Farage’s European Victory Upends British Politics

When the 751 Members of the new European Parliament (MEPs) gather in the French city of Strasbourg on July 2, the largest national group present in all the EU will be the MEPs of Britain’s new Brexit Party led by Nigel Farage.

While the 29 newly elected Brexit Party MEPs intend to upend the EU, their success has potentially transformed British politics. The latest national opinion polls show that the Brexit Party would win a Parliamentary election. It leads with 26 percent of the vote, ahead of Labour with 22 percent, and the Tories with 17 percent.

Because of Farage’s influence, it is increasingly difficult to speak any more about a divide between left versus right. The new divide in British politics is between Brexiteers and Remainers.

When Prime Minister Theresa May failed yet again to reach a Brexit deal, Britain had to take part in the European Parliament elections. In response to this, Nigel Farage founded a new party called the Brexit Party. Within a week of the April 12 election start, 100,000 people had paid the £25 subscription fee and a single businessman had donated £200,000. The groundswell carried through to the polls. Just 45 days later, Farage’s Brexit Party won by a landslide and got more seats than both the Tories and Labour combined. Indeed the Tory result—just 8.8 percent of the vote—was the party’s worst in a national election since 1832.

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