It’s been a dreadful, torrid month for UK PM Theresa May whose cabinet has been on the rocks ever since her revised Brexit proposal was revealed, barely scraping by with just a 3 vote margin last week, amid an exodus of key Brexit voices and a scathing Donald Trump interview.
And it’s about to get even worse because according to a new poll, May’s plans to leave the European Union are overwhelmingly opposed by the British public. Worse, more than a third of voters would support a new right-wing political party committed to quitting the bloc and headed by, guess who, Nigel Farage.
According to the YouGov poll conducted for the Sunday Times, voters would prefer Boris Johnson, who quit as her foreign minister two weeks ago, to negotiate with the EU and lead the Conservative Party into the next election. And in the latest disaster for May, only 16% of voters say the Prime Minister is handling the Brexit negotiations well, compared with 34% who say that Johnson would do a better job.
Only one in 10 voters would pick the government’s proposed Brexit plans if there were a second referendum, according to the poll, while almost half think it would be bad for Britain.
But while the poll is a damning testament to her policies, May faces far greater challenges in the near-term. Her revised plan to keep a close trading relationship with the EU thrust her government into crisis this month and there is speculation she could face a leadership challenge after her most senior ministers, Davis and Johnson, resigned in protest.
But in what may be the best news for libertarians, and those disenchanted with the legacy two-party system in the UK as well as everywhere else, the poll found voters are increasingly polarized, with growing numbers of people alienated from the two main political parties. Meanwhile, as in recent polls, half of voters would support remaining in the EU if there were a second referendum, the poll found. Which of course, means a Brexit is guaranteed – again – as polls prior to the first Brexit vote predicted an avalanche victory for Remain.
But here is the real shocker.
38% of respondents said they would vote for a new right-wing party that is committed to Brexit, while almost a quarter would support an explicitly far-right anti-immigrant, anti-Islam party, the poll found.
According to the Sunday Times, Brexit veteran Nigel Farage, who has vowed to return to politics if May’s “Brexit betrayal is not reversed”, and Steve Bannon are in discussions about forming a new right-wing movement.
So, one wonders, how long before Europe’s relentless populist wave means that this person is the UK’s next prime minister?