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Brexit Party killing the Conservatives

By David Vance On April 17th, 2019

The Brexit Party, led by Nigel Farage, is very new but also very fast growing. Just consider the latest polling;

As you can see, it currently tops the polling and all momentum seems to lie with it. Conversely, the Conservative Party is registering around half the support that the Brexit Party enjoys, and almost four times that which UKIP is attracting.

By any standard this is remarkable and if the polling trend is accurate then by the time the EU elections come around Farage’s Party will be sitting around +30% of the vote, a stunning achievement.

Having announced some fantastic candidates such as Annunziata Rees Mogg and John Longworth (the former head of the British Chambers of Commerce) Brexit Party is soaring in popularity. A deep connection with a large section of the UK electorate appears to be taking place.

Farage has pointed out that in terms of the policy on leaving the EU, there is no difference between the Brexit Party and UKIP but that in terms of quality of personnel there is a chasm. Farage seems to be choosing prospective candidates who have real depth to them, are squeaky clean, and carry no baggage.

By way of contrast, in the 2014 European Elections, the then Farage led UKIP topped the UK poll with 26.6% of the vote cast. This delivered 24 seats. It looks like Farage’s Brexit Party is going to even exceed THAT result in these elections.

In 2014 the Conservatives under David Cameron won 23% of the votes and 19 seats. Five years on, staggering under the ineptitude of Theresa May, support is almost HALF of what it was back then, and likely to recede even further. The consequence of this may be that the Conservatives get single digit numbers of MEPs elected, which is incredible given that it is the party of Government.

The Conservative Party is poised to suffer an immense humiliation next month. The chances are that it will also perform grievously in the local council elections held at the start of May. The Brexit Party is not standing in these, but UKIP looks well placed to benefit from the ongoing collapse of the Conservatives.

Given what the polls are saying, it seems odd that Theresa May would actually ALLOW these elections to take place. How could she survive as Leader if her Party is beaten into a very poor 3rd?

The only thing that can prevent this from happening is if Labour helps her get her Withdrawal Agreement over the line by May 22nd. But Labour’s poll rating in 2019 (22%) is only just slightly down than in 2014 (24%) so the scale of collapse is ALL on the Conservative side of the house. She has everything to lose, Corbyn has nothing to lose.

Former Conservative Leader Iain Duncan Smith went on national TV to plead with the Prime Minister NOT to hold these elections as it puts putative Conservative candidates (and the teams that are out on the ground campaigning for them) in an impossible position. She won’t listen to him. Her sole interest is to keep the UK mired in the EU unless Parliament agrees to accept her Treaty Deal which ..keeps us in the EU in all but name. 

Her strategy is not just alienating core Conservative support, it is destroying it. The Conservative brand is now toxic.

Meanwhile, the Brexit Party is rising in the polls. In the event of a subsequent General Election, there has to be every prospect of the Conservative Party imploding and the Brexit Party entering Parliament as the standard bearer for what the people of the UK voted for in 2016.

Farage has stated that the aim of the Brexit Party is to change British politics.

Next month, we are likely to see record a massive step forward towards this end.

10 Responses to “Brexit Party killing the Conservatives”

  1. The Brexit party is like an Easter Egg. All shiny and tasty looking at first glance, but once you crack through the facade ( the Farage ?) it’s hollow empty and disappointing.

  2. In 2014 Nigel Farage’s party won 27% of the vote in a European election. In the general election the following year Nigel Farage’s party won less than 13% and no seats. So yes the Brexit Party will do very well in European elections. They will not do so well in a general election.

    Nigel Farage has stood for Parliament on seven separate occasions. He has never been elected.

  3. The situation today is very different to what it was in 2014, Seamus.

    In a GE, Farage could easily pick up the old UKIP vote plus an awful lot of frustrated ex-Tory Brexiteers. It all depends on how/if May fares with her deal; if she gets it through, a lot of this may be forgotten by the next GE. But in a situation like the current one things would look very black for the Conservatives election-wise.

  4. Its not that different. In reality its still largely the same. There is a core group of hard Brexiteers who will not vote Tory because they see the Tories too soft on this issue. There is then a group of hard Brexiteers who are willing to give the Tories a bloody nose in EU elections (because in their mind they don’t matter) but when it comes to the elections that do matter they vote Tory.

    Ultimately Farage in 2014 and Farage in 2019 is a protest vote. When it comes to elections that matter the bulk of them will still vote Tory.

  5. There is another matter that needs to be mentioned and I think it is quite relevant.

    It is my understanding that, political parties and party groups are awarded sums of money depending on size and the number of MEP’s. The Tories may find out that there is a non-subststisl cost. And if Labour call a no confidence vote and win, the Tories will go to the electorate in a very poor state.

  6. As far as I am aware the funding for MEPs goes to European Political Parties to spend. So Labour gets nothing for their MEPs. The Party of European Socialists get it. The Tories get nothing for their MEPs. The Alliance of Conservatives and Reformists in Europe get it. And so on and so forth.

    What you are probably thinking of is a thing called Short Money. But that’s applied at Westminster, so it is based on the number of MPs a party has, not the number of MEPs.

  7. Seamus

    You are right about the MEP’s Groupings but, where does the money go after allocation ?

    My underlining point is, the Tories really cannot afford, in more ways than one, to do badly. Having fewer MEP’s gives them less clout in the political groupings. There are also other benefits to being a large party in a large grouping, and that is speaking time. The reason we see Farage at the front near some of his nemesis’s is because of this.

  8. The Tories largely don’t have a lot of clout anyway. They had previously when they were members of the main centre-right grouping in Europe, the EPP. Under David Cameron they threw their toys out of the pram and left the EPP and formed a new grouping (relatively small grouping at that). And then complained that they had no influence in Europe.

  9. Amazing achievement in a short time.

    Tories are coming off worst at the moment, mainly because they are the government and could have had us put by now and so it is mainly their fault – but I think a lot of Labour supporters are waiting to see. The stronger the Remoaner candidate list is for the EU elections, the more those votes will come to Brexit and maybe not go back. Labour coming out fully and formally as behind a Losers Vote, then I think that will be it for so many more.

    If I had to bet I think it is most likely to be a largely Remoaner heavy Labour candidate list but Corbyn will stall as long as he can over Losers Vote, at least until after the vote.

    I do feel sorry for Tories and Labour candidates seeking election to councils in the “Labour Heartlands” in the North of England, especially if they are not Remoaners. In fact probably even more sorry for the Remainers (as in voted Remain) who aren’t Remoaners.

    As a Brexit Party supporter, I am pleased about the polls but worry about premature complacency.

  10. “Tories are coming off worst at the moment, mainly because they are the government and could have had us put by now and so it is mainly their fault – but I think a lot of Labour supporters are waiting to see.”

    I wouldn’t be so sure. The poll suggests that Labour’s 22% is made up of 17% of it being Remain voters, and 5% of it being made up of Leave voters. So there are very few Leave voters making up Labour’s support.