Apr 17, 2019 - World

Nigel Farage’s new Brexit Party leads U.K. European elections poll

Nigel Farage

Nigel Farage. Photo: Matthew Lewis/Getty Images

The newly formed Brexit Party, founded in February by former U.K. Independence Party (UKIP) leader Nigel Farage, is leading all other parties in the U.K.'s latest European Parliament election poll by YouGov.

Why it matters: Prime Minister Theresa May promised European leaders that the U.K. would participate in next month's elections in order to secure a Brexit extension, though the country can still avoid that fate if the House of Commons is able to pass a deal before May 23. If Brits who favor remaining in the European Union thought holding European elections might bolster their position and undermine a push toward Brexit, this latest poll suggests they could be very, very wrong.

By the numbers, per YouGov:

  • Brexit Party: 27%
  • Labour Party: 22%
  • Conservative Party: 15%
  • Green Party: 10%
  • Liberal Democrats: 9%
  • UKIP: 7%
  • Change U.K.: 6%

Context: The right-wing, euroskeptic UKIP led by Farage was widely considered a fringe group in domestic politics, but won the most seats out of any British party in the last European elections — which have historically registered low voter turnout. After helping to successfully spearhead the 2016 Brexit campaign, Farage left UKIP in December over the party's "fixation" with anti-Muslim policies.

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