gay marriage legislation. I'm not making it up. Admittedly the kippers booted him out - but one wonders how many other headbangers are members of the kipper party and what will creep out of the woodwork at the next EU elections.

If the UK leaves the EU I have a question: who will continue to give free gifts (Common Ag policy) to Mrs Windsor and all the other land owning aristos? That's going to be fun to watch.

Nick Cowles's picture

Fingo / Nick

Thanks yours ref E.U what about the French Govt ignoring the directive with regards to divesting state shareholding in Energy Companies .. what about the directive with regards to size of Pig pens which various Eu countries have ignored .

With regards to The I.M.O. but not sure that is really the same sort of association that the European Union is ... mind you the carriage of goods by sea act is a prime example of countries not necessarily agreeing on what amendments they will accept .... and then you get onto the ''Rotterdam '' or the '' Hamburg '' rules and you will find that most shipping contracts in dry bulk for example have specific clauses sidestepping same.
Also isn't there an issue on Disposal of Blast Water going on thanks to the US Coast Guard .

And wasn't there a bit of a stand down on Marpol Annex 1V with regards to receivers and port authorities having not prepared suitable disposal facilities on bilge and hold cleaning water??

Anyway thanks your input