Farage’s Brexit Party tops European election poll
Anti-EU campaigner Nigel Farage and his Brexit Party will win the European elections in the UK unless the opposition Labour Party can attract remain voters, veteran MP Margaret Beckett has warned.
A YouGov poll commissioned by the pro-remain People’s Vote campaign suggested the former Ukip leader’s new party was on course for a five-point lead, with remain voters split between Labour, the Liberal Democrats, Scottish National Party, Green Party and the newly formed Change UK made up of the “Independent Group” MPs who left Labour and the Conservatives.
The Electoral Commission approved the Independent Group’s application this week to register as a political party.
Labour’s Beckett said: “These elections have proven to be rich hunting grounds for Nigel Farage’s brand of extreme right-wing politics before and may be again.
“But the message of this poll is loud and clear: it suggests that if anyone can stop Farage winning it is Labour – and only if we back [a] people’s vote,” the former Labour foreign secretary said.
She said that if Labour continued to hedge its bets and tried to win pro-leave votes by backing “another form of Brexit, Labour loses voters and Farage will storm to first place”.
The poll of 1,855 voters this week puts Farage’s brand new Brexit Party on 27 per cent, followed by Labour on 22 per cent and the Conservatives on 15 per cent. A high proportion of respondents said they were undecided or that they would not vote.
Two former Conservative MEPs, Julie Girling and Richard Ashworth, confirmed they were joining Change UK and hoped to stand as candidates on May 23.
The YouGov study said Labour would lose votes to the pro-EU Lib Dems if its European manifesto promised to push ahead with a soft Brexit within a customs union.
Lib Dem leader Vince Cable said: “We will fight these elections on a clear message: a Liberal Democrat vote is a vote to stop Brexit. From local communities to the EU institutions, Liberal Democrats are determined to give a voice to the millions of people who demand better than Brexit Britain.”
Meanwhile, cross-party talks between Prime Minister Theresa May and the Labour are continuing this week.
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said no agreement had been reached as May’s government “doesn’t appear” to be shifting its stance on key issues, including joining a customs union with the EU.
The nation remains divided over Brexit. Picture credit: Eurasia Times