The latest poll for the possible European elections shows Labour on just 22% and the Conservatives on a new low of 15%. The two main parties in the current Commons commanded 82.4% of the vote between them in June 2017. Then both parties promised to implement the decision of UK voters to leave the EU. By making that important promise many UKIP voters returned to the two main parties. The Conservatives hoovered up Eurosceptic votes and Labour attracted left wing votes from people who had often not voted before. Labour kept a lot of its Leave voters in the Midlands and the North by promising to leave. The two parties have lost 55% of their vote according to the latest poll, and will struggle to get it back for the Euro election.
The votes have gone to parties clearly committed to an early Brexit on the one hand, and to parties wishing to abandon Brexit on the other. The pro Brexit parties are on 34% of the vote, and the anti Brexit parties on 29%
Brexit party 27% Greens 10%
UKIP 7% Lib Dems 9%
Total 34% Total 29%
It is difficult to see how a Euro election could be other than a verdict on how and when to get out of the EU. The indecision by Conservatives and Labour over this very issue has led to their collapse in the polls, as many voters have come to doubt their stated intention at the last election to get us out in good time.
My advice to the government remains the same. Announce you are cancelling the Euro elections and leave without signing the Withdrawal Agreement. We can leave on 22 May under the extension agreement. Offer talks on a free trade agreement for the day after we leave.
Looking at these polls were Mr Corbyn and Mrs May to do a deal to put the Withdrawal Agreement through they could avoid the Euro elections that way. The problem with that approach is as described yesterday. The Withdrawal Treaty entails binding us back into the EU, meaning both parties have a great deal of explaining to do as to why they have committed to it. Both parties would continue to suffer in the national polls from uniting to push through a much disliked Treaty that does not allow us to take back control of our laws, our money and our borders any time soon ,and does not agree terms for our eventual possible departure from the EU. They are also leaving it very late to get the complex and unpopular legislation through Parliament against a determined minority opposing it all the way.
It is strange to watch two leaders fixated by such an unpopular Treaty and willing to preside over such a huge collapse in their party’s vote owing to failure to do as promised in the summer of 2017.