Support for the Tories is plunging following Theresa May’s latest Brexit can-kick (a six-month extension until Halloween), and as cross-party talks for a Brexit compromise stall, it appears Nigel Farage’s newly formed Brexit Party is emerging as the biggest winner from all the Brexit chaos.
According to the latest YouGov poll, the second in two days, Farage’s newly formed party, which enjoyed its official coming-out party on Friday during a rally in Coventry, has leapfrogged both establishment parties in the upcoming European Parliamentary elections.
That poll put the Brexit Party at 23%, Labour at 22% and the Conservatives at 17%. Change UK, the group of MPs who defected from the Conservatives and Labour earlier this year, were at 8%, just behind the Green Party, 10%, and the Liberal Democrats, 9%.
Intriguingly, the report suggest the Brexit Party has drawn supporters from UKIP following Farage’s departure – after quitting UKIP late last year, Farage slammed the party as Islamophobic.
This is an improvement from polls carried out just days ago, which showed support for the Brexit Party climbing, though it was still behind the two dominant parties and UKIP.
According to the latest reading, a large number of Brexit Party backers are former Tories who are furious at Theresa May.
During the party’s launch, Farage, who was flanked by Aunnunziata Rees-Mogg, the sister of Jacob Rees-Mogg, said: “I do believe that we can win these European elections and that we can again start to put the fear of God into our members of parliament in Westminster. They deserve nothing less than that after the way they’ve treated us over this betrayal.”
Farage heralded the latest poll results on Twitter:
There is a long way to go, but it is clear that there is a desire to change politics for good.
Positive vibes! https://t.co/sjlxt8YiLS
— Nigel Farage (@Nigel_Farage) April 17, 2019
Anthony Wells, YouGov’s director of political research, attributed the party’s popularity to ‘good branding.’
“They’ve got very good branding – it does what it says on the tin. If you want to say ‘I support Brexit’ you’ve got a party there that is called the Brexit Party. That probably does help them in away that Change UK does not help The Independent Group.”
He also credited the bump to publicity from their launch.
“Some of the surge is that people didn’t realise that Nigel Farage is now the Brexit Party not Ukip, but some of it might be that it is in the immediate aftermath of them getting lots of publicity from their launch.”
Farage led UKIP to victory in the 2014 European Parliament elections, when it topped the poll with 26.6% of the vote. But the party’s popularity has plunged under new leader Gerard Batten.
If Farage succeeds in leading the Brexit Party – which he said has dozens of candidates ready to participate in the race – to victory, then Brussels will have a serious problem on its hands: A coalition of anti-establishment eurosceptics from Italy, Hungary, Poland, the UK and elsewhere who will form a significant plurality in the European Parliament.