Reform UK leader Nigel Farage takes a selfie with a Reform UK supporter in Maidstone. EPA-EFE/ANDY RAIN


Support for Farage’s Reform UK party drops after Ukraine comments, latest poll shows


Support for former arch-Brexiteer Nigel Farage’s Reform UK party has dipped, according to the latest BMG Research poll.

The slide revealed in the June 27 survey, ahead of the July 4 UK general election, came after he had suggested that the West provoked Russian President Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine.

The BMG Research poll, conducted between June 24 and 26, showed Reform UK’s support dropping to 16 per cent, down from a record high of 19 per cent the previous week.

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s Conservative Party saw a slight increase, rising to 20 per cent from 19 per cent. Keir Starmer’s Labour Party remained firmly in the lead on 42 per cent.

On June 25, Starmer said of Farage’s comments: “That plays into Putin’s hands. That kind of appeasement is dangerous for Britain’s security, the security of our allies that rely on us and will only embolden Putin.”

In a BBC interview aired on June 21, Farage reiterated his belief that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine was as a result of the Eastward expansion of the European Union and NATO.

His comments, which drew widespread criticism across the political spectrum and media, were reiterated during his campaigning over the past days.

UK daily The Telegraph said on June 23: “Farage’s words unintentionally feed the Kremlin’s propaganda machine, boosting domestic support for continuing the conflict at a time when even Putin seems to be contemplating some form of negotiations.”

It also attacked him on June 24 in an opinion article stating: “Farage’s views on Putin aren’t just wrong, they’re weird”.

The Reform UK leader defended himself, claiming he was not the first to blame the EU for the Ukraine war. On his X account he said of the former UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson: “Boris, you are a liar and a hypocrite.” That was in reference to a newspaper front page from 2016 Farage had brandished in public on June 25 with the headline: “Boris blames EU for war in Ukraine”.

The decline in support for Reform UK may ease some pressure on the Conservatives, as Farage’s entry into the election race had threatened to syphon right-of-centre votes from Sunak’s party.

“This is a glimmer of hope for the Conservatives as the Reform surge appears to have stalled,” said Rob Struthers, BMG Research Director.

“However, the overall picture for Rishi Sunak remains extremely bleak. Labour’s lead over the Conservatives remains above 20 points, leaving little doubt that the Conservatives are fighting to avoid a near wipeout next week.”

The Conservatives’ efforts to close the gap with Labour have been further hampered by an investigation involving five party officials, including two candidates, over bets on the date of the election before it was officially announced.