Across Europe people took to the polling stations yesterday as a new swathe of MEPs put their names forward to sit in the European Parliament. But, not country is under the spotlight quite like the UK as it teeters on the edge of departure from the EU with the fairly new Brexit Party riding high in the polls and the Conservative Party in absolute chaos.
Nigel Farage’s Brexit Party, which appears to be an offshoot of UKIP, but trying to be a ‘bit less racist’ and distancing itself from the toxicity of the likes of Tommy Robinson (aka Stephen Yaxley-Lennon) spared no expense in its campaigning efforts, although seemed to prefer the use of buses than grassroots campaigners. Their campaign gained additional publicity, as did Robinson’s, when a trend of dousing candidates with milkshakes seemed to get them a constant stream of publicity. Only time will tell whether that coverage had a negative or positive impact on their efforts. We’ll soon find out whose milkshake brought all the boys to the polling booths.
What is most definitely true is that The Brexit Party got a disproportionate amount of coverage on the likes of BBC Question Time, given that it was a party with no manifesto and only a single pledge, which was to ensure UK’s exit from the EU. When you couple this with the extravagance of their marketing efforts and the revelations of questionable donations, it is no wonder that people start to think whether or not there are other forces behind this.
The position in Scotland, Wales and to a degree Northern Ireland are very different. Scotland seen a majority vote to stay in the EU during the EU Referendum and the polls suggest that the SNP are likely to wipe the board, with the population eager to have their interests protected by sending a full quota of SNP MPs to the European Parliament. In Wales, Plaid Cymru are looking likely to take second place behind Labour.
Whatever the outcome is, there appears to be a strong likeliness of quite considerable change across the country and a clear message will be sent by the voting population to the elected politicians of how they actually want the country’s relationship with Europe to be, as they are now better armed with facts following the 2016 referendum.
Breaking news: Theresa May’s tearful resignation
Today’s big news was the announcement from 10 Downing Street by Theresa May that she is planning to resign as leader of the Conservative & Unionist Party on 7th June, which then lead to a flurry of potential leadership candidates stating their intention to step up as potential replacement Prime Minister. The least surprising ones being Boris Johnson and Michael Gove.
It would be a fair observation to say there wasn’t much sympathy for May’s tears…
Twitter erupted in numerous trending hashtags showing a mixture of responses, but quite dominantly a huge number of tweets showing utter horror at the prospect of Boris Johnson becoming the next Prime Minister (111,000 tweets at time of writing).