Blow for Tories and Labour as Nigel Farage's Brexit Party takes EU elections poll lead
Theresa May and Jeremy Corbyn have been dealt a major blow after a new poll found that the newly-formed Brexit Party is on course to win May's EU election in the UK.
In a damning verdict on the main parties, YouGov found that the new outfit, led by Nigel Farage, would rake in 27% of the vote, compared to Labour's 22%, while the Tories are set to lag behind on just 15%.
The former Ukip chief officially launched the party last week, unveiling a raft of candidates which includes former Tory candidate Annunziata Rees-Mogg - sister of arch-Brexiteer MP Jacob Rees-Mogg.
The study also found that the Eurosceptic bloc could secure top spot with a ten-point lead over the main parties if Jeremy Corbyn supported going ahead with Brexit but staying in the customs union.
Such a scenario would see Mr Farage's team on 25% of the vote, compared to 15% each for the Conservatives, Labour and the Liberal Democrats.
It found that were Labour to back another referendum however, the gap would be narrowed to give the Brexit Party a three-point lead, on 26%, while Labour would take 23%, the Tories would remain on 15%, while the Lib Dems would drop to 10%.
The pro-EU People's Vote campaign seized on the poll to claim that Labour's support "could mean a majority of people taking part in the elections back a new public vote” when factoring in support for the SNP, the Liberal Democrats, Change UK, Plaid Cymru and the Greens.
'RICH HUNTING GROUNDS'
Britain is set to go the polls on 23 May to elect a new round of MEPs, following the latest delay to Brexit until 31 October.
The launch of Mr Farage’s new party follows the 2014 EU election, where he led Ukip to top spot, two points and three points above Labour and the Tories respectively.
The veteran Eurosceptic quit his former party last December, over what he branded the current leadership’s "fixation" with right-wing activist Tommy Robinson and the issue of Islam. The fresh poll has Ukip down to take 7% of the vote.
Labour MP and supporter of the People’s Vote campaign, Dame Margaret Beckett, said warned Mr Corbyn that only Labour could halt Mr Farage’s progress.
“These elections have proven to be rich hunting grounds for Nigel Farage’s brand of extreme right-wing politics before and may be again.
“There is nothing to be gained by denying that we support the public getting the final say which is what the overwhelming majority of our voters, members and MPs want.
"If we hedge our bets or say we back another form of Brexit, Labour loses voters and Farage will storm to first place."