The euroskeptic Brexit Party headed by former UKIP leader Nigel Farage is looking at a solid victory in the European elections, early exit polls show, placing it at about 30 percent, over 20 percent ahead of the Conservatives.
The Brexit Party appears to have scored big in the UK’s portion of the European Parliament elections, with early results and projections on Sunday night showing it ahead of the rest of the field.
Farage began celebrating as the first exit polls started coming in. “It looks like it’s going to be a big win for the Brexit Party,” he told reporters.
With about 99 percent of the vote in, Brexit has some 31.6 percent, followed by pro-EU Liberal Democrats with 20.3, Labour with 14.1 and the Greens with 12.1. The Conservatives are taking a massive hit and are projected to win only 9.1 percent.
UK: 99% counted.
— Europe Elects (@EuropeElects) May 27, 2019
Farage has said that he is seeking full-fledged involvement in the Brexit negotiations.
“We want to be part of that negotiating team,” he said. The long-serving MEP added that in the event of the UK again missing the repeatedly extended deadline to leave the EU, which now stands at October 31, he will be looking forward to repeating the same strong showing at the British general election, and his party is “getting ready for it.”
The next general election is scheduled for May 5, 2022, but may be called earlier by two-thirds of the House of Commons, or in case of a successful motion of no confidence.
The Brexit Party’s triumph has not come out of the blue. Ahead of the vote, numerous polls predicted that Farage’s new political venture would pass its first election test with flying colors, with an estimated double-digit lead over the Conservative Party, which is days away from losing their leader on June 7, when Theresa May’s resignation comes into force.
Registered just three months before the election, on February 5, the Brexit Party quickly gained momentum on the back of growing frustration with May and the Tories’ failure to deliver the long-awaited split from the EU. While the Brexit Party is a novice in European politics, it has 14 MEPs in the outgoing European Parliament, all defectors from the UK Independence Party (UKIP), including Farage himself. According to BBC projections, Farage’s new project will fare better than UKIP, which grabbed 24 seats and 27 percent of the popular vote in 2014.