UK: Nigel Farage’s Brexit Party leads EU election poll

A new political party led by British eurosceptic Nigel Farage appears to be on course to scoop more support in elections for the European Parliament than the United Kingdom’s two biggest parties combined, according to a new opinion poll. 

The Opinium survey, published by the UK’s Guardian newspaper on Saturday, showed Farage’s Brexit party had 34 percent support ahead of the May 23 vote, which Britain must participate in after failing to leave the European Union as expected in March.

Prime Minister Theresa May’s ruling Conservative Party was in fourth place with 11 percent.

The main opposition Labour Party came in second place on 21 percent, while the pro-EU Liberal Democrats, the most popular party to explicitly call for a second referendum to reverse Brexit, were on 12 percent.

Farage, a former leader of the UK Independence Party (UKIP), a key figure in forcing Britain’s 2016 referendum on EU membership, launched his Brexit Party in April.

He said it would take on Britain’s political leaders, who he accused of betraying the vote to leave the 28-member EU. 

UK’s main parties suffer local elections setback over Brexit (1:55)

An analysis of several recent polls published by UK newspaper the Financial Times (FT) on Friday also put the Brexit Party in first position for the EU ballot, with 29 percent support.

Labour was on 25 percent, the FT reported, 11 percent ahead of the Conservatives.

Brexit impasse

The two parties endured a drubbing at the polls earlier this month during local elections, with voters venting their fury over the UK’s ongoing Brexit stalemate.

Britain is mired in political chaos and it is still unclear whether, when or even if it will leave the EU.

May has struggled to win parliament’s backing for her divorce deal, which was brokered after months of arduous negotiations between London and Brussels.

The EU has given the UK until October 31 to ratify a withdrawal agreement or crash out of the bloc without a deal.

British legislators have already rejected May’s Brexit deal three times, however.

A non-legally binding document on possible post-Brexit future relations between the UK and the EU has also been defeated twice.

May has staged cross-party Brexit talks with the Labour Party in a bid to break the political impasse, but the attempts to forge a compromise have yet to bear fruit.

The under-pressure PM has been asked to attend a meeting of legislators from her party on Wednesday, during which she is expected to set out a timetable for her resignation as she had already promised to step down if her Brexit deal is approved by parliament.

SOURCE:
Al Jazeera and news agencies

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