Support for new Brexit Party surges amid voter backlash

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Support for new Brexit Party surges amid voter backlash
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A British government minister has admitted that the ruling Conservative Party faces an angry backlash from voters at this month’s European elections, as an opinion poll showed that Nigel Farage’s new Brexit Party got more support than the two traditional parties combined.

Education Minister Damian Hinds said the European elections were in effect a second referendum and would be difficult for the Conservatives.

According to the latest Opinium poll for The Observer newspaper, the Brexit Party is well ahead with 34% of the vote.

Labour is in second place on 21% and the pro-European Liberal Democrats third with 12%. Theresa May’s Conservatives are fourth with 11%.

Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage said there has been a breakdown of trust between people and politicians.

He told the BBC's Andrew Marr Show that the two main parties had failed to deliver the result of the Brexit referendum.

"Here we are, nearly three years on from that referendum, Brexit's not been delivered, and frankly given this government and given this parliament there is no prospect of these parties delivering a clean break Brexit."

Farage went on to have an angry exchange with the programme's host, accusing the BBC presenter of conducting the most “ridiculous” interview ever.

"You are not prepared to talk about what's going on in this country today. You're in denial, the BBC's in denial, the Tory and Labour parties are in denial. I think you're all in for a bigger surprise on Thursday week than you can even imagine."

Meanwhile, the former Labour Prime Minister Tony Blair said Labour supporters angered by the party's ambiguous position on Brexit should instead vote for an "unequivocal" Remain party.

"At the end of this election there is going to be a totting up, there's going to be a ledger," he told Sky's Sophy Ridge on Sunday programme. "And on one side of the ledger will go Mr Farage and his fellow travellers like Boris Johnson in the Conservative Party and on the other side are going to be those that are anti that position — anti-Farage, anti-Brexit."

Elections for 73 MEPs to the European Parliament will take place on 23 May.