Britain’s governing Conservative Party was all but wiped out in the European Parliament election as voters sick of the country’s stalled European Union exit flocked to uncompromisingly pro-Brexit or pro-EU parties. The main opposition Labour Party also faced a drubbing in a vote that upended the traditional order of British politics and plunged the country into even more Brexit uncertainty. The big winners were the newly founded Brexit Party led by veteran anti-EU campaigner Nigel Farage and the strongly pro-European Liberal Democrats. With results announced early Monday for all of England and Wales, the Brexit Party had won 28 of the 73 British EU seats up for grabs and almost a third of the votes. The Liberal Democrats took about 20% of the vote and 15 seats — up from only one at the last EU election in 2014. Labour came third with 10 seats, followed by the Greens with seven. The ruling Conservatives were in fifth place with just three EU seats and under 10% of the vote. Scotland and Northern Ireland are due to announce their results later. Farage’s Brexit Party was one of several nationalist and populist parties making gains across the continent in an election that saw erosion of support for the traditionally dominant political parties. Conservative Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt said it was a “painful result” and warned there was an “existential risk to our party unless we now come together and get Brexit done.” The results reflect an electorate deeply divided over Britain’s 2016
Prime Minister Theresa May could reach a Brexit deal with the opposition Labour Party within days, a leading Conservative Party figure said on Saturday, after senior ministers urged compromise following poor local election results.
Ruth Davidson, the Conservatives’ leader in Scotland, told party members that a cross-partisan agreement on Brexit was needed before this month’s European elections, or Britain’s major parties would face an even bigger backlash from voters.
The Conservatives lost 1,332 seats on English local councils that were up for re-election, and Labour - which would typically aim to gain hundreds of seats in a mid-term vote - instead lost 81.
Many voters expressed frustration at May’s failure to have taken Britain out of the European Union, almost three years after the country decided to leave in a referendum.
“If we thought yesterday’s results were a wake-up call, just wait for the European elections on the 23rd of May,” Davidson told a party conference in Aberdeen.
English voters are expected to use local government elections on Thursday to punish Prime Minister Theresa May’s Conservative Party over its failure to deliver Brexit, revealing a divided and dissatisfied electorate.
More than 8,000 seats on English councils - administrative bodies responsible for day-to-day decisions on local policy ranging from education to waste management - are up for grabs in the first elections since Britain missed its March 29 Brexit date.
The results will paint a picture, albeit an imperfect one, of how that has affected support for May’s centre-right Conservative Party, and the leftist opposition Labour Party.
The Conservatives are forecast to lose hundreds of seats, and, according to one analysis, the final toll could top 1,000. Labour, which rejects May’s vision of Brexit but still supports leaving the bloc, are expected to make gains, as are the anti-Brexit Liberal Democrats.
If Britain genuinely wanted a good last-minute Brexit deal, Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt should probably not have compared the European Union to the USSR. Brexit saga sees a revitalization of politics on both sides, allowing the country to focus its attention on the issues that really count. Before we get there, however, it looks set to be one hell of a ride.
British Prime Minister Theresa May’s Conservative Party began gathering for its annual conference on Saturday, bitterly divided over her plans to leave the European Union which threatens to derail any deal and put her own job in doubt. Just six months before Britain is due to leave the EU on March 29, 2019, Theresa May has said talks to clinch a divorce deal are at an impasse.
Theresa May became British prime minister in 2016 because of the Brexit vote in which the country decided to leave the European Union. Her predecessor, David Cameron, resigned when voters rejected his advice and opted to quit the EU after more than four decades of membership. May’s entire premiership has been devoted to making Britain’s departure happen.
“Brexit is like a Pac Man that’s consuming everything, “Allison said. “And one of the problems is that if we find a fudge on Brexit, that won’t stop the debate. We could be having this war for the next 10 years.”
“If we come out of conference with her hoping to get Chequers through on the back of Labour votes, I think the EU negotiators would probably understand that if that were done, the Tory party would suffer the catastrophic split which thus far we have managed to avoid,” Steve Baker, a former junior Brexit minister was quoted as saying.