Election 2015: Latest poll shows faltering Greens and Ukip are neck and neck in Favourability Index

After Natalie Bennett's 'brain fade' radio interview, the Green Party dropped four points

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Indy Politics

The Green surge has gone into reverse after Natalie Bennett, the party leader, suffered what she called a “brain fade” in a radio interview last month, according to a ComRes poll for The Independent on Sunday. The Green Party has dropped four points in our Favourability Index since January, putting it level with Ukip.

A mere 6 per cent of voters have a favourable view of Ms Bennett, who has not been polled before, while 26 per cent have an unfavourable view (the rest say neither or don’t know).

The poll gives Labour a two-point lead over the Conservatives in voting intention, unchanged from last month, and also finds Labour is the most favourably regarded of the parties, although by an insignificant one-point margin. Ed Miliband’s favourability rating has risen slightly, but he is still regarded favourably by fewer voters than Nigel Farage, the Ukip leader.

 

Mr Miliband’s problem with speculation about a possible deal with the Scottish National Party after the election is emphasised by the unfavourable views of the SNP and Nicola Sturgeon (left), its leader, among English voters. The SNP’s and Ms Sturgeon’s ratings in the Index (right) are inflated by high levels of support in Scotland. Among English and Welsh voters, the party and its leader are both favourably viewed by only 6 per cent. Ms Sturgeon is viewed unfavourably by 36 per cent and the SNP as a whole by 48 per cent.

The poll finds that more voters, 46 per cent, say “Britain is going in the wrong direction” than say “right direction” (37 per cent). Despite that, more voters expect David Cameron to be prime minister after the election (33 per cent), than Mr Miliband (20 per cent), although large numbers don’t know.

Ahead of this week’s Budget, voters agree by a margin of two to one that the Government can afford to slow the pace of cuts to public spending. On the other hand, by 41 per cent to 36 per cent, voters say, “The Conservatives are right to say that substantial additional savings can be made by cutting welfare benefits.” By a smaller margin, 34 per cent to 29 per cent, voters expect to pay more tax if Labour wins than if the Tories do.

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