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New Brexit Party opens up lead in European elections poll

New Brexit Party opens up lead in European elections poll

The former leader of Britain's UK Independence Party (UKIP), Nigel Farage, speaks in his Westminster office during an interview with Reuters, in London, Britain February 12, 2018. REUTERS/Simon Dawson

LONDON: The Brexit Party set up by anti-EU firebrand Nigel Farage is leading Britain's other political parties ahead of European Parliament elections in May, according to an opinion poll published on Wednesday (Apr 17).

The new party, which formally launched its campaign for next month's votes on Friday, has since opened up a five-point lead over the Labour Party, the YouGov survey conducted at the start of this week found.

The party claimed 27 per cent of respondents' support, followed by Labour on 22 per cent and Prime Minister Theresa May's Conservatives in third place on 15 per cent.

The Brexit Party was trailing Britain's two mainstream parties in a similar YouGov poll released last week.

But it saw a 12-point overall spike in support after unveiling its European elections campaign with much fanfare last week.

It is aiming to attract disgruntled eurosceptics angry at May's failure to complete Britain's departure from the European Union by an original Mar 29 deadline.

However, the poll suggested the UK Independence Party (UKIP) - which Farage previously led but has recently disavowed over its lurch towards more far-right policies - has suffered most in the last week.

Its support halved from 14 to 7 per cent, according to the survey.

Under Farage's leadership UKIP topped the last European elections in 2014, capturing nearly 27 per cent of the vote.

Farage went on to be one of the most prominent faces of the pro-Brexit camp in a bitterly divisive 2016 referendum that voted to pull Britain out of the EU after nearly half a century.

YouGov surveyed 1,855 adults on Monday and Tuesday for the sample.

Source: AFP/aa


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