Nigel Farage has said that “British politics has fundamentally changed” after his Brexit Party came a close second to Labour in the Peterborough by-election, saying that the political landscape is no longer dominated by the two establishment parties.
Results were announced in the early hours of Friday morning, with Labour candidate Lisa Forbes having won the by-election in the Brexit-supporting constituency which had voted 61 per cent in favour of Leave in the 2016 referendum.
It was a tight race with Labour winning by just 683 votes — the constituency having previously been taken from the Conservatives by then-Labour politician Fiona Onasanya by 607 seats in the 2017 General Election.
The new Brexit Party, which came first in May’s European Parliament election, beat out the Conservatives by more than seven per cent (28.9 to 21.4 per cent) and the Liberal Democrats, who came fourth with 12.3 per cent, both long-established parties.
Speaking to BBC Radio 4’s Today programme on Friday morning, Mr Farage said that despite the party not taking its first seat in the House of Commons, “in terms of significance” he said the result was “absolutely” bigger than what happened in the EU elections.
Peterborough: Labour Cling on by 683 Votes, Brexit Party Thrash Tories into 3rd Place https://t.co/lxXII68jEp
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) June 7, 2019
“Eight weeks ago today the Brexit party launched, and what you have seen from the results last night is that British politics has fundamentally changed. It’s no longer just two parties contesting,” Mr Farage said, before pointing to a YouGov poll published Thursday night that revealed, in a national poll, the Brexit Party six points clear of the other parties.
The poll reported in The Times put the Brexit Party in first place with 26 per cent, with Labour and the Liberal Democrats on joint second with 20 per cent, and the Tories in third with 18 per cent.
Mr Farage warned that Conservative voters would become fatigued with their own party if it failed to deliver Brexit — a theory supported by a poll post-EU elections which revealed that a majority of Tories voted for the Brexit Party in the European Parliament polls and that more than half of those said they would vote for the Brexit Party in the next General Election.
“I’ll say this: if we don’t leave and leave with the clean Brexit on the 31st of October the Brexit Party will power on,” Mr Farage told radio host John Humprys, predicting that “our results will be even more dramatic” in the next national election.