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31st May 2019

Remain Lib Dems surge ahead in YouGov general election poll

Kyle Picknell

The Brexit party aren’t far behind them

A new national YouGov poll conducted for The Times has shown strong gains made by the Liberal Democrats, who, according to the results, would win the general election if it were held tomorrow.

It is only the second occasion that a party other than Labour and the Conservatives have occupied first place in a YouGov poll.

For the Lib Dems, it follows an impressive showing in the European elections and marks the first time they have held the lead since Nick Clegg’s leadership in 2010.

They earned 24 per cent (up six points) of the vote for their pro-remain stance, whilst the Brexit Party, led by Nigel Farage, earned 22 per cent of the vote (up four points), for the exact opposite.

Elsewhere, both Conservative and Labour shares of the vote fell to 19 per cent, down five points each. The Green Party increased its vote by two points to 8 per cent.

It is extremely rare if not completely unprecedented that two outsider parties should appear top of the general election polling, but both performed well during European voting last week.

The Brexit Party won 29 seats and 32 per cent of the vote overall, with the Lib Dems earning 16 seats in Brussels. Conservative seats plummeted from 19 to just four in what has been interpreted as a widespread rejection of their approach to Brexit.

YouGov, who were the most accurate pollster for the European elections, did however temper expectations and warn that the first-past-the-post voting system we have in place is still an obstacle for challenger parties and continues to favour both Labour and the Conservatives.