The Leader of the Liberal Democrats, Sir Vince Cable MP, is in Gibraltar today campaigning ahead of the European election next week.
His arrival in Gibraltar comes as the Lib Dems overtook Labour in the European election race, although it is still behind The Brexit Party, according to a new poll.
Sir Vince will join two Lib Dem candidates for the South West and Gibraltar Region – number one on the Liberal Democrat list Caroline Voaden and Gibraltarian Luke Stagnetto – and former Gibraltar MEP, Sir Graham Watson, for meetings and a walkabout on Main Street.
Mr Stagnetto is the only candidate from Gibraltar taking part in these elections.
On Main Street today, Sir Graham welcomed the strong backing that the party was receiving.
“What is clearly happening is that people are dividing into two camps, they are using the European election as an opportunity to say ‘no, we don’t want Brexit’, or in some cases ‘yes, Brexit must go ahead’,” Sir Graham said.
“I think that’s why the Liberal Democrats have overtaken the Labour Party and the Conservatives, because people are saying the Liberal Democrats are the only major party that’s clearly against Brexit.”
The YouGov study put Sir Vince’s party, which is campaigning with a Stop Brexit message, on 16%, one point ahead of Labour, while the Tories dropped to single-digit levels of support on 9%.
The Brexit Party was on 35% according to the survey of more than 7,000 people.
The YouGov study again showed the Tories in fifth place, behind the Greens on 10%. Change UK were on 5% and Ukip on 3%.
YouGov’s Adam McDonnell said: “Both the Conservatives and Labour look set to lose a majority of those who voted for them in the 2017 general election.”
“Only one in five (20%) of those who voted Conservative just under two years ago are sticking with the party for next week’s European Parliament vote, with 62% instead planning to back the Brexit Party.”
“Labour is also losing a large proportion of their voters, mainly to Remain parties (Lib Dem 21%, Green 16%, Change UK 6%).”
Compared with YouGov’s previous study for The Times on May 8-9, the Lib Dems and Brexit Party were up one point, Labour and the Conservatives both down one.
In Gibraltar today, a number of meetings with Opposition parties and community groups are planned during the day, as are opportunities for the candidates to meet members of the public on Main Street.
In the 2014 European elections, the Liberal Democrats polled 67% of the vote in Gibraltar.
The people of Gibraltar voted overwhelmingly by 96% to remain in the European Union in the 2016 referendum.
The Liberal Democrats firmly believe that the interests of Gibraltar and the United Kingdom are best served by remaining in the European Union.
The Liberal Democrat manifesto for these European elections pledges to defend the EU rights of the people of Gibraltar and their right to self- determination.