Tories sink to fifth in London, poll shows — European Union elections

Support for new Brexit Party surges amid voter backlash

Paul Scully, the Conservatives' vice chaiman for London who represents Sutton and Cheam, told City A.M. he believes his party is being punished for the deadlock over Brexit.

Meanwhile, Liberal Democrat MP Layla Moran has ruled herself out of the leadership race, which will take place after the European elections.

The Conservatives' poor poll ratings, together with the hammering the party received in local elections outside the capital earlier this month, has seen the pressure grow on Theresa May to step down as leader. The UK government is set on leaving the European Union, and terms of departure have been agreed on by negotiating parties?

The failure of the CUK party to break through bodes extremely poorly for the electoral prospects of the "Remain Resistance" led by the likes of Tony Blair, given it was supposed to serve as a Remainer answer to the Brexit Party.

But progress has been painfully slow and there are growing calls in May's Conservative party to abandon the talks.

Farage has been campaigning for an immediate no-deal Brexit that would see Britain cut ties with the European Union without a trade deal in place, regardless of the economic or political consequences for Britain, including Scotland opting for independence. Labour and the Tories are polling just 26% combined.

Mr Corbyn acknowledged MPs' "frustrations" and said he understood the need to simplify their message, telling them: "I get that".

Education Minister Damian Hinds said the European elections were in effect a second referendum and would be hard for the Conservatives. "For some people this is the ultimate protest vote", he said.

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"My view is that the prime minister will never whip her side to back a deal on that basis and that is therefore torpedoing the talks".

"We're approaching crunch time here, so unless a deal can get finalized this week, the pressure on May will likely rise over the near term".

Enthusiasm in Britain for European Parliamentary elections has traditionally not run high: In 2014, the turnout in the United Kingdom was just 36 per cent.

Labour, which is running second in the polls, is also being tested by the elections. 'The majority of people in associations I'm addressing tell me they are voting for the Brexit Party'.

The Brexit Party presents itself as an alternative to the mainstream parties, including Jeremy Corbyn's Labour, who have expressed on-again off-again support for a second referendum on the UK's departure from the European Union, angering many. "By contrast where does a supporter of Brexit who doesn't like Nigel Farage go?", he said.

Britain's chief Brexit negotiator Olly Robbins was due in Brussels for what May's spokesman said was a routine visit.

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