Britain-wide voting intentions for Westminster (Opinium):
Brexit Party 26% (+1)
Labour 22% (-4)
Conservatives 17% (-5)
Liberal Democrats 16% (+4)
Greens 11% (+7)
SNP 4% (n/c)
Plaid Cymru 1% (n/c)
Change UK 1% (-1)
UKIP 1% (-1)
It's no great surprise that it's the Brexit Party rather than the Liberal Democrats that have the lead in this poll, because the Lib Dem lead in the YouGov poll the other night was wafer-thin and was reported by a pollster that had recently been producing much more favourable numbers for the Lib Dems than other polling firms. But what is a surprise is that the Lib Dems are languishing in fourth place, and appear to have got less of a boost from the Euro election result than the Greens. And what may go unnoticed due to the impact of an outright Farage lead is that the Brexit Party themselves are only 1% up - a counterintuitive finding given that the Tories are 5% down.
When things are in such a state of flux, opinion poll results themselves can help to generate momentum and thus affect future polling, and from that point of view it's worth remembering that the Opinium fieldwork preceded the publication of the YouGov poll. So perhaps there's a secondary Lib Dem boost that Opinium haven't been able to pick up yet.
In case you're consoling yourself with the thought that Brexit Party support is too evenly-spread for first-past-the-post and that Farage wouldn't be able to become Prime Minister on 26% of the vote, the seat projection from Electoral Calculus based on this poll tells a grimmer tale. The Brexit Party would be just 20 seats short of an overall majority, and with the Tories holding on to 26 seats, there would be no realistic majority for any government other than a Farage-led government. That said, I'm not sure what assumptions Electoral Calculus are making about the geographical distribution of support for the Brexit Party, which is, after all, a party that only received its first ever votes just over a week ago.
Nigel Farage has taken out an each-way bet with his Brexit Party adventure - he can either win directly by becoming Prime Minister, or he can win indirectly by spooking the Tories into embracing No Deal. It's becoming increasingly hard to see how he can possibly lose.
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