After topping the polls at the European Elections, the Brexit Party and its machinery are now focused on keeping pressure and momentum on the establishment by winning the Peterborough By-Election on June 6th.
On the face of it, the picture looks good for the Brexit Party. It is already the heavy favourite, with some bookies putting them as strong as 4/6 on, and it is not difficult to see why. Labour have been irreparably damaged in this contest due to both the criminal behaviour of their former MP Fiona Onasanya, and her hideous arrogance in refusing to stand down immediately following her conviction. The Conservatives, who barely fought the European elections in any meaningful sense, are unlikely to mount much of a challenge now that they are consumed in an existential leadership battle – Indeed, for some candidates a Brexit Party victory might indeed be welcome; strengthening the hand of those who say we must leave on October 31st, come what may lest the Brexit Party consume them at a General Election. As for the other extremist Remain parties, superficially there is little fertile ground for them based on the voting numbers seen in the European Elections (see below). Based on these factors, it is hard to see a better set of circumstances for the Brexit Party to win an MP as the next staging post to “change politics for good”.
However there are some serious risks for the Brexit Party in this By-Election. Firstly, there is always a different dynamic in play during parliamentary elections, and the support given in the European election, cannot be taken for granted to transfer automatically to a parliamentary election – failure to win this seat would represent a serious set back in the context of the circumstances already outlined, and would embolden the Soft-Brexit candidates in the Tory leadership election, potentially dealing a death-blow to the hopes of leaving the EU on Halloween, and maybe ever.
Secondly, the Brexit Party must deal with the reality of the utterly hostile environment that it is working in with regard to the media. The coverage and headlines after the historic win of the Brexit party in the European elections, show just how swivel-eyed the continued failure of the establishment to reverse Brexit has made large swathes of the media and ‘informed’ opinion. Attempts to count all other parties as outweighing the Brexit Party vote, putting Boris Johnson in court over ‘the Bus’, the resurrection of Gordon Brown and his unchallenged and spurious accusations regarding party funding and last but not least, the high lord of the Crazies Andrew Adonis suggesting BBC journalists should be arrested and charged alongside Johnson. All show plainly that the mental-rot runs deep.
This presents two clear dangers to the Brexit party, and ultimately Brexit itself – loss of momentum and loss of narrative – anything other than a resounding victory in the Peterborough By-Election gives the entrenched, anti-democratic and demented forces of ultra-remain ammunition to wage it’s war on the voiceless masses of the nation. 200 years ago the forces of the state crushed those who campaigned for a Parliament that would represent the views and interests of the people, 200 years later the Brexit Party must ensure that Peterborough doesn’t become our Peterloo.