Nigel Farage
Nigel Farage might not be a hit among the youngReuters

Ukip does not enjoy any significant support among young people, according to a new opinion poll.

The poll indicated that first-time voters are heavily pro-European. Of all the party leaders, Nigel Farage was the least popular by a large margin. The poll also indicated that when it comes to fringe parties, young voters are six times more likely to opt for the Greens than older voters.

The poll was carried out by market research survey Opinium for the Observer newspaper. Opinium quizzed 502 17-22 year olds about their political opinions and voting intentions in an online survey between 18-22 December.

The poll also found that Labour has an eight-point lead over the Conservatives in this age group, with. Labour in the lead by 26% to the Tories' 18%.

Voting intentions 17 to 22-year-olds
Labour26%
Conservative18%
Green11%
Liberal Democrat4%
Ukip2.5%
SNP1%
Respect0.5%
BNP0%
Plaid Cymru0%
(Source: Opinium Research)

The survey also showed that 11% of younger voters intend to back the Green Party, while just 2.5% will vote for Ukip.

The Liberal Democrats did not fare much better than Farage's party, with only 4% saying they were willing to back Nick Clegg's party.

A resounding 67% of the group would vote for the UK to remain in the EU, with only 19% saying they would opt to leave.

When questioned about Nigel Farage, only 13% thought Farage was doing a good job to 64% disagreeing – a worse result even than that for Nick Clegg.

The pro-EU findings are not an isolated result. A survey carried out last December by ICM Research indicated that 41% of the 18-24 age band were either strongly in favour of EU membership or leaned towards support, against 32% who took the opposing view.

In contrast, the ICM survey indicated an anti-EU majority of 25 points among the over-65s, with 60% firmly against membership or leaning towards that position and 35% in favour.

However, it is far from clear how much difference this bias would make to a referendum on EU membership. Young people are notorious for not exercising their right to vote.

Another poll of 1,000 young people, carried out for YouGov in May this year in conjunction with the British Future think tank, indicated that 59% of them would not vote in next year's general election.