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European elections 2019: Fragmented UK politics boosts Farage's Brexit party, reveals poll
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REUTERS/Peter Nicholls

European elections 2019: Fragmented UK politics boosts Farage's Brexit party, reveals poll

A failure to align pro-Remain camps in the UK will see Nigel Farage's Brexit Party make gains at the polls in the European elections, according to projections from Europe Elects.

The Liberal Democrats, Change UK and the Greens, who have been vocal about tabling a second referendum on Brexit, have all but ruled out working together. This lack of unity would split seats across different European Parliament groups.

"There's been talk for quite a while about a progressive alliance against the Conservative Party. But fundamentally, the problem is the parties have too many ideological differences to fall under one banner," said Euan Healey, editor-in-chief of Europe Elects.

"There are more issues than Brexit."

Socialists and Democrats

With the UK joining the EU elections — unless a Brexit withdrawal deal is secured before May 23 — their participation benefits the centre-left Socialists and Democrats (S&D) group with the seats the British Labour party will secure, according to Europe Elects. This means the race between S&D and the centre-right European People's Party (EPP) is tighter than when projections covered 27 member states, as the UK is likely to have little or no EPP gains.

And as the race tightens, a watchful eye is cast on Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban's Fidesz party. If the Fidesz Party, which is currently housed within the European People's Party, joins the populist European Alliance of Peoples and Nations (EAPN) group, it will be a significant blow to the EPP, which currently has the most seats in European Parliament.

The EAPN group was formed earlier in April by Lega leader and Italy's Deputy Prime Minister Matteo Salvini to unite right-wing populists groups within European Parliament.

Brexit Party: Who wants 'em?

British MEP Nigel Farage's new party, which at the moment is with the Europe of Freedom and Direct Democracy (EFDD), is yet to announce which Parliament group it will formally join — and who he picks is anyone's guess.

"It's hard to predict. But he's not putting much energy into being acceptable for other members," said Filip van Laenen, an analyst with Europe Elects.

"I don't think even Farage knows what to do. I know that EAPN group is not very fond of him."

"He's not going to go to the EPP or the ECR (European Conservatives and Reformists group), because the UK Conservatives are there. So, for now, he's on his own," van Laenen added.

For a full breakdown of European Parliament seat projections by country, see the chart below:

The flow chart below illustrates how projected votes have evolved since the 2014 European Elections.

Methodology

The data in the European Parliament projection is collected by Europe Elects and is based on publicly available opinion polls about voting intentions and election results in countries of the EU27 (member states of the European Union without the United Kingdom). In cases where no European election opinion poll is available, opinion polls for national elections were used. In cases where no opinion pollings on voting intentions were published since the last national election, the election result is used. For more information on the methodology, please visit Europe Elects.

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