Ukip tops poll as Nigel Farage weathers the storm
YouGov survey sparks panic as Tories come third
Can nothing stop the march of Nigel Farage? The Ukip leader is ending a difficult week on a high as his party comes top of a poll for the first time.
The YouGov poll ahead of the EU elections puts his party on 31%, three points clear of Labour, with the Tories languishing on a fragile 19 points.
The news follows seven days of controversy over the extremist views of some Ukip candidates, questions over Farage’s employment of his German wife and accusations of a racist poster campaign. Yet Ukip appear to have weathered the storm, prompting panic among rival parties.
David Cameron has received a second blow as the former Tory donor now backing Ukip indicates he will continue to bankroll the party for the next general election. This will boost Farage’s hopes of winning a seat at Westminster for the first time.
“I’m not giving up,” said the donor, Paul Sykes. “That will warn the Conservatives what’s going to happen. We will get more democracy in Britain if it skints [sic] me.”
However, it is believed that David Cameron will refuse to make any further concessions to Eurosceptics despite the developments. As pressure grows on him from backbenchers, the prime minister has privately vowed to not give an inch on Europe, even if his party is humiliated at the European polls.