Two polls suggest UKIP and The Brexit Party hold a combined 25 to 29 per cent of Britons’ voting intentions ahead of European Parliament elections, while the establishment Labour and Conservative parties are set to “perform poorly,” according to YouGov.
The YouGov poll found that “voting intention for the two main parties has fallen since 2017, and both could perform worse still at the EU parliament elections,” adding that “large swathes of Britons [are] turning their backs on the main two parties and [are] moving towards groups with harder Brexit positions.”
While The Brexit Party (15 per cent) and UKIP (14 per cent) take third and fourth places respectively after Labour and the Conservatives, the research firm noted that “neither [Tories nor Labour] are far enough ahead for comfort” of the anti-establishment Eurosceptics.
European Parliament voting intention:
LAB: 24% (-1)
CON: 16% (-8)
BREX: 15% (+15)
UKIP: 14% (-13)
GRN: 8% (-)
LDEM: 8% (+1)
CHUK: 7% (+7)
SNP & PC: 6%
via @YouGov, 10 – 11 Apr
Chgs. w/ 2014 result, GB-wide
Tabs: https://t.co/PUGnSpBmsX pic.twitter.com/OEmAv0UDNR
— Britain Elects (@britainelects) April 13, 2019
Another Opinium poll published Saturday found similar results, with Labour again in the lead with 29 per cent, followed by the Tories at 17 per cent, with UKIP in third (13 per cent) and The Brexit Party in fourth place at 12 per cent.
On Friday, UKIP announced a partial list of candidates for European Parliament elections, including YouTube philosopher Carl Benjamin (known by his pseudonym Sargon of Akkad) while Nigel Farage launched his Brexit Party, releasing his ‘secret weapon’ MEP candidate Annunziata Rees-Mogg who defected from the Tories.
Ms Rees-Mogg’s defection will perhaps not be the last, with The Sun reporting sources on Monday saying that up to 40 Tory EP candidates are set to apply to join The Brexit Party, while 26 Conservative MPs allegedly told Farage that they will vote for his party.
With Eurosceptic parties seeing an increase in the polls, European leaders are hoping that there will be a surge of support for Remain-supporting candidates who will go on to convince the UK government to cancel Brexit.
“Some of the heads were saying this may be one of the most pro-European demonstrations Europe-wide in the elections,” a senior Brussels figure told The Telegraph, with socialists including Greece’s Alexis Tsipras, Malta’s Joseph Muscat, Spain’s Pedro Sanchez backing the idea at last Wednesday’s European Summit where they agreed to Prime Minister Theresa May’s further Brexit delay to October 31st.
Tory Party MEP and Brexiteer David Campbell-Bannerman called the notion “starry-eyed dreaming” and that instead, Eurocrats should “expect fireworks.”
“Alongside a third of non British MEPs who will be Eurosceptic after this election, there will be some very angry British Brexiteers winning seats and seeking to gum up the EU’s workings,” Mr Campbell-Bannerman said.
Populists Lead Ranking of Most Influential EU Parliament Politicians https://t.co/ixABIm1xXQ
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) April 11, 2019
Pro-Remain parties the Greens, Liberal Democrats, and the newly-formed Change UK (CUK), previously known as The Independent Group (TIG), and other breakaway Europhile groups hope to use the European Parliament elections as a “soft referendum” to show support for remaining in the EU.
“Voters across all of Great Britain want to vote for a pro-remain party. We’re going to give them all the chance to vote Lib Dem,” a Liberal Democrat source told The Guardian, with CUK saying they wanted “to give the British people a real choice” on staying in the EU.
Despite the best efforts by Remainers to use European Parliament elections to their advantage, think tank Open Europe said last week that the polls are likely to result in a “protest” vote, where Britons will “send a message” to the establishment, punishing them for failing to deliver Brexit.
European Parliament elections are set to be held between May 26th and 29th, with both Eurosceptic and establishment parties vying for the 73 seats nationwide.
More Pro-EU Conservative MPs Defect to CUK Party, Tories Sinking in Polls https://t.co/JConAPpmkM
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) April 14, 2019