They were never supposed to be taking place. The EU elections mark a dark time in our nation’s history, epitomising the betrayal of democracy, the muting of millions and the incompetence of our leaders. Five times Prime Minister May could have pursued a ‘no deal’ Brexit on World Trade Organisation terms, probably more, yet she continues to flog a horse which died as soon as it was born. She instead panders to a man she has frequently called a “danger to this country”, sinking to new depths of leadership failure.
However, what this has done is make politics rather interesting. This stagnation in Westminster paved the way for two new parties: Change UK and the Brexit Party. Firstly, ‘Change UK-The Independent Group(TIG/CHUK)#ChangeUK.com.org.co.uk’ (if it has changed again since writing this please let me know) is off to a pretty rough start. Their second logo (the first being rejected by the Electoral Commission) looks like redacted information, they failed to field a candidate for the Peterborough by-election, they are wallowing at around three per cent in the polls, behind the Brexit Party, Liberal Democrats, SNP, Greens and UKIP, their one MEP for South West England urged voters to vote for the Liberal Democrats, and they are currently on course to win just one seat at the European elections. Not a good start for Chuka Umunna, a man who regards himself as Britain’s Obama, a man seen by himself as entitled to inherit the Blairite crown and lead the party to electoral landslide. However, they have done one thing excellently: They have united the Conservatives, Labour Party and Liberal Democrats in their complete contempt for the new group, posing no real danger to any of the main parties.
The Brexit Party is different, perhaps everything Change UK are not. They have new, fresh faced candidates (bar Ann Widdecombe), they are already ahead of the Conservatives in Westminster and European polling, they are a broad coalition of Labour, Conservative, UKIP, Green, Communist and Liberal voters, and they are currently on track to win the EU elections with roughly thirty seats. Not bad for a party having only formed last month. Recent polls have put the Brexit Party on thirty-four per cent, Labour on sixteen per cent, Liberal Democrats on fifteen per cent, Greens on eleven per cent and Conservatives on ten per cent. Change UK were within the margin of error. If this holds up, the Brexit Party could hoover up across England and Wales. If polling continues with this trend and Labour continue to lose votes to Greens and Liberal Democrats, you could see London, yes, London, return more Brexit Party MEPs than any other party.
I believe that the change that Change UK offer is invalid. Their ranks are made up of failed politicians of the Major era, salty Blairites and bitter Remainers, many of whom pledged to deliver Brexit. The change they offer is simply a reversion back to what has been rejected time after time after time again. Would a party pledging ‘change’ wish to return to the status quo (of forty-three years) of EU membership? Indeed, it seems the public have seen through this façade, rejecting Change UK as what they truly are: failed opportunists.
On May 23rd, I believe the public will vote Brexit again. They Brexit Party will top the poll with around thirty seats, marking the fourth time that a party/campaign pledging a hard Brexit has won a nationwide vote: 2014, 2016, 2017 and 2019. It will use its broad-based appeal to win over thirty per cent of the vote. Change UK will win 1 seat, maybe 2 on their best day. Still hardly the support they expect they’re entitled to. Labour will come second, perhaps with around twenty seats. The Conservatives third, with roughly ten seats. The Liberal Democrats will win around five seats, and Greens roughly the same. UKIP will lose all but one seat I reckon, potentially with Gerard Batten losing his seat in London.
Overall, the amusing thing is that if you take the polling averages of ‘Leave’ parties and ‘Remain’ parties, you still end up with fifty-two per cent for ‘Leave’ and forty-eight per cent for ‘Remain’. The tables have not turned, but mark my words, when the Brexit Party win next Thursday, the David Lammys, Heidi Allens and Jo Swinsons of the Remain side will translate it to say “what this shows is that we want a ‘People’s Vote’”. The reality is that the real people do not. So, next Thursday, if you are a Brexiteer vote for the Brexit Party, if you are a Remainer give the Greens a vote (they are environmentalists too), maybe the Liberal Democrats, but don’t waste your vote with ‘Change UK’. Have your vote mean something big, after all it is (hopefully) the last time we will be competing in these elections!