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Nigel Farage. Photo: Jeff Overs/BBC via Getty Images

Nigel Farage's newly formed Brexit Party is on pace to receive more votes than the U.K.'s two mainstream parties combined in this month's European elections, according to a new Opinium/Observer poll.

Why it matters: The U.K. was scheduled to leave the European Union on March 29 at midnight, but Prime Minister Theresa May's failure to get a deal passed in the House of Commons forced her into asking the EU for an extension. With that has come the requirement that the U.K. participate in the European Parliament elections on May 23-26. With 90% of Brits viewing the botched negotiations as "a national humiliation," many voters consider the elections a chance to rebuke the mainstream Conservative and Labour parties.

By the numbers:

  • Brexit Party: 34 (+6 from last poll)
  • Labour: 21 (-7)
  • Liberal Democrat: 12 (+5)
  • Conservative: 11 (-3)
  • Green: 8 (+2)
  • UKIP: 4 (+1)
  • SNP: 4 (-1)
  • Change U.K. – The Independent Group: 3 (-4)

Context: The right-wing, euroskeptic UKIP led by Farage for years 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.

Go deeper: Europe's populists form right-wing alliance ahead of EU elections

Go deeper

5 hours ago - World

Top general: U.S. losing time to deter China

Stanley McChrystal. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Stanley McChrystal, a top retired general and Biden adviser, tells Axios that "China's military capacity has risen much faster than people appreciate," and the U.S. is running out of time to counterbalance that in Asia and prevent a scenario such as it seizing Taiwan.

Why it matters: McChrystal, the former commander of U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan, recently briefed the president-elect as part of his cabinet of diplomatic and national security advisers. President-elect Joe Biden is considering which Trump- or Obama-era approaches to keep or discard, and what new strategies to pursue.

Progressives shift focus from Biden's Cabinet to his policy agenda

Joe Biden giving remarks in Wilmington, Del., last month. Photo: Roberto Schmidt/AFP via Getty Images

Some progressives tell Axios they believe the window for influencing President-elect Joe Biden’s Cabinet selections has closed, and they’re shifting focus to policy — hoping to shape Biden's agenda even before he’s sworn in.

Why it matters: The left wing of the party often draws attention for its protests, petitions and tweets, but this deliberate move reflects a determination to move beyond some fights they won't win to engage with Biden strategically, and over the long term.

Dave Lawler, author of World
7 hours ago - World

Venezuela's predictable elections herald an uncertain future

The watchful eyes of Hugo Chávez on an election poster in Caracas. Photo: Cristian Hernandez/AFP via Getty

Venezuelans will go to the polls on Sunday, Nicolás Maduro will complete his takeover of the last opposition-held body, and much of the world will refuse to recognize the results.

The big picture: The U.S. and dozens of other countries have backed an opposition boycott of the National Assembly elections on the grounds that — given Maduro's tactics (like tying jobs and welfare benefits to voting), track record, and control of the National Electoral Council — they will be neither free nor fair.

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