Only one in ten Brexit Party voters in next week’s European Parliament elections would not vote for that Party in a General Election, according to the new poll published tonight. The poll, conducted jointly for the Sunday Express and Sunday Mirror, highlights the threat posed by Nigel Farage and the Brexit Party to the established Westminster parties.
In a sign of how dangerous the situation is, particularly for the Conservatives, only one in ten of those intending to vote for the Brexit Party next week, or have voted postally for it already, would rule out voting for the Party at a General Election. More than half (53%) of those expressing a view also believe the Party should indeed field Westminster candidates at the next General Election.
The poll found that the Brexit Party has extended its lead since the last ComRes poll published last week and looks set comfortably to exceed the 27.5% vote share achieved by UKIP in 2014. Both the Conservatives and Labour are set to see their respective vote shares reduced, with the Conservatives pushed into fourth equal place (with the Green Party), putting them in danger of being beaten on the day into fifth place.
Nigel Farage will also be encouraged by the finding that, of those expressing a view, 63% think the Brexit Party should be given a seat in the Brexit negotiations if they win the most seats, which at present looks highly likely.
When asked which leader would be best at delivering a range of different outcomes, Nigel Farage is seen as best to deliver on Brexit, best to negotiate a good deal with the EU, and best to restore Britain’s self-confidence. However, Jeremy Corbyn is well ahead of other party leaders on bringing the country together and improving public services. Jeremy Corbyn is also seen, by the slimmest of margins, as making the best Prime Minister.
Two-thirds of voters expressing an opinion (63%) also agreed with the argument made this week by Maria Miller MP that ‘if Parliament (at the beginning of June) will not agree to the Withdrawal Agreement on the table, then Parliament has to accept No Deal as the consequence’.
The poll also asked the public their views about prosecuting soldiers who served in Northern Ireland as a result of allegations relating to conduct there. Two-thirds (67%) of those expressing a view believe soldiers in such circumstances should be immune from prosecution, and a similar proportion (66%) would like to see ‘comfort letters’ to IRA members rescinded. However, almost two-thirds of the public are concerned that violence could return to NI as a result of Brexit.
Andrew Hawkins, ComRes chairman said, “This poll serves as a reminder of how much politics is on a knife edge. On the main issue of the day the Brexit Party and Nigel Farage are scratching where many voters are itching.
“The most dangerous number for the established parties is that only one in ten Brexit Party voters would rule out supporting that party in a General Election. If Nigel Farage’s ambition is to break the mould of British politics, he has the ingredients in place to achieve just that.
“The public seem finally to be at exasperation point over Brexit. After three years of bickering and delay, a large proportion want it sorted and are prepared to hand the job to someone other than the Prime Minister and Leader of the Opposition. To many voters, achieving a positive Brexit outcome for the UK is a matter of national pride and so it matters that Nigel Farage is seen as being best at restoring Britain’s self-confidence.
“The kicking about to be meted out to both the Tories and Labour Party next week is an expression of voter anger at a process characterised by introspection and incompetence and where party politics has been put before the national interest.”