The Brexit Party: Remain’s only hope
The addition of the new party into the mix, splits BluKIP. But is it enough?
Last week’s formal launch of the Brexit party, with yet another bus, is the latest attempt to galvanise the Leave vote across a dedicated party for those disillusioned with Conservative appeasement and UKIP’s far-right surge.
Splitting your electorate is normally considered a bad thing. Yet, with proportional representation, that split doesn’t automatically shift the BluKIP cohort out of the picture and crucially for Remainers, is it enough to give a pro-Remain voting strategy a chance?
BlueKIP Brexit Party
It’s still relatively early days, but the series of charm offensives Nigel Farage has been on, galvanised enough interest in his activity already. Surging Brexit party European voting intent beyond the Remain equivalent of ChangeUK and adding another flavour to the traditional BluKIP vote of conservatives and UKIP, the total voting intention.
Before getting to the analysis on our model, there are a few results worth remembering.
BlueKIP Share is Down
Perhaps unsurprisingly, if the Leave votes splits as per the latest polls, the overall share of BlueKIP votes (UKIP+Conservatives+Brexit Party) relative to 2014 is down as a percentage of votes on intent alone. Labour stay about the same over that period and pro-Remain parties increase, but only slightly.
Using the same assumptions from in our previous article, there is some good news here for some regions. A couple of regions can hold their existing LibDem seat and pick up a Green one. However, other regions find themselves in the same depths of BluKIP hell, even with the Brexit party.
(Green indicates good news for Remain)
The map looks pretty good in some area. London gains one more pro-EU vote and so does the East of England, but that is tight. The East of England is not as likely to distribute away from Labour and this result is statistically fragile. With only 7,500 regional votes between them and Conservatives gaining another seat.
The pro-Remain gains (or should I say ‘moves’) elsewhere in the country include:
- The North West — albeit the region veers further right overall (5 right-wing in 2014 versus 6 right wing in 2019)
- Scotland (where the Brexit Party score an own goal)
- London — Gaining one extra seat
As the strategy solidifies, the tragedy for Remain voters who want to vote for pro-Remain parties, is the Brexit party is the only hope for Remain to gain one more seat nationwide by moving away from Labour. like the previous model, the overall UK picture still sends the EU only hard-right representatives, but is slightly softer than the non-BXP one. As the Brexit party, Conservatives and UKIP share voted between them, but are all intent on clogging European Union’s operations and bringing the whole project down.
Knocking out all right-wing parties in Scotland, the Brexit Party will certainly be a disruptive influence on the European Elections. That is not in doubt. However, it will be disruptive for the wrong reasons for Leave support. Yet, from the common remain discourse, The Brexit Party appear to be throwing Remain the only lifeline they have.