Almost one third of people who voted Conservative in 2010 would vote for Ukip in the in European Parliament elections were the ballot to be held tomorrow, according to a poll published on Tuesday.
According to YouGov, 32% of voters who backed David Cameron at the general election would abandon the Tories in favour of Nigel Farage's anti-EU party if given an immediate choice.
Joe Twyman, YouGov’s director of political and social research, said: “With a third of Conservative supporters in 2010 already saying they will vote for UKIP in 2014, the increased focus Europe and therefore UKIP will receive in the run-up to next year’s European Elections means it is possible that the numbers will get worse for the Conservatives as we get closer to polling day. If this trend continues it is likely Ukip will be picking up the most votes at the European Elections.”
The poll also revealed13% of voters who backed the europhile Liberal Democrats in the last general election would also back Ukip.
At present Labour is leading the polls for the European elections due in 2014, with 38% backing Ed Miliband.
The Conservatives are currently in second place on 27% and Ukip are third with 17%. The Lib Dems are fourth with just 12%.
Today's YouGov poll highlights the problem the prime minister has with Ukip ahead of his major speech on Britain's future membership of the EU.
Cameron is hoping that an offer of some form of referendum on the UK's relationship with Brussels will satisfy eurosceptic voters and MPs who are unhappy with the present arrangement.