U.K.’s Brexit Party narrowly defeated in key electoral test

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Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage stands on the stage as results are announced at the counting center for the European Elections for the South East England region, in Southampton, England, early Monday, May 27, 2019. (AP Photo/Alastair Grant

LONDON – Britain’s upstart Brexit Party failed in its first attempt to win a seat in parliament, narrowly losing early Friday to the Labor Party of the center’s left in a special election.

Labor candidate Lisa Forbes won the Peterborough constituency in eastern England by 683 votes over Mike Greene of the Brexit Party.

Forbes said that the defeat of the Brexit Party “shows that the division policy will not win”, although the participation of workers in the vote fell sharply in the last elections in 2017.
The ruling Conservative Party, in disarray for Brexit and involved in a battle of leaders, came in third.

Prime Minister Theresa May will resign as conservative leader on Friday, defeated for her inability to get Britain out of the European Union in time. She will remain prime minister for a few weeks while the party chooses a successor. So far, 11 conservative lawmakers are fighting to replace it.

The result of the election is a blow to the momentum of the months-long Brexit Party, led by veteran Eurosceptic politician Nigel Farage, who wants Britain to leave the EU on the scheduled date of October 31, with or without agreement. of divorce.

That simple – critics say that simplistic – the message has resonated with voters who support the Brexit angry about the country’s political stalemate. The party won almost a third of the votes of the United Kingdom in last month’s elections in the European Parliament.

Farage’s strength was the favorite of the bookmakers to win in Peterborough, a city that voted 60% for leaving the EU in the Brexit referendum of Great Britain 2016.

Despite the loss, Farage said the “massive result” showed that British policy had “fundamentally changed,” with the stalemate of the big Conservative and Labor parties now bankrupt.

In Thursday’s vote in Peterborough, as in the European election last month, both the Conservatives and Labor saw their vote fall, as voters on both sides of the Brexit gap punished them for the country’s political impasse. .

The beneficiaries are the Brexit Party and the Liberal and Green Democrats, strongly pro-EU, which create an unusually unstable and unpredictable political landscape.

Thursday’s election was called after Peterborough’s former labor legislator was jailed for lying about a speeding offense and then fired for a public petition.

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