Support for the euroskeptic UK Independence Party (UKIP) has spiked to 20 percent, while Britain’s ruling Conservatives have hit their lowest rating this year, according to a poll published yesterday.
The ComRes survey for the Independent on Sunday and Sunday Mirror newspapers showed Nigel Farage’s UKIP up 4 points since last month to achieve its highest ever result in a poll by the consultancy.
Support for the Conservatives was down 3 percent at 29 percent, the poll showed.
Farage also saw his personal approval rating leap 7 points since last month to 27 percent, level with British Prime Minister David Cameron, the survey showed.
The poll provided good news for the opposition Labour party, which secured 35 percent support, unchanged from last month, but a lead of six points over the Tories.
The pro-European Liberal Democrats received their worst ever result in a ComRes poll at just 7 percent overall support, down 2 percent.
The poll comes about two weeks after the UKIP leader was widely judged to have performed well in two live televised debates with British Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg, leader of the Liberal Democrats, over Britain’s future in Europe.
The debates saw both leaders draw the battle lines ahead of European Parliament elections being held on May 22.
Cameron’s personal rating was down 4 points since last month, Labour leader Ed Miliband slipped 2 points to 20 percent and Clegg’s rating was down 1 point to 12 percent.
Cameron’s rating may have suffered due to his handling of the parliamentary expenses row involving former British secretary of state for culture, media and sport Maria Miller, who was forced to quit on Wednesday following the furor.
The survey showed 62 percent of voters believe the prime minister displayed a serious lack of leadership in the way he dealt with the case.
The poll was based on interviews with 2,003 British adults conducted online on Wednesday and Thursday, and the data was weighted to be representative of all Britons aged 18 and over, ComRes said.