British EU Parliament elections set to deliver a surprise

The Brits have an election coming up where they will select their representatives to the European Union Parliament. As I’m sure you’ve heard, Brexit is still just about the hottest topic in British politics these days (though a majority of voters there say they are simply “exhausted” by the process at this point). Given the natural intersection of the EU and the Brexit process, that’s probably going to be driving people’s choices. So which parties will dominate the British delegation to the EU?

You might assume that the backers of Remain would be ascendant, given what a hash the government has made of the process so far. And that would mean that the Labour Party and the Lib-Dems would be cleaning up. But the latest polling from the Isles tells a very different story. This was highlighted during a recent interview with former Prime Minister and Remain advocateTony Blair. (The Express)

The former Prime Minister was grilled over the latest Opinium Research poll, which claimed that Nigel Farage’s Brexit Party has a 34 percent share of the vote – more than the Liberal Democrats, the Green Party and Change UK combined. Sky veteran Sophy Ridge blasted: “You can see here the Brexit Party is absolutely topping the poll here. They’ve got more support than the Lib Dems, the Green Party and Change UK combined.

“Do you look at this and think, actually, you’ve got it wrong?

“Most people don’t want a second referendum?”

The former Labour leader appeared visibly uncomfortable, before nervously admitting that Nigel Farage’s share could even increase: “If you look at the 34 percent, that is…. and you know it could get higher than that.

This is pretty shocking if you’re at all familiar with British politics. The Brexit Party was founded by Nigel Farage only this year and they immediately recruited some sitting members of Parliament to their ranks. But for such a new party based entirely on the concept of getting Great Britain out of the European Union to rock up with more than a third of the vote in the upcoming EU Parliamentary elections is kind of amazing. The vote supporting Remain is virtually nowhere to be seen and these numbers show little appetite among the public for a second Brexit referendum.

This phenomenon isn’t limited to Great Britain, either. As The Atlantic recently reported, leaders of parties like the AfD in Germany, Marine Le Pen’s National Rally in France, and Matteo Salvini, of Italy’s League, have all shown significant growth in the polls. And they’ll all be sending their own members to the EU Parliament.

If the vote shifts significantly further to the right, the recent delay in Brexit could turn out to be a winner for the Brits. It’s by no means a sure thing yet, but a different, more Euroskeptic makeup in the Parliament could mean a better Brexit deal that more of their citizens would support. And they definitely need something to boost their fortunes at this point because the No Deal Brexit is still rather toxic in British politics.