Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 21 June 2019

Britain's Brexit Party on course to take more than a third of the votes in the European elections

The UK's ruling party, the Conservatives, expected to gain the lowest amount of votes in its 185-year history

Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage holds up a placard at a campaign rally in London. REUTERS
Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage holds up a placard at a campaign rally in London. REUTERS

Thousands of British voters have attended a rally by the country’s newly formed Brexit Party ahead of the European elections as polls suggest it is likely to gain the most UK votes.

As anger mounts across sections of the UK over delays in Brexit being implemented, thousands of supporters turned out in force to make a “stand for democracy” in London.

It comes as thousands of jobs are expected to be lost with the collapse of one of the country's major employers, British Steel, on Wednesday as the firm suffered major blows by not securing contracts due to Brexit uncertainty.

Britain and the Netherlands will be the first European countries to go to the polls when they open on Thursday followed by the rest of the continent, with the results being announced on Sunday.

Early opinion polls, by YouGov and Datapraxis, have suggested Nigel Farage’s Brexit Party is expected to take more than a third of the votes, with Britain’s ruling party the Conservative on course for their lowest share of the vote ever (10 per cent) in their 185-year history.

For many of the 3,000 people attending the sold-out Brexit Party’s final rally on Tuesday night the reason was the same - they feel let down.

“I’m here as a stand for democracy,” said Margaret Hickling, 66, from Sidcup.

“I want Nigel Farage to get us out of Europe. It is what we have voted for and it is what the country wants.”

Her voice was echoed by the hundreds more queuing behind her, for many it was their first time at a rally.

Clerk David Pugh travelled hundreds of miles from Norfolk to attend.

“There are thousands of people here. We are just normal people, we are not radicals. It is my first political rally, I’ve left work early to get here.

“I felt we needed to make our voices heard and it was important to be here. At the moment we all just feel let down. We voted for Brexit and Nigel Farage is the only one who is going to make it happen.”

The queue was a mixture of city workers in suits joined by flag bearing supporters dressed in Union Jack colours.

Tutor Philip Isom, 62, said: “It is important to hear that we are going to get our country back finally.

“I voted for it two and a half years ago and there has just been delay after delay.”

Anger has mounted due to the collapse of British Steel, in a debate on Wednesday with the Liberal Democrat leader, Sir Vince Cable, Mr Farage said the collapse would not have happened had Britain already left the EU.

“The British government is impotent, we cannot do anything to save British Steel because the European Commission will not let us,” he said.

Sir Vince said in his previous role for responsibility for industry there was “not a single case” that was turned down by the European Commission.

In Britain the latest analysis shows the Brexit Party could take 29 of the UK's 73 seats, with the Conservatives on course for just six and the second largest party Labour taking 18

It comes as establishment parties across Europe are expected to suffer in the election with gains by the populist-Right and resurgent liberal parties expected.

Speaking at the rally, Mr Farage said: “If we win big on Thursday we will kill off any chance of a second referendum being forced on us, because they know they will lose.”

His comments came after Prime Minster Theresa May told the UK parliament that she would allow MPs a vote on whether to hold another referendum if they backed the EU Withdrawal Agreement Bill.

Updated: May 22, 2019 06:41 PM

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