UKIP will do well in 2015, but watch out for the growing Greens

Natalie Bennett

YouGov’s first poll of the year has put the Greens in fourth place on 8% - just one point ahead of the Liberal Democrats. The Greens are growing fast.

This suggests that a trend beginning last year in YouGov’s polls is - that the Greens are becoming a prominent party in British politics - is continuing.

Speaking about the Greens’ growth in 2014, YouGov’s Will Dahlgreen said:

“the Greens started as a party with only 1% more support than the BNP and finished as Britain's fourth most popular party - tied with the Lib Dems.”

The polling company’s first poll of 2015 reiterates this growth by putting the Greens one point ahead of the Liberal Democrats, who came third in the 2010 election with 23% of the vote.

The company’s first poll of 2015 gave Labour a three point lead over the Conservatives (34%-31%). The poll gave UKIP 14% - down two points from the last poll.

In fairness the first Populus poll of 2015, put the Lib Dems on 9%, ahead of the Greens on 5%. But 5% is still better than the 0.9% of the votes they got at the last election.

The Greens are a party on the up. They increased their seat share in the European Parliament by one - giving them a total of three MEPs. Natalie Bennett’s Green Party of England and Wales and Patrick Harvie’s and Maggie Chapman’s Scottish Greens are going places. Both have seen increased membership in 2014.

This latest poll is another reason for the Greens to be optimistic. But despite this, Britain’s First Past The Post system gives them a disadvantage. The chances of them gaining more seats than the one they got in 2010 are slim. William Hill’s odds for the Green Party getting one seat are 10/11, whilst the odds for them getting two or more are 5/1.

The Greens will increase their share of the vote, but fail to gain a proportional number of seats. However, if they do perform well in May - as YouGov’s polls suggests they might - then some close seconds in 2015 could set them up for 2020.

UKIP are dominating a lot of the story in the lead up to the general election, but watch out for the Greens - they might just surprise you.

SEE ALSO: Greens could beat Lib Dems next year, suggests new poll

Poll places Green Party as Britains' rising star

The full results of the YouGov poll can be found here. 1728 GB adults were questioned between the 4th and 5th of January this year.