Tories Could Come 6th in EU Elections as Conservatives Flock to Brexit Party

Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage, Member of the European Parliament, speaks at a press conference regarding the party's European Parliament election campaign in London on May 7, 2019. (Photo by Tolga Akmen / various sources / AFP) (Photo credit should read TOLGA AKMEN/AFP/Getty Images)
TOLGA AKMEN/AFP/Getty

The Conservative Party machine fears coming in sixth place in European Parliament elections on May 23rd, while a study reveals that Nigel Farage’s Brexit Party is eating into the Tory vote.

A Conservative Campaign Headquarters (CCHQ) source has told the left-liberal Guardian that internal party data suggests the Tories will perform even worse than predicted.

The latest YouGov poll puts the Tories in third place at 13 per cent, behind Labour (21 per cent) and the Brexit Party in the lead at 30 per cent.

However, internal predictions put the establishment right-wing party behind the Brexit Party, the left-wing Labour Party, the pro-Remain Liberal Democrats and Change UK and even the Green party, with support expected to fall into the single digits.

If the Tories only manage to get around ten per cent of the vote, that would take the number of their MEPs in the Strasbourg chamber from 22 to around half a dozen.

Another source told the newspaper that the situation was “absolutely dire” because the party was failing to fund election campaigning, had not published a manifesto, nor has it held a launch.

One MEP speculates the reason for the very hands-off approach is to engineer an explanation for their EU election failure, rather than admitting that despite active campaigning the party still only comes third.

“The thinking is that if we make no effort then we will have an excuse for having done so badly. But it is seriously embarrassing,” one MEP told The Guardian.

Another reason insiders fear low numbers is that activists on the ground are not campaigning as they are disenfranchised with the party’s leader failing to deliver Brexit on time.

The report comes as analysis of polls by the establishment, Remain-supporting Financial Times revealed that most Conservative Party voters are shifting their alliances to Brexit-supporting parties — principally, the Brexit Party — with indications that the Tories are to face their worst vote share result in history for any governing party in a national election.

The Financial Times‘s Poll of Polls — which includes data from major polling firms YouGov, Opinium, Survation, ComRes — predicts more than half of those who voted for the Conservative Party in the 2017 General Election intending to vote for the Brexit Party, with the Tories winning just 14 per cent and coming in third place.

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