Great winner of the European elections in the United Kingdom, the Brexit Party, founded a few months ago by the populist Nigel Farage, hopes to enter the Parliament of Westminster in a by-election Thursday in Peterborough (east of England).
“Our political establishment has been mortified by what has happened” in the European elections, said Farage, a supporter of a clear break with the EU, during a support visit Saturday to his candidate, Mike Greene , a local entrepreneur.
“But in a way, what happens here Thursday is even bigger”: it’s “the opportunity to write the next chapter of this great story,” said Nigel Farage, who dreams of overthrowing the system bipartisan – between conservative and labor – which dominates politics in the UK.
At the European poll held at the end of May, the Brexit Party came out ahead with 31.6% of the vote.
Strongly sanctioned by voters due to delays Brexit, scheduled on March 29 and postponed to October 31, the conservative party of Prime Minister Theresa May, whose resignation will be effective Friday, finished at a humiliating fifth place (9% ).
In Peterborough, the Brexit Party has done even better, winning 38% of the vote, largely ahead of Labor (17%), the pro-EU centrists of Lib-Dem (15%), the Conservatives only in the fourth position with 11%, tied with the Greens.
– Feeling anti-EU –
If the Brexit Party intends to capitalize on its success in the European elections to win in this election, it also relies on strong anti-EU sentiment: the city voted 62% to leave the European Union in the referendum of 23 June 2016.
In the 2017 legislative elections, Peterborough’s head office was won by Labor MP Fiona Onasanya, who had beaten the Conservatives with a majority of only 607 votes.
The by-election was triggered by Ms. Onasanya’s dismissal in early May following a petition from constituents. Nearly 28% of them have signed a text demanding its removal, exceeding the threshold of 10% of registered to overthrow an elected.
Fiona Onasanya, a 35-year-old lawyer, became the first MP to be removed through this procedure, introduced in 2015 by former Conservative Prime Minister David Cameron.
The voters had sanctioned the fact that Ms. Onasanya continued to sit while she was sentenced in January for obstructing the exercise of justice after claiming that someone else was driving her car, controlled in excess of speed. in July 2018.
Her party, Labor, had excluded her, but the 35-year-old lawyer was still working as an independent.
The polls will close at 2100 GMT, and the results are expected early Friday morning.