Poll Reveals Majority of Tories Voted Brexit Party, Hunt Would Freeze out Farage from Negotiations

Nigel Farage Laughing
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VICTORIA FRIEDMAN

The majority (53 per cent) of those who voted for the Conservative Party in the 2017 General Election voted for the Brexit Party in Thursday’s EU election, a poll has revealed.

The Lord Ashcroft survey of 10,000 voters published Monday also found that 52 per cent of those who voted Tory in the last General Election and who switched to the Brexit Party would stay with the Brexit Party in the next national parliamentary vote, with only one in three (32 per cent) saying they would vote Tory again.

The survey is in line with a number of other projections in the lead-up to the May 23rd vote which predicted that the Brexit Party would pick up the majority of Conservative voters.

Results from the European Parliament election placed the Brexit Party in the lead with around one-third of the British vote, equating to 29 seats in the Strasbourg parliament, while the Tories came in fifth place and winning just four seats, losing 15 — leaving pundits noting they had suffered their worst result since the party was formed nearly two centuries ago.

Prime Minister Theresa May’s failure to deliver Brexit, with or without a deal, by the agreed exit date of March 29th resulted in the UK being pulled into the EU-wide elections nearly three years after the vote to leave, massively turning the public off voting Tory, the projected results possibly contributing to Mrs May’s announcement on Friday that she would be stepping down as prime minister on June 7th.

As a result, a number of Tory MPs have announced their candidacy, including foreign secretary Jeremy Hunt, the Remain-voting minister who says he has since changed his mind on Brexit.

Speaking on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme on Tuesday, Mr Hunt said that he wanted to “solve the Brexit crisis” that could result in the “destruction of our party system and the end of my own party”.

The foreign secretary said that while he “always believed we should keep no deal on the table” and that the UK economy would “flourish” after the initial “shock” of no deal, he said that the “only way” to deliver Brexit is to go back to the intransigent negotiators in Brussels and try to renegotiate Mrs May’s unpopular EU-approved withdrawal treaty rather than leave without a deal on October 31st.

His endeavours reveal an entire misreading of the European Parliament election results, with the Lord Ashcroft poll revealing that the majority of Brexit Party voters — 67 per cent of which came from the GE2017 Tories — back leaving the EU in a clean, no deal by two votes to one (67 per cent).

Mr Hunt further isolated Brexiteers from his party by refusing to engage the support of Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage in his proposed Brussels re-negotiations.

“He’s not in Parliament and he does not want a deal. Nigel Farage wants to exit without a deal,” said the foreign secretary, who wrote in The Telegraph on Monday that a no-deal Brexit would be “political suicide”.

Mr Farage warned that if the Tories failed to deliver Brexit, his party would decimate them at the next General Election, telling The Sun that the EU election results “clearly will put pressure on the Tories and pressure on the leadership candidates. Are they going to respond?

“If we don’t leave on the 31 October then I believe we can produce a result in the next General Election that will stun them.”

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