Friday 7 June 2019
We are now in a “different political world”, said elections supremo Professor John Curtice, after the Brexit Party lost to Labour by a mere 683 votes at yesterday’s Peterborough by-election. Labour’s 30% is the lowest winning vote share at a by-election ever. The Brexit Party, still only eight weeks old, tore massive chunks out of both the Tories and Labour –with the establishment parties losing 25% and 17% of the vote respectively.
This isn’t just new. This is a revolution.
Peterborough has changed from blue to red and back again at almost every election for the past century. The Brexiteers were up against Labour’s data arsenal, used to mobilise thousands of voters who backed them in 2017. Turnout was just 48%. A marginal increase would have wiped out that 683 vote margin.
A nationwide YouGov poll (see below) released yesterday puts the Brexit Party in first place, six points ahead of the Lib Dems and Labour. The Tories languish in fourth.
The lesson from the by-election and the poll is that in Leave strongholds where the Tories do not have a comfortable majority, patriots must vote for the Brexit candidate or risk a Labour MP, and with it the danger of a government led by Jeremy Corbyn – he who would rather throw down the red carpet for Hamas than President Trump.
Remainers are rubbing their hands with glee at the prospect of stymieing the Brexit Party’s astounding momentum. The truth, however, is that it’s unstoppable, breathing new life into our movement. The Tory top brass are feeling the strain most. They’re not even trying to hide it.
“We are facing an existential crisis and will not be forgiven if we do not deliver Brexit by October 31,” said Boris Johnson, still the favourite to be Tory leader, at a Hustings on Tuesday.
“I believe I am best placed to lift this party, beat Jeremy Corbyn and excite people about conservatism and conservative values.”
Good luck with that.
The Tory grassroots are angry. Promises like Boris’s and Dominic Raab’s threat of shutting down Parliament to stop Remainer meddling are welcome. They at least recognise the need to send a powerful message to their fellow MPs: Honour the referendum and the manifesto, or you’ll face deselection.
Tonight, Dominic Grieve is in the dock with his local association members in Beaconsfield – click here to listen to Radio 4’s report.
Justice secretary David Gauke will also face a no-confidence motion at the end of this month. Typically, Anna Soubry has piped up, calling it bullying. We call it justice.
Our campaign is showing no signs of slowing up. We’re closing in on business secretary Greg Clark and Watford MP Richard Harrington. Numerous campaigns to dislodge MPs failing to respect their manifesto are underway across the country.
But the forces aren’t purely “existential”. Earlier in the week, Steve Baker – one of the few high-profile Tory Brexiteers who voted against Theresa May’s deal at the final vote – published a No Deal call to action. He will only endorse a leadership contender who puts WTO withdrawal front and centre.
Baker points out that only 9% of voters backed the Withdrawal Agreement by voting Conservative at last month’s European elections. Logically therefore, the next prime minister must dismiss it and pursue real independence.
There’s more. Today, Farage personally delivered a letter to Downing Street demanding that he and his colleagues are involved in talks with the EU. He is expected to assemble a trade mission to travel to the United States in order to catch up on the start made by American negotiators towards a UK-US trade deal.
A proper arrangement can only be struck if Britain completely separates herself from the EU’s heinous regulatory regime, which underlines the reason for a true Brexiteer to be in the thick of it in both Brussels and Washington.
We may be lacking a few admirers in the corrupt EU capital, but the picture’s far rosier across the Atlantic and that’s where the wealth is being created – the US enjoyed 3% growth last year compared to the EU’s 2%.
Donald Trump himself is an anglophile and keener than anyone to boost trade between our two great nations and to get it underway quickly. Nigel has a working relationship with Mr Trump the envy of the world.
Time to send in the great man.