Monday, 9 Dec 2019

Death knell sounded too soon for Brexit Party? Express poll results

MEP for London Ben Habib believes his party may have made the wrong decision in not contesting the 317 seats that the Conservatives won in the 2017 election. He added he would be “pleased” if the party managed to gain 20 MPs in the December 12 poll. He told Sky News: “I would be surprised if we don’t get at least five MPs and I would be very pleased if we get 20. There is a good chance.”

But despite some Brexit Party members losing faith in their own party, it seems Express readers still have faith.

Readers were asked between 2pm yesterday and 10.45am this morning whether they think the Brexit Party will gain 20 MPs in the election.

Out of the 6,424 people who voted, 3,557 said yes.

Meanwhile, 2,581 did not think the party would win that many seats.

And 286 voters said they did not know.

One reader told Express.co.uk: “With 20 seats the Brexit Party will be able to play a major part in House of Commons deliberations.”

Another person added: “The Brexit party and Conservatives would be okay; Labour, Lib Dems and the rest are a waste of space.”

Someone else was full of optimism as they said: “30 – 40 seats could be likely.”

But another reader criticised Mr Farage for standing down so many candidates, as they believe this could have hindered the party’s chances of gaining more seats.

They said: “If Farage had not capitulated 300 plus seats the Tories, the number could have been well over 20.”

Meanwhile, the Brexit Party was struggling in other polls this morning.

A Savanta ComRes poll for the Sunday Telegraph, which was based on a survey of 2,052 British adults online from November 13-14, had the Conservatives on course to win 41 percent, while Labour was on 33 percent, the Lib Dems were on 14 percent and the Brexit Party on a dismal five percent.

A YouGov survey for The Sunday Times put the Tories on 45 percent, Labour on 28 percent, the Lib Dems on 15 percent and the Brexit Party on four percent.

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Mr Habib also told Sophy Ridge on Sky News: “Well I think with the benefit of hindsight maybe we shouldn’t have stood 317 candidates down, with the benefit of hindsight, because the Tories haven’t responded positively to it.

“They haven’t stood down and assured a proper Leave mandate in Parliament.”

He added he is “torn” over how to vote in his own constituency of Chelsea and Fulham where there is no Brexit Party candidate.

But he said he “may” vote for Tory Greg Hands or alternatively spoil his ballot paper.

Meanwhile, the MEP said he thinks staying in the European Union would be better than going ahead with Boris Johnson’s Withdrawal Agreement.

He said he sees the Prime Minister’s deal as “much worse” than remaining in the EU and that Mr Johnson needs to be steered away from his plan.

Mr Habib told Sophy Ridge: “What we really need to do is get the Prime Minister to pivot away from the Withdrawal Agreement.”

He added: “I see the Withdrawal Agreement as much worse than Remain, frankly.”

Mr Habib said under Mr Johnson’s deal Northern Ireland will be left “bereft”.

Asked if it is the official Brexit Party position that remaining in the EU is better than the Prime Minister’s deal, he said: “That may or may not be our position. That’s certainly my view.”

Mr Habib was asked about allegations that Tories have offered jobs and peerages to the Brexit Party in return for them standing down at the election.

Asked if the claims are correct, Mr Habib laughed as he said: “Sadly, no job was ever offered to me.”

He added: “I am aware that a number of my colleagues have been pressed. Ann Widdecombe, for example, was offered some sort of negotiating position with the Tory Party, from Number 10, someone from Number 10 called Ann.

“I know there have been lots of conversations going on, and discussions, and pressure has been brought to bear.”

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