Greens two points ahead of Lib Dems - could the party make gains?

Natalie Bennet

YouGov’s latest poll, for the Sun, has put the Greens ahead of the Lib Dems. Could that be repeated in the general election?

The poll gave the following overall results:

CONSERVATIVES 32%. LABOUR 32%. UKIP 16%. GREENS 8%. LIB DEMS 6%.

In many recent YouGov polls the Greens have been equal with, or ahead of the Liberal Democrats. Could the Greens really perform better than the country’s junior coalition partners?

It seems unlikely that the Greens could actually outperform the Liberal Democrats, but it would be not be surprising if they came a close fifth place. The Greens have seen a surge, and will likely do better than their 2010 vote share of around 1% of the vote.

The smaller parties are growing, and whilst most of the focus is on UKIP, the Greens are making headway.

Where is this Green support coming from? YouGov’s latest poll suggests that 17% of the party’s voters voted Lib Dem in 2010. Just 6% came from previous Labour voters, whilst 1% were former Tories.

Additionally, the party is doing well with the youth vote, as 20% of those 18-24 are intending to vote for the Greens. This makes them the second most popular party amongst young people, ahead of the Conservatives on 19%. Just 3% of those over 60 support the Greens, suggests the poll.

The latest poll also suggests that on the issue of the economy in general the Conservatives are dramatically ahead of Labour (37%-21%). However, it also indicates that most people think that Labour is performing better on the issue of the NHS (36%-22%). Both issues will become incredibly important when the country goes to vote.

Overall, the poll indicates that things are tight at the top between Labour and the Conservatives. Additionally, it puts the Greens a full two points ahead of the Lib Dem. The Greens will likely do well in May, but not better than the Liberal Democrats.

But by the time of the next election, they could be well placed to make further gains.

The full results of the poll can be found here. 1580 GB adults were interviewed between the 15th and 16th of February.

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