In Peterborough and now Brecon & Radnorshire, the Leave vote has been split. In the former, the Conservatives denied the Brexit Party candidate Mike Greene a seat within his grasp, and in the latter, Conservatives lost to the Liberal Democrats, thousands of their votes taken by the Brexit Party. The result has been the election of two Pro-Remain MPs in two Leave constituencies. Who is to blame for this, you ask? Well, that depends on who is answering the question.
Many would blame the Brexit Party as the newcomers, conveniently forgetting that in Peterborough it was the Brexit Party that was most able to claim victory, and the Tories who split the vote. Even some people who recently voted for the Brexit Party in the European Elections now say they should step aside and leave it to the ‘professionals’. Clearly, these poor fools are experiencing a bout of amnesia, and should be held in our prayers for a swift recovery. These ‘professionals’, are the same MPs who for 3 years have utterly failed to deliver on the 2016 Referendum’s result. The difference now, of course, is that they are led by Brexiteer favourite and long-time darling of the Tory membership, Boris Johnson, one of the most liberal Conservative Party leaders of all time and a man who had flirted with Remain before the Referendum and throughout his career.
Whatever your opinion of Boris Johnson and the Conservatives, the Brexit Party cannot stand aside. After 3 years of betrayal by the Government, Leavers need an alternative to the Establishment parties, which have neglected them for so long. The Tories can’t be taken at their word anymore, if they want to win back trust it is through actions, not by arrogantly throwing accusations of vote-splitting at their rival. Without the Brexit Party, the Conservatives will not fear the repercussions of their failure and the betrayals shall continue.
Furthermore, it is not just disillusioned Tories who vote for the Brexit Party, many of its voters, candidates and indeed, MEPs, are ex-Labour, such as lifelong Labour supporter now Brexit Party MEP, Martin Daubney. For the Tories to assume that if the Brexit Party stood aside all their votes would flood to them demonstrates their arrogance far better than this article ever could.
However, the Brexit Party can offer the Tories a lifeline, for the sake of Brexit. Nigel Farage has publicly offered to come to the table and negotiate an electoral pact with the Conservatives should an election come before Brexit is delivered. The Brexit Party has been generous in its offer, even going so far as to announce its first 150 parliamentary candidates as mostly being in the Midlands, Northern and Welsh constituencies, i.e. Labour’s heartlands. The Prime Minister has ruled this out, for now at least the Conservatives refuse to co-operate.
The clock is ticking, Mr Johnson, the Brexit Party are not the Conservative Party-Lite and they will not simply stand aside after so many betrayals. The Conservatives must overcome their arrogance and be willing to work with the Brexit Party should an election come before October, or else the Tories will find their own heartlands under threat. This offer has a deadline.
If the UK is not out of the EU by October 31st, the Brexit Party will not be so generous. They will fight every seat, and they will annihilate the Conservatives at the polls.
Photos by BackBoris2012 Campaign Team and Gage Skidmore on Flickr.