Support for new Brexit Party surges amid voter backlash

European Parliament election

A ComRes general election poll published on the weekend found Mr Farage's Brexit Party had overtaken the Tories for the first time, taking a one-point lead.

Conversely, Change UK - the party formed by nine former Labour and three ex-Tory MPs - is languishing on just seven per cent support in the capital, according to the survey carried out on behalf of Queen Mary University of London.

The poll shows the Conservatives would lose 46 seats to the Brexit Party, dethroning Defence Secretary Penny Mordaunt, Health Secretary Matt Hancock and party chairman Brandon Lewis.

May is under pressure from some Conservatives to quit office sooner than her pledge to resign after the first phase of the Brexit process is complete, prompting ministers and other hopefuls to pronounce their leadership ambitions.

With little movement in talks between the government and the opposition Labour Party to try to end the impasse in parliament, an election to the European Parliament on May 23 will offer a new opportunity for voters to show their discontent.

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"Elsewhere, latest opinion polls in the United Kingdom are indicating that support for Nigel Farage's Brexit Party is soaring with the Opinium survey for the Observer newspaper indicating that the Brexit Party would take 34% of the vote in the May 23 European Parliament elections, compared with 21% for Labour and just 11% for the Conservatives".

Although Mr Drummond cautioned the European election in less than two weeks could be "bleeding into" and "inflating" the Westminster results, the level of support was still notable. The pro-EU Liberal Democrats, the most popular party to explicitly call for a second referendum to reverse Brexit, are on 12%.

Paul Scully, the Conservatives' vice chaiman for London who represents Sutton and Cheam, told City A.M. he believes his party is being punished for the deadlock over Brexit.

When asked if he felt a change of party leader would improve the party's dire poll ratings, Scully was reticent: "My biggest worry is that a leadership election will see a six-week window where we will be talking to ourselves and not the country".

He said: "On the European elections, while the question of which party Brexit voters should back was settled some time ago, the equivalent for Remain voters is still ambiguous".

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