Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 23 May 2019

Nigel Farage's Brexit Party tops new European election poll

Theresa May's Conservatives are predicted to languish in fourth

Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage attends a Brexit Party campaign event. Reuters
Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage attends a Brexit Party campaign event. Reuters

A poll suggests the newly-formed Brexit Party led by Eurosceptic Nigel Farage could secure more votes in the upcoming European elections than the UK’s two main political parties combined.

The poll by Opinium for the Observer saw 34 per cent of people say they would support the Brexit Party, Labour 21 per cent and prime minister Theresa May’s Conservatives at only 11 per cent – one per cent less than the pro-remaining in the European Union Liberal Democrats.

People were also asked on their views if a general election was called. Labour led with 28 per cent of votes, the Conservatives on 22 per cent and the Brexit Party at 21 per cent.

The census took in the voting intentions of 2,004 people only two weeks before the elections. Mr Farage’s latest political incarnation has seized upon the widespread disgruntlement felt by Brexiteers who are angry the UK has still not left the EU despite an original deadline of March 29 2019.

He is an advocate for a so-called hard Brexit.

Mrs May and her team are locked in talks with the opposition Labour party as they try to hammer out a Brexit deal that could find a majority in parliament by the current deadline of October.

A separate poll for the Sunday Telegraph by ComRes suggested the Brexit Party would take 49 seats in a general election and that Labour could win enough support from the public for a minority government.

“The longer Theresa May is in denial about the danger her party faces, the harder it will be to recover lost voters - and the more likely the Brexit Party will succeed in its aim of getting a foothold in Westminster said Andrew Hawkins, the chairman of ComRes.

"If the Conservative leadership contenders are not careful, there will be no party for them to lead,” he added.

Mrs May’s decision to reach out to Labour was slammed by former defence secretary Gavin Williamson, who was recently sacked for leaking sensitive information to the media.

“The prime minister needs to understand that she now is seen by many in the Conservative Party as negotiating with the enemy,” Mr Williamson wrote in The Mail on Sunday.

“We need to accept that these talks with Labour are fruitless and that not only will they not deliver the Brexit that people voted for, they are a betrayal of the direct instructions the people gave us in 2016 and 2017.”

Updated: May 12, 2019 03:54 PM

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