A new opinion poll for the European elections in the UK on 23 May has put the Brexit Party in first place, outperforming the combined total for the Conservatives and Labour. The Opinium survey for the Observer showed the Brexit party on 34%, with Labour in second place on 21%, the Liberal Democrats in third place on 12% and the Conservatives in fourth place on 11%. The poll also showed the Green Party in fifth place on 8%, UKIP and the Scottish National Party (SNP) on 4% each and Change UK: The Independent Group on 3%. Meanwhile, a new poll by YouGov for The Times sets the Brexit Party in the lead for the European elections with 34%, followed by the Labour Party with 16%. The Liberal Democrats and the Green Party follows with 15% and 11% respectively. Meanwhile, the Conservative Party comes fifth, polling at 10%.
Elsewhere, a Com Res poll for Brexit Express for Westminster voting intentions put the Labour Party in the lead on 27%, the Brexit Party in second place on 20% and the Conservatives in third place with 19%. The Liberal Democrats were on 14%, Change UK, 7%, Greens, 5%, and UKIP and the SNP on 3% each.
Commenting on the Observer opinion poll, Open Europe’s Henry Newman said, “If you add together the Brexit Party vote, the UKIP vote and the Tory vote, you’ve already got basically half of the vote share. If you added in some of the Labour vote, which at least is facing half-way towards Leave, you’ve got a lot of the electorate who are still very strongly backing Brexit, which runs completely counter to the narrative that people are changing their mind.”
Meanwhile, speaking on the BBC’s Andrew Marr show yesterday, the Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage said, “there’s a complete breakdown of trust between the people in this country and our politicians,” adding that if his party won the European elections, “I’m going to demand that Brexit Party MEPs become part of a Government negotiating team.” Farage also said there would be “no manifestos from the Brexit Party,” but that the party’s policy was to “leave with a clean break Brexit.”
NEW BRIEFING: The 2019 European Parliamentary elections and the future of the European project
Open Europe has today published a new briefing, “The 2019 European Parliamentary elections and the future of the European project.” The paper analyses the upcoming 2019 European Parliamentary elections and their potential consequences, both in terms of the general future of the European project and the day-to-day functioning of the EU institutions. The briefing’s authors, Dominic Walsh and Zoe Alipranti, argue that the elections “are likely to reflect the increasing fragmentation and polarisation experienced across the liberal democracies of the West, including in the national politics of several EU member states.” They note that while Eurosceptic parties are expected to do well, their success should be seen as “a consolidation of the Eurosceptic and anti-establishment surge witnessed in 2014, rather than a second surge… Pro-Europeans will not be able to blame Eurosceptics if the Parliament’s legislative stagnation continues for another five years.” They conclude, however, that the “depiction of this election as a great turning point in a battle between progressive liberalism versus populism for the future of the continent is wide of the mark. The European Parliament… is not instrumental in setting the strategic direction of the Union or key constitutional issues, such as the future of Eurozone reform, which is largely a matter for national governments.” The briefing can be accessed here.
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