This Thursday, May 23, citizens of the UK will head to the polls to elect new Members of the European Parliament (MEPs). But the UK was not meant to stand in these European elections. Delays to Brexit have resulted in the UK’s legal obligation to take part, and voters are already punishing the ruling parties for their handling of the crisis.
Nigel Farage’s Brexit Party was only launched last month, but amid growing dissatisfaction around the Government’s handling of Brexit, it came along at the right time for leave voters.
With voters on both sides of the political spectrum using this European election as a chance to have their say on Brexit, Farage’s new party offers leave voters what they feel the Government denied them after the referendum.
And it’s not just the Government who are polling badly against the Brexit Party.
The Labour Party, usually expected to pick up where the Conservatives drop in elections, have “left the door” open for Brexit Party sweep, one pollster said.
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The Conservatives and Labour are widely expected to be punished by both Remain and Leave voters.
Leavers have been defecting in droves to the newly established Brexit Party, while Remainers are splitting between the Liberal Democrats, the Greens and Change UK.
Phill Fairclough, trading spokesman for Sporting Index, said: “Nigel Farage has roared back into the frontline of British politics, and the Brexit Party looks set to dominate the European Elections in the UK.
“The Tories look set to face the consequences over their handling of Brexit, with the Brexit Party and Liberal Democrats making significant gains due to their clear stance on one of the most polarising events in British politics.”
What do the latest polls show?
The latest poll conducted by YouGov on behalf of the Times shows the Brexit Party storming ahead.
The poll was conducted between May 12 and 16, and asked 7,000 British adults their voting intentions.
The Brexit Party remains ahead of the pack with 35 percent of the vote, while the pro-EU Liberal Democrats move into second place on 16 percent.
Labour is in third on 15 percent, followed by the Greens on 10 percent.
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The Conservatives trail in fifth on nine percent, followed by Change UK on five percent, and UKIP in last with three percent.
If these results manifest, it would be the worst vote share for the Conservatives in a national election since they formed in 1834.
YouGov has also published a Welsh poll – the first since it was confirmed that the UK would take part in the Euro elections.
Like in Britain as a whole, it puts the Brexit Party in a clear lead, with 33 percent of the vote.
Labour and Plaid Cymru are battling it out for second place, on 18 percent and 16 percent respectively.
The Lib Dems, Greens and Conservatives trail further behind.