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Farage’s Reform UK Party Overtakes Sunak’s Conservatives: Poll

Europe’s marked shift towards populism appears to be accelerating, as Nigel Farage’s Reform UK Party has surpassed Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s Conservatives in an opinion poll for the first time, signaling a potential shift in the British political landscape as the nation approaches the July 4 general election.

According to a YouGov survey conducted for The Times, Reform UK now holds 19% of voter support, up two percentage points, while the Conservatives remain static at 18%. The opposition Labour Party continues to lead with 37% support. The poll, involving 2,211 respondents, was conducted from June 12 to June 13, shortly after Sunak’s announcement of a 17 billion pound ($21.70 billion) tax cut in the Conservative Party’s election manifesto.

The rise of Reform UK coincides with Farage’s return to the political forefront, after he announced his intent to lead the party and seek election to Parliament. Farage, a pivotal figure in Britain’s Brexit movement, aims to reshape the political conversation around populist issues, including stringent immigration policies.

“This is the inflection point. The only wasted vote now is a Conservative vote, we are the challengers to Labour and we are on our way,” Farage declared in a campaign video.

Reform UK, initially founded as the Brexit Party in 2018, has embraced a platform that appeals to right-wing voters who feel alienated by the traditional Conservative agenda. This shift comes as Sunak faces criticism for his early departure from D-Day memorial events in France, an action that has cast a shadow over his campaign.

Despite the latest polls showing Reform UK ahead of the Conservatives in terms of voter preference, the party’s evenly spread support across the country poses a significant challenge in the first-past-the-post electoral system. This system favors geographically concentrated backing, thus making it unlikely for Reform UK to secure many, if any, of the 650 parliamentary seats, despite potentially amassing millions of votes nationwide.

A Conservative lawmaker, who asked to remain anonymous, commented on the shift – telling Reuters: “Yes. I think people are fed up with the Tories, but not with Conservatism. So they are moving to another Conservative party.”

While other polls have shown the Conservatives with a more substantial lead over Reform, the momentum appears to be with Farage as he re-enters the political arena with a clear message and strategy aimed at disrupting the current political order. As the election approaches, it remains to be seen how this shift will impact the Conservative Party’s strategy and whether Farage’s renewed influence will translate into electoral success.


Zero Hedge

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