One in four Leeds voters ‘want to see Farage at Downing St’

Nigel Farage.
Nigel Farage.
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A pre-election survey by the YEP has revealed some fascinating insights into the minds of Leeds voters as polling day looms closer.

We conducted an online survey of our readers’ thoughts and intentions three months before the General Election.

Two thirds of the 600 readers who took part told us they already know who they’ll vote for on May 7, leaving a third in the ‘floating voter’ category.

However of those undecideds, the vast majority (26 per cent of the total) said they have ‘an inclination’ for a particular party or candidate. Eight per cent claimed to have no idea who will get their cross in the box on polling day.

In stark contrast to the headlines about voter apathy, 86 per cent of respondents said they WOULD be voting. Just two per cent said they definitely would not. To put things into context, the national voter turnout in 2010 was 65 per cent. Could we be in for a record voter turnout this year?

Just over one in five people told us they have a “strong” interest in politics, with 48 per cent saying they are “reasonably interested”.

The biggest issue - and possible vote winner - was the NHS and health policy, with 81 percent putting this among their key issues. Second was immigration (74 percent), with welfare policy, support for the elderly and the EU making up the other top five.

We also asked people who they would like to see entering Number 10, and who they think will actually be leading the country after May 7.

A staggering 62 per cent believe David Cameron will win a second term, with just 31 per cent backing Ed Miliband. However when we asked voters who they would LIKE to see as the new premier, Cameron and Miliband both gained around 30 per cent of the backing. Over a QUARTER of respondents said they want UKIP’s Nigel Farage to be the next prime minister. One in 10 backed the Green party’s Natalie Bennett, leaving Nick Clegg with just four per cent.

YOUR VIEW: THE PUNDITS

Political professor: Victoria Honeyman is politics lecturer at Leeds University

ISSUES MATTER: Dr Victoria Honeyman believes there is no chance people would actually vote Nigel Farage into power, but his popularity in our poll reflects the age of the “caricature politician”, following the “polished” Tony Blair era. She is “quite surprised” that the NHS topped the list of election issues. “Labour are pushing it at the moment, but the Tories don’t want to be seen to be talking about it,” she notes.

Election watcher: Neil Taggart, ex-councillor and election statistician

LIES AND STATS: Former Leeds councillor Neil Taggart is a keen election scrutineer. He says: “People quite often lie in polls. If someone says they haven’t made their mind up yet two days before the general election, what they are really saying is ‘I have, but I’m not going to tell you’. A lot of these answers might be aspirational. You have a lot of people saying ‘I will vote green’, but I bet they won’t on the day.”

MP Rachel Reeves.

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