Rise of British anti-EU party ‘threatens’ Cameron’s re-election
LONDON - Reuters
Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron makes a speech during an enterprise reception at Downing Street in London, Thursday, Sept. 12, 2013. AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth, poolBritish Prime Minister David Cameron’s hopes of being re-elected in 2015 suffered a setback on Sept. 15 when a poll showed an anti-European Union party had split the center-right vote in dozens of decisive constituencies.
The poll focused on 40 of Britain’s 650 parliamentary seats where Cameron’s Conservative party won with the slimmest of margins at the last national election in 2010. It showed the main opposition Labor party had made little progress in the constituencies despite being ahead in opinion polls nationwide.
But a surge in support for the U.K. Independence Party (UKIP) was siphoning off support from the Conservatives, pointing to a Labor election victory, the poll showed.
If an election were held today, Labor would win 32 of the 40 battleground seats surveyed and would win overall power in Britain with a majority of about 60 percent, it said. The survey, the first of its kind in two years, will worry the Conservatives who are preparing for their annual conference and have cut Labor’s lead in some opinion polls to just three percentage points nationwide at a time when the economy is showing signs of recovery. Nearly 13,000 people were surveyed for the poll.
The Conservatives govern in coalition with the smaller Liberal Democrat party.
UKIP, which has no seats in the British Parliament but is represented in the European Parliament, campaigns for Britain to leave the EU and for an end to what it calls “open-door immigration.”
The party did well in local elections earlier this year, but Britain’s “winner takes all” election system means it is unlikely to win a large number of seats in the national parliament in 2015.
LONDON - Reuters