What are the big questions Nigel Farage faces if he wins the Euros? asks STEPHEN POLLARD

When he first became an MEP in 1999, the idea of Britain leaving the EU was the preserve of a tiny fringe. Within 17 years, he had not only helped to force a referendum but turned Brexit into the view of 52 percent of those who voted in that referendum. Now Mr Farage is again showing his political skills. His new Brexit Party, which didn't exist until a few weeks ago, is topping the polls for next week's Euro elections. And not just topping but dominating them. My hunch is that the polls even underestimate the support the party will receive next Thursday.

Farage and Marr

Nigel Farage dismisses Andrew Marr and BBC bias (Image: BBC)

You hardly need me to tell you why.

There is enormous anger directed at both the main parties for their refusal to do what they were told to do by voters in 2016.

Labour is a bad joke.

Even if you ignore the fact that it is now led by a Marxist whose supporters look to Venezuela as an exemplar for Britain, its Brexit policy is not so much impenetrable as ridiculous.

Formally, it says it wants to honour the vote.

But it has refused to do that at every opportunity in the Commons, and between 150 and 170 Labour MPs are now estimated to be prepared to vote for any Brexit deal only if it's accompanied by a “confirmatory vote” – a second referendum.

Keir Starmer

Keir Starmer wants a second referendum disguised as a 'confirmatory vote' (Image: Getty)

And then there are the Conservatives.

Mrs May had one real task as PM – to deliver Brexit.

She has certainly worked hard, but to zero effect.

Because despite repeatedly promising that we would be leaving on March 29, that day has long since passed and we are, if anything, further away than ever from Brexit. 

Theresa May

As PM Theresa May had one job – to deliver Brexit and she has failed (Image: Press Association)

It’s certainly true that the real responsibility for this lies with the likes of the European Reform Group – those Tory MPs who refused to support the Withdrawal Agreement and, in so doing, handed the initiative to Remainers.

But the fact is that Mrs May has been a catastrophic prime minister, failing in her one task, splitting the Conservative Party and now, it seems certain, leading her party to its worst ever election result.

With the polls suggesting they might win as little as 10 percent support, the Tories are now battling to avoid finishing sixth next week.

That means that ever greater attention is going to be paid to Mr Farage and the Brexit Party, with a view to the next general election.

Jacob Rees-Mogg

Jacob Rees-Mogg, the chairman of the ERG (Image: Press Association)

It's worth a cautionary note here. The last four Euro elections have been won by William Hague, Michael Howard, David Cameron and Nigel Farage.

Of them, only Mr Cameron has been able to use victory as a springboard to general election success.

But the Brexit Party has clearly tapped in to a widespread anger at the two main parties.

That’s shown in the most recent Westminster voting intention polls.

Yesterday's YouGov poll had Labour and the Tories tied on 24 percent with the Brexit Party on 18 percent.

And a ComRes poll from a few days ago had Labour on 27 percent with the Tories and Brexit Party nearly neck and neck on 20 percent and 19 percent respectively.

In other words, next week's Euro elections could herald a political earthquake, with voters’ anger at being constantly ignored over Brexit transforming the landscape.

On Sunday, Mr Farage was interviewed by a rigorous Andrew Marr on the BBC.

With the polls showing that his new party might indeed be on the point of shattering the existing two-party system, it's important that he and the Brexit Party are properly scrutinised.

So it was depressing that he responded to questions about some of his own statements in the past – dismissing global warming, wanting to bar foreign HIV patients from NHS hospitals and such like – by trying to shut down the questioning rather than engaging with it.

If the Brexit Party arrives on the political stage as a serious player after next week’s election, democracy demands that we know what it stands for, beyond Brexit.

With both main parties becoming more discredited and unpopular by the day, we cannot have a vacuum filled by a party that is itself a vacuum. 

After next week’s expected triumph, the Brexit Party will have to move beyond Brexit and tell us how it would shape Britain if it was handed power.

Then we will see if British politics really are about to be transformed.

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