Brexit Party doubles lead over Labour in European election poll
The Brexit Party has doubled its lead over Labour in the latest European election poll.
The latest Opinium poll on voting intentions shows the Tories continue to stagger behind in fourth place with 11% support.
Nigel Farage's party has galloped into first place with 34% support – doubling the existing gap to 13 points in the last fortnight.
Labour, coming second with 21%, has fallen seven points in the last fortnight and the Lib Dems are in third position with 12%, having risen five points.
Adam Drummond, head of political polling at Opinium, said Mr Farage was capitalising on a clear pro-Brexit position, whilst Remain supporters are forced to choose between several parties – although 57% would like to see a pro-Remain alliance.
He said: "On the European elections, while the question of which party Brexit voters should back was settled some time ago, the equivalent for Remain voters is still ambiguous.
"The picture is most stark when we split out Leave and Remain voters – while 63% of Leavers say they will vote for the Brexit Party in the European elections, the most popular party among Remainers (still Labour) only has 31% versus 22% for the Lib Dems and 14% for the Greens.
"Interestingly, Brexit voters have deserted the Tories to such an extent that the Conservatives actually have a higher share of the European vote among Remainers (12%) than among Leavers (11%)."
Meanwhile, voting intentions for the Westminster elections show the Brexit Party would also be snapping at the Tories' heels in a general election.
Labour is out in front with 28% support, followed by the Tories on 22%, the survey shows, but the Brexit Party is just behind on 21%.
Mr Drummond said it was "remarkable" the new party could be on the cusp of overtaking the party of government.
Although Mr Drummond cautioned the European election in less than two weeks could be "bleeding into" and "inflating" the Westminster results, he said the level of support was still notable.
"It would be reasonable to assume that this would fall back in an actual general election campaign, but the fact a party that is less than six months old is now vying with the governing party for second place is remarkable," he said.
"The Tories' reliance on Leave voters seemed sensible in the aftermath of the referendum.
"But raising expectations of the kind of deal the UK could get and using the phrase 'no deal is better than a bad deal' so relentlessly was always going to open the party up to this kind of challenge once those expectations could not be met."
The two main parties, Labour and the Conservatives, continue to drop votes, with Labour falling five points and the Tories four in the last fortnight.
But the Brexit Party and the Liberal Democrats are reaping the rewards of public frustration and are both on the up, with the former rising five points and the latter four – taking the Lib Dems to fourth place with 11%.
Opinium Research carried out an online survey of 2,004 UK adults over 18 years old between May 8 and 10 and results have been weighted.