The ground may be shifting under the British political landscape as Nigel Farage’s Brexit Party, already polling in first place for the upcoming European Parliament elections, has now pulled ahead of the governing Conservative Party in polls for general elections to the House of Commons.

The latest major poll of Westminster voting intentions, conducted on the 9th of May by ComRes, shows the Brexit Party up five points at 20 per cent, while the Tories under embattled prime minister Theresa May have sunk four points to 19 per cent.

The opposition Labour Party, under hard-left leader Jeremy Corbyn, is in the lead on 27 per cent, but down six points compared to its previous rating.

Remain’s answer to the Brexit Party, Change UK (CUK), also appears unable to progress beyond a small niche, and is down two point to 7 per cent.

While the composition of the British Parliament is somewhat more diverse than the U.S. Congress, with a relatively small number of MPs from third parties and parties particular to Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland joining the dominant Conservative (Tory) and Labour parties in the House of Commons, it is by and large a two-party system, with the country’s premiership having swung between the two since 1922.

For an outside force like the Brexit Party to displace one of the two parties — and in particular the Tories, which boasts of being the oldest political party in existence — would be essentially unprecedented.

It is true that the old Liberal Party, which persists in much-diminished form as the Liberal Democrats today, was formerly displaced by Labour, but that change accompanied a vast expansion of the franchise to include all working-class men, as well as some women over 30, at the end of the First World War.

That the Brexit Party is outstripping the long-established Conservative Party in popularity is all the more remarkable given the speed at which it has happened, with the party being just months old.

Follow Jack Montgomery on Twitter: @JackBMontgomery
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