Nigel Farage is back. EPA-EFE/JONATHAN HORDLE


Farage’s Reform UK tops Conservatives in poll ahead of elections


Arch-Brexiteer Nigel Farage’s Reform UK party has overtaken the Conservative Party in the latest UK polls.

The latest YouGov poll on June 13 put Labour at 37 per cent, while Reform UK followed with 19 per cent and the Conservatives at 18 per cent.

With the UK general elections of July 4 fast approaching, Farage and his Reform UK look set to cause an upheaval.

The former Brexit-champion has been steadily climbing in the polls, while the Conservative Party is sliding.

“We are now the challengers to Labour,” Farage said.

He declared that Reform UK was now the “official opposition”, demanding a head-to-head election debate with Labour leader Keir Starmer, GB News outlet reported.

At a press conference in London on June 14, the Reform leader said: “The BBC will be having a four-way leaders debate with … the Liberal Democrats, the Conservatives, Labour and the SNP. And I think we can demand right now that the BBC put us into that debate.”

The right-wing Conservatives had argued that Farage was effectively aiding its traditional opposition, the left-wing Labour party, in regaining power.

But, during an ITV debate on June 13, Farage was quick to rebut that, saying: “As far as the accusation of  ‘the Labour helper’ is concerned – we are now ahead of you in the national polls. A vote for you is now actually a vote for Labour.”

According to him, a vote for the Conservative Party in the so-called “Red Wall” UK region, a series of constituencies that have historically supported Labour, is “wasted vote”.

Still, Labour might not need anyone’s help with an average poll lead of 21 points.

Following former Ukip chief Farage’s return to politics to lead Reform UK on June 3, the party’s polling average has risen from 11 per cent to 14 per cent.

Labour and the Conservatives have both been marginally declining, leaving the distance between the two relatively unchanged.

According to recent Ipsos data, 80 per cent of Reform UK voters opted for the Conservatives in 2019 and 70 per cent of those would turn to Reform UK over migration issues.

Reform UK is a right-wing populist party and the political heir of the Brexit Party. It has not published a full election programme yet, but is focusing in TV debates on immigration and the reform of the UK’s public healthcare system.

The Conservatives currently hold a solid majority in the British Parliament, earned on the promise of realising Brexit gains, but infighting and poor decision-making has led to the party loosing much support among the public.

While having made pledges to tackle migration, one of the key drivers for Brexit, the country is still receiving record numbers of migrants under Conservative rule.

Yet, despite the polls, the UK has a first-past-the-post electoral system, which may well favour the traditional Labour and Conservative parties – possibly at Reform UK’s cost.