Support for the Greens is steadily growing as the party benefits from the splintering of traditional political loyalties, the latest poll of polls for The Independent discloses today.
Ukip’s backing has begun to fall back from the heights it reached following its stunning performance in May’s local and EU elections, but Nigel Farage’s party is still in a strong third place.
Labour averaged 35 per cent during July, an increase of one point, while the Tories also rose one point to 32 per cent. The Liberal Democrats remained in the electoral doldrums on nine per cent.
Ukip support dropped two points to 13 per cent, but there is no sign of the collapse predicted by some of its rivals.
By contrast the Greens, with only a fraction of the media attention paid to Ukip, have continued to build on their strong showing in May’s elections, edging up from five to six per cent backing.
John Curtice, professor of politics at Strathclyde University, who compiled the “poll of polls,” said the Greens’ growth highlighted the fracturing of the vote on the left as well as the right.
He said their relative success helped to explain why Labour had not profited from the recent decline in Lib Dem support, with one in eight former Lib Dems saying they now planned to vote Green.
“Labour cannot assume it is the only potential haven for unhappy Liberal Democrats,” Prof Curtice said.
The Greens’ leader, Natalie Bennett, said: “The fact the Green Party are consistently polling at some of our best numbers since 1989 goes to show that our message of the need to reshape our politics and economy to work for the common good is really hitting home.
“More and more people are recognising that only the Greens offer the real change British politics and British society so desperately needs. They are rightly fed up with the three old, tired, business-as-usual parties.”
On the latest figures, Labour would win 334 parliamentary seats, the Conservatives 261, the Liberal Democrats 25 and others 30.
But Prof Curtice said Ed Miliband’s prospects of achieving an overall majority “rest on a knife-edge” as governments often gained ground in the final months of a parliament.