By Robert Jonathan
Just 683 votes prevented the fledgling Brexit Party from winning its first seat in the U.K. parliament known as the House of Commons. To some degree, the defeat in the June 6 special election (which in Britain is called a by-election) for the Peterborough constituency stalls the Nigel Farage-led party’s momentum after its big win in the European elections.
The Labor (or Labour) Party, which won the seat, lost 17 percent of its market share from the June 2017 election, however, while the rapidly-fading Conservatives were down 28 percent. In the 2017 election, both the Conservatives and Labor promised to deliver a “proper” Brexit to keep faith with the British public who voted to exit the European Union. So far, that hasn’t happened.
The Labor candidate, who apparently has a history of sharing anti-Semitic content on social media according to the Guido Fawkes political blog, won the special election with approximately 31 percent of the vote. This background is perhaps not surprising since anti-Semitism runs rampant through the far-Left Labor Party under its Marxist leader Jeremy Corbyn.
The Brexit Party, which only officially launched on April 12, finished in a strong second place with about 29 percent of ballots cast.
As news breaks of a Labour victory in Peterborough despite an impressive result for the newly-formed Brexit Party, the message to the @Conservatives is clear: commit to delivering Brexit and work with @Nigel_Farage or you hand Jeremy Corbyn the keys to No. 10!
— Leave.EU (@LeaveEUOfficial) June 7, 2019
The Conservatives were third with 21 percent, providing further evidence that grassroots Conservative, a.k.a. Tory, voters are fed up with how the inept Conservative government under Prime Minister Theresa May mishandled the Brexit negotiations. Brexiteers have criticized May’s withdrawal agreement as Brexit in Name Only (BRINO) and tantamount to a surrender document that left the U.K. still trapped by EU regulations with non-member status.
The Liberal Democrats, Green Party, and UKIP finished far behind in the balloting.
Vote fraud allegationshave since surfaced, however, prompting a police investigation. It seems that the Labor Party and the Democrats in the U.S. have a lot in common.
Fresh off winning 29 MEPs in a Euro elections landslide, the Brexit Party has today delivered a letter to 10 Downing Street demanding a seat at the Brexit negotiating table. The 17.4m deserve to be heard after three years of sickening betrayal!
Support us https://t.co/ntwXbJeHQw
— Leave.EU (@LeaveEUOfficial) June 7, 2019
May promised more than 100 times that the U.K. would officially leave the European Union on March 29 and then broke that promise. If the Conservative candidate had stepped aside in Peterborough, the Brexit Party hopeful would have won easily.
May resigned as party leader on June 7 and will be interim prime minister while her party goes through the machinations of selecting a new leader, who will by default become prime minister at least initially.
Disappointing Peterborough Results
The populist Brexit Party put forth an excellent candidate, local businessman and philanthropist Mike Greene, who has deep ties to the area.
Writes Human Events:
“The result will be a major disappointment for Farage and his new party and will place a dampener on celebrations that started earlier in the night due to a new poll which showed the Brexit Party six points ahead of Labour and the Conservative Party in a general election. Farage and his team will now go back to the drawing board to figure out what went wrong, including but not limited to the Brexit Party’s lack of data, local activists, and use of election technology.”
A remarkable result for our 8 week old party. If we can come so close in our 201st target seat, no seat is safe. We're very proud of @MikeGreeneTBP & our supporters who worked so hard. Thanks to the people of Peterborough who voted for us – we promise you that we're here to stay! pic.twitter.com/ARmLuADZ1P
— The Brexit Party (@brexitparty_uk) June 7, 2019
The 31 percent share doesn’t seem like much of a triumph, but the U.K. operates with a “first past the post” process in its multi-party parliamentary elections in which the winner essentially takes all. There is no run-off that might help smaller parties make headway.
The EU parliamentary elections, and many countries in Europe and elsewhere, instead use a proportional representation system in which citizens vote for a party list (rather than a geographical area). Candidates then enter parliament from each list in hierarchical order based on the percentage each list received in the national vote.
A Partial Setback for the Brexit Party
Even the New York Times acknowledged that Labor’s victory was really not all that:
“[Farage’s] relative success in Peterborough, which voted to leave the European Union in the 2016 referendum, is likely to reinforce the belief among the Tories that to avoid an electoral catastrophe, their next leader must be a hard-line supporter of Brexit — like the former foreign secretary Boris Johnson — and someone who can neutralize the threat from Mr. Farage. The progress of the Brexit Party is also likely to unnerve Labour, which had held the Peterborough seat until its lawmaker, Fiona Onasanya, was forced out after she was sentenced to three months in jail for lying about a traffic offense.”
In one of many media appearances, Farage told the BBC the next morning that “Eight weeks ago today the Brexit party launched, and what you have seen from the results last night is that British politics has fundamentally changed. It’s no longer just two parties contesting.”
"I tell you what, he does believe in Brexit."
Nigel Farage reflects on meeting US President Donald Trump during his state visit this week. Despite success in recent European elections, his Brexit Party failed to gain a seat in a UK by-election yesterday. https://t.co/ehk9Hvf0gR pic.twitter.com/TDraQDiUmd
— CNN (@CNN) June 7, 2019
“If you want Brexit, and you want to stop Mr Corbyn becoming Prime Minister, you’ve got to vote Brexit Party, not Conservative.”
That’s what Nigel Farage said after the Brexit Party lost to Labour in the Peterborough by-election. pic.twitter.com/1vcafyjF25
— Channel 4 News (@Channel4News) June 7, 2019
The Brexit Party currently has one unifying policy: Exiting the EU with no deal (rather than a bad deal) pursuant to World Trade Organization rules. When not fear mongering about post-Brexit Britain, the globalist, London-centric, EU-loving mainstream media has been badgering Farage about announcing additional policies given that his party intends to compete in the next national election.
This is not a legitimate journalistic inquiry, however. It’s more about demonizing the Brexit Party to prevent it from drawing votes from both Conservative and Labor constituencies.
According to UnHerd, “if one looks beyond the Brexit debate, the big gap in the British party system is crying out for a party that represents people who lean somewhat to the Left on economic issues and somewhat to the Right on cultural issues.”
Media Wants to Drive a Wedge Between Brexit Party-Leaning Voters
In a pre-election interview, Good Morning Britain host Piers Morgan kept pressing Farage about some controversial comments made by one his Brexit Party colleagues in the Brussels-based EU parliament. You may recall that the gun control-obsessed Morgan failed as CNN’s replacement for Larry King.
Instead of allowing himself to be put on the defensive, Farage showed politicians on both sides of the Atlantic how this is done:
“In a free society, tolerance needs to be a two-way street…I will not support or condemn individuals for their views on abortion, on homosexuality, on issues of conscience…”
While the continually interrupting Piers Morgan comes across in the exchange as a self-righteous pest, he is one of the few mainstream media commentators in the U.K. who has been fair to President Trump. The former Celebrity Apprentice winner also is a vocal critic of political correctness and virtue signaling that permeates the media.
As an aside, on the subject of hot-button social issues, various gullible GOP candidates have snatched defeat from the jaws of victory in the foolish way they have fielded questions from the media on these sensitive matters.
These ill-prepared Republican candidates should have been savvy enough to realize that they were not dealing with good-faith journalism (similar to the posing U.K. media’s obsession with the Brexit Party’s additional policy positions). It is a search-and-destroy mission.
Moreover, office-seekers need to realize that good people often have messy personal lives, and they do the best they can. Sometimes, this requires difficult decisions. Against that backdrop, politicians, regardless of their ideology, should not be in the business of preaching to people how to conduct their private lives.
Economics and personal freedom were among the primary reasons the Trump MAGA coalition of Republicans, Democrats, and independents sent him to the White House, even including religious conservatives. The First Amendment, Second Amendment, and the 10th Amendment, plus appointing conservative judges, were also important factors.
What Happens Next?
As alluded to above, a new poll suggests that the Brexit Party, even without a laundry list of policies, could win a national parliamentary election. The next election is not scheduled until 2022. The government, however, could fall even before May leaves the official PM’s residence at 10 Downing Street or on or about the time of the naming of May’s successor if the Conservative-led parliamentary coalition splinters.
This is particularly likely if the new PM is a Conservative in Name Only who capitulates like his/her predecessor to the EU and/or the Remainer-dominated parliament refuses to take the U.K. out of the EU on a no-deal basis. As noted above, ex-London Mayor Boris Johnson, who positions himself as pro-Brexit, is currently the front-runner for the job.
Note: In the U.K., the government is what we would consider the equivalent of the executive branch only. MPs who support the PM but who don’t serve in the PM’s cabinet, or MPs in the opposition party, are not considered part of the government.
Westminster voting intention:
BREX: 26% (+4)
LAB: 20% (+1)
LDEM: 20% (-4)
CON: 18% (+2)
GRN: 9% (+1)
CHUK: 0% (-1)
via @YouGov, 04 – 06 Jun
Chgs. w/ 29 May
— Britain Elects (@britainelects) June 6, 2019
In the London Telegraph, Nigel Farage described what happens next after Peterborough in terms of Brexit Party policy development, a.k.a. the Big Visio
“…Peterborough, by the way, was Number 201 on the Brexit Party’s list of winnable seats at Westminster. If we can get so close to winning there, then no Tory or Labour seat is safe any longer… For the next few weeks, the country is going to be possessed by a full complement of Conservative Party leadership candidates, telling us that we will definitely leave the EU as promised on October 31. That date will loom larger in the public consciousness over the coming months. If Brexit is betrayed yet again, and we do not leave on October 31, there will be no telling what extraordinary heights the Brexit Party might reach…
“The meteoric rise of the Brexit Party poses a dilemma for millions of Tory voters. In many parliamentary seats the real contest now is clearly between Labour and the Brexit Party, as it was in Peterborough on Thursday. It is evident in these seats that if you vote Conservative, you will get Labour…
“Of course, the Tory leadership candidates will all insist they can be trusted to deliver. But given that Mrs May told us 108 times that Brexit means Brexit and that we would be leaving on March 29, why would I believe a word any of them say? Especially as all of them, despite their earlier protestations, ultimately voted for Mrs May’s appalling Withdrawal Agreement…
“While the establishment parties tear themselves apart over Brexit, what next for the Brexit Party? On Sunday June 30 we will hold our first national party conference – ‘The Big Vision’ – at the NEC Birmingham.
“There, we will lay out our strategy for fighting a general election and unveil our first 100 candidates. I admit that we still have quite a lot to do to get ready – we have already received more than 3,000 candidate applications, and are working to create a national network of activists from scratch. But we are up for the fight. At the NEC Birmingham we will also unveil the direction of our policy development, especially focusing on the opportunities that ought to be available to Brexit Britain. Then we will start a consultation with our paying supporters – all 110,000-and-counting of them – and give them a vote on what happens next… when we say that the Brexit Party is a movement for democracy, we mean it. And our direct democracy begins at home.
“I launched the Brexit Party a mere eight weeks ago with the commitment to ‘Change Politics for Good’; to challenge the insular political class, replace their outdated two-party system, and push for fundamental democratic reform across our unrepresentative political system.”
Join us for The Big Vision Rally at the NEC Birmingham on 30th June – it promises to be our biggest yet!
— The Brexit Party (@brexitparty_uk) June 7, 2019
A registered independent, Robert Jonathan is a longtime writer/editor for viral news aggregation websites with a focus on politics and other trending topics. He earned a Juris Doctorate degree from “a law school the basketball teams can be proud of.”
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