With the Brexit Party being the decisive winner of the European Elections and a new shock poll showing that they would win a general election, it’s time to take stock.
The bitter reality is that the United Kingdom is on a precipice with only two possible outcomes. The first — and likely the lesser of two evils — is the United Kingdom leaving the European Union with or without a deal on October 31. The second is Article 50 being extended — or rescinded — leading to the Brexit Party winning the next General Election and making Nigel Farage Prime Minister.
Over the past week, MPs and political commentators have been attempting to interpret what the EU election outcomes really mean. Yes, the Brexit Party won the most seats, but who won the popular vote? Ardent remainers are insistent they won the popular vote while ignoring that both Labour and the Conservatives have delivering Brexit in their manifestos. Ardent brexiteers are adamant they won while ignoring that the Labour and Conservative votes are likely a mix of leave and remain.
In true Brexit fashion, both sides continue to argue and make assumptions while doing very little to try and move forward. It’s like a marriage that has completely collapsed but the couple involved enjoy fighting so much neither one wants to move out.
One thing is certain, both Labour and the Tories were handed crushing defeats by the electorate. The two ‘natural governing parties’ are in shambles but in true political fashion, neither side seems to understand how they got here.
The reasoning is fairly simple if one takes the time to ‘read the room.’ The reality is brexiteer or remainer, people are angry and frustrated with the political status quo and the behaviour of MPs.
British MPs, You Had One Job
On the day that the UK was supposed to leave the European Union, British MPs rejected the government’s negotiated…
This resentment directed towards the political establishment was a huge factor in the stunning leave victory in 2016. Polls taken after the referendum showed some voters opted to vote leave as a protest vote. Yet politicians — often not the best at learning lessons — are on the cusp of taking the country down another unexpected and even more dangerous path.
It didn’t have to be this way. All sides have made missteps that have culminated in this shift in public opinion. Soon to be former Prime Minister Theresa May waited too long to seek the opposition’s help in passing a withdrawal agreement, and failed to deliver Brexit to the anger of many Conservative supporters. Jeremy Corbyn’s decision not to take a definitive stance and playing to all sides has cost the party significant support. The parties doing well in the polls — Liberal Democrats, the SNP, and the Brexit Party — are ones with a clear consensus on Brexit.
Many MPs have expressed shock at Nigel Farage’s sudden and victorious reappearance onto the British political scene. They seem unable to comprehend that they are the masters of their own misfortune. Their inability to get their act together has caused Farage’s resurgence.
Polls are showing a clear trend of the Brexit Party building strong forward momentum at the expense of both the Conservative and Labour parties. It doesn’t take a political expert to surmise this is the result of both the failure to deliver Brexit and anger at the behaviour of politicians on all sides.
While a Deltapoll survey shows conflicting opinions on leaving with versus a no deal scenario, a growing majority believes that the UK should leave the EU by October 31. Basically, most people have had enough of this mess and just want it done and over with.
Brexit has dominated the political life of the country for over three years now, overshadowing many of the major day-to-day concerns of voters. It has cost two Prime Ministers their political careers and barring no major surprises, Boris Johnson is poised to become the next Prime Minister.
Many MPs continue to advocate for a second referendum; this would prove to be a terrible misjudgment of the public mood in many regions of the country.
A second referendum would see Brexit continue to gridlock the political debate for another few years. A second referendum also makes it difficult to block an SNP attempt to hold a second vote on Scottish independence in the near future.
If a second referendum were held and it reconfirmed a leave majority, would politicians actually get their act together? On the opposite side, if it were a remain victory it likely ensures a Brexit Party victory in the next general election, as the remain vote could be divided among too many parties to form a government.
It’s time to take a step back, look at the bigger picture, and pick the lesser of two evils. The UK can leave the EU in October with or without a deal and begin the process of attempting to move on, or risk a drastic shift to the far right with a Prime Minister Farage. Many likely agree Prime Minister Johnson is already a step too far to the right.
Time to pick your poison!