Chron reader panel poll reveals Nigel Farage and David Cameron are neck and neck as people’s choice for Prime Minister

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As many people want Nigel Farage to be the next Prime Minister as they do David Cameron, according to a new poll by the Chronicle & Echo.

The survey, completed by 330 members of the Chron’s reader panel, showed that while 65 per cent of people thought Mr Cameron would be the next PM, only 33 per cent wanted him to be. Seven per cent of people thought the UKIP leader, Mr Farage, would get the top spot, but 32 per cent wanted him to be the PM.

Readers were asked who they thought would be PM after the May election and then asked who they wanted to be PM.

Meanwhile, 26 per cent of people thought Labour’s Ed Miliband would be PM, while 21 per cent wanted him to be. Only one per cent believed Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg would be PM, while seven per cent wanted him to be. And the Green Party’s Natalie Bennett received a similar rating. One per cent thought she would be PM and eight per cent wanted her to be.

Candidates standing in the May elections gave their response to the poll.

Michael Ellis, Conservative MP for Northampton North, said the survey emphasised the huge gap between David Cameron and Ed Miliband.

“The gulf indicates people understand the horror of the suggestion that Miliband could be PM,” he said.

“Clearly, the figures indicate people appreciate and recognise that Farage is not going to go from zero MPs to the 300-plus needed to make him PM,” he added.

Rose Gibbins, UKIP Prospective Parliamentary Candidate for Northampton South, said: “It comes as no surprise to me that Nigel Farage got such a high score on who people would like to be Prime Minister.

“He is straight-talking, no-nonsense and far removed from the Westminster elite. He is charismatic yet leads from the front, someone people trust to deliver on his undertaking to control borders, limit migration through a points-based system and get rid of bureaucracy from Brussels. At only 12 per cent, it looks like Ed Milliband has work to do.”

Kevin McKeever, Labour’s Prospective Parliamentary Candidate for the same constituency, said the survey showed that people wanted to engage with the process.

“The one poll that matters takes place on May 7. I’ve been out on the doorsteps of Northampton South week in, week out over the past year since my selection,” he said.

“I hear the concerns about the rising cost of living; fear at the ‘red alert’ status at Northampton General Hospital; and hope that things can and will get better in our town. I’m passionate about being that positive change.”

Liberal Democrat councillor Brendan Glynane said that despite the results of the poll, he did not expect his party to be wiped off the political map in the May General Election.

He said: “Both Nick Clegg and the Liberal Democrats were brave enough to stand up and be counted by forming the coalition government. We have bitten the bullet. As the election draws closer, people will start to question all parties, not just UKIP, much closer.

“All parties have good ideas and principles throughout them, but they want to do them on their own.

“The way things are going it is likely that the country will vote for a coalition again.”

Tony Clarke, the Prospective Parliamentary Candidate for Northampton North for the Green Party, said: “Political sands are shifting quicker than we can hold polls and, given the coverage, the smaller parties can become big very quickly.

“It is difficult to judge a poll outside the election bubble. If you were to ask the same question again, the week after, you’d get a different result.

“It is quite clear that we are seeing our poll ratings start to really jump up. All of the main stream parties, including UKIP, are helping us, there is nothingness and sameness with every response they give.”