THE Brexit Party could significantly damage Boris Johnson’s Conservative Party with a poll of one constituency highlighting how Nigel Farage could hinder the Tory leader’s chances of securing a majority in the Commons.
MPs’ last week voted for a general election, after Prime Minister Boris Johnson said it was the only way to break the Brexit uncertainty. Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage last week offered to work with the Prime Minister, but only if he dropped his Withdrawal Agreement secured with the EU, a proposal which was quickly rejected by Mr Johnson. But, on Monday, a poll conducted by Survation, found a seat on the south coast of Britain could see the Brexit Party cause significant damage to the Tories – and if representative of the whole country, could be critical for Mr Johnson.
The poll, taken in the Portsmouth South constituency, found the emergence of the Brexit Party could open the door to a Liberal Democrat MP being elected.
Members of the public were asked if there was a general election tomorrow, and the candidates stood in the Portsmouth South constituency, ‘who would you vote for?’
The poll found the Conservative candidate would receive only 27 percent of the vote, behind the Liberal Democrat candidate expected to receive 30 percent.
But, significantly, the poll found the Brexit Party candidate would receive 14 percent of the vote.
The poll also found the Labour Party candidate would receive 24 percent of the vote, massively down from the 2017 election.
It was taken between 28-29 October with 406 residents in the Portsmouth South constituency taking part over the phone.
The Portsmouth South constituency is currently held by Labour MP Stephen Morgan, who received 41 percent of the vote in the 2017 general election, ahead of the Conservative candidate in that vote, who received 37.6 percent.
Back in 2017, the Liberal Democrat candidate only received 17.3 percent of the vote, while the Brexit Party was yet to form.
The results of the poll, which was conducted on behalf of the Liberal Democrats, is a warning sign to Mr Johnson ahead of the election.
The seat on the south coast of England could be seen as a target for the Prime Minister, as the Tories are only behind the Labour Party by just over 1,500 votes. But, as the poll shows, the Brexit Party could hinder their progress.
Jeremy Corbyn would also be concerned as Labour would lose an MP in this scenario if the poll result accurately represents who Brits actually vote for in the general election at the end of December.
On Monday, Brexit Party leader Mr Farage vowed to target the five million Labour voters who backed Leave in the referendum as he unveiled his party’s candidates for the general election.
Mr Farage dismantled claims he would split the pro-Brexit vote by running against the Tories, saying Mr Johnson’s deal was “not Brexit”.
Speaking at an event in Westminster, he accused the Conservatives of “conceited arrogance” after the Leader of the Commons Jacob Rees-Mogg urged him to step aside and “leave the field”.
Mr Farage said: “We won’t split the vote because we will be the only people actually offering Brexit, leaving the European Union and its institutions.
“Those five million are the most vulnerable group of voters to the Brexit Party in this country.
“I will be out in those Labour constituencies. I’ll be in the East Midlands, I’ll be in South Wales. I’ll be in the North East. I want the country to know the sheer extent of Labour betrayal.”
It came after Mr Farage confirmed he intended to run candidates in more than 600 constituencies.
Mr Rees-Mogg urged the Brexit Party leader to step aside or warned he could risk the delivery of Brexit.
The Commons leader told LBC: “I think he would be well-advised to recognise that that battle he won. He should be really proud of his political career.
“It would be a great shame if he carries on fighting after he has already won to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.
“I understand why Nigel Farage would want to carry on campaigning because he has been campaigning for the best part of 30 years and it must be hard to retire from the field. But that is what he ought to do.”
We won’t split the vote because we will be the only people actually offering Brexit, leaving the European Union and its institutions