The expected victory of Nigel Farage is the biggest impact on the crisis-ridden Tories
Nigel Farage's Brexit party averaged four polls on Tuesday at 32%, with one bringing the party up to a sizeable 37%. His victory is expected, and a winning share in the '30s is probably the minimum.
Remember that Ukip, led by Farage, led the 2014 European elections by 27.5%. But a year later, the party won only one seat in Westminster in the parliamentary elections. Nonetheless, 35% or more send a clear message: A large part of the public wants Britain to leave the EU and Theresa May leaves Downing Street.
In the likely event of a conservative wipe-out and victory for the Brexit party, expect Tory to call for a leader to replace May, who turns to the right and confiscates the millions of votes of the Brexit party. Probably something similar happened in 2015, when David Cameron made his fateful referendum pledge.
Labor will want to end a healthy second but could do well end up third
The Labor Survey was conducted in mid-30s in mid-April but has since declined, from 24% at the time of the local elections on 6 May to 21% in the current moving average. These numbers are a disappointment for a party leadership that is proud to advertise well and exceed the expectations of the ballot box. Some recent YouGov polls put Labor behind the Liberal Democrats in third place, down to just 15%, or even 13%.
Labor scored 25.4% in 2014, a result the party is unlikely to match now. A score in the low 20s – or worse – shows that Labor has lost significant support to clearly anti-Brexit parties and to the Brexit party. Third place would be a psychologically significant blow.
Second referendum fighters already argue that the party was punished for their long and deliberate ambiguity over Brexit. The counter-argument of the leadership will be that the European elections have always been a place for protest votes.
It's going to be a bad night for the Conservatives, but it could be a traumatic one
The party's predicted share of votes dropped from 20% in mid-April to less than 15% at the time of the local elections to 11%. This is due to deep internal divisions and a non-existent election campaign. On Wednesday, YouGov put the Tories at an astonishingly low 7%.
That would be unprecedented for a ruling party. The next equivalent is the 2009 European elections, when Labor scored 16% and finished in third place. One year later, Gordon Brown was thrown out of # 10.
The result this time will inevitably be interpreted as a referendum on the leadership of May and her failure at Brexit. But do not underestimate the emotional impact of conservatives landing behind the Liberal Democrats or even fifth in the Green Party.
Less an election verdict, but a disaster.
Small parties do better – with one exception
The lively Lib Dems hope for second place and will surpass the Tories as their "Bollocks to Brexit" campaign has led the party to about 15% in the polls and 19% in some predictions. Remember, this is a party that has recovered from the coalition years – the Lib Dems achieved 6.9% in 2014.
Change UK, which has fallen by only 1% in some polls, will probably say that it is pleased when it reaches its average poll rating of 4%. Whatever the outcome, Change UK is bound to be heading for a deal with the Lib Dems or risking an overage.
The Greens polled around 8% in 2014 and 2009 and hope for a few more points after a period of growing environmental concerns. Defeating the Tories would be a real treat.
Keep an eye out for Scotland, where polls show the SNP is 38%. This would be a significant plus over the 29% achieved in 2014 as the conservative and in particular the Labor votes fall.
Translating the results into second referendum numbers will be frustratingly difficult
The easiest way here is to add up the share of hard-leave parties – Nigel Farage's Brexit party and what's left of Ukip – and compare it to their remaining counterparts: Lib Dems, Greens, SNP, Plaid Cymru and Change UK.
The results will be scarce in relation to this rough measure, but an upcoming holiday is expected at this time. A YouGov survey for the European Council on Foreign Relations, published in The Guardian, found 37.5% for vacation and 36.1% for rest leave.
The challenge is to consider voters for work and conservatives. The BBC's election analysis shows that 75% of the Labor voters and 50% of the Conservatives are survivors. However, some respondents have very different numbers: After removing White, YouGov recently had only 37% of the Labor voters who wanted to stay and only 6% of the Tories.
All this means that any attempt to read the election as a second proxy referendum would be contestable.
(tagsToTranslate) European Elections 2019 (t) European Elections (t) Resignation (t) Leaving Party (t) Conservatives (t) Labor (t) Liberal Democrats (t) Change Britain – The Independent Group (t) Green Party (t) News of the Scottish National Party (SNP) (n) Nigel Farage (t) Politics (t) UK