Three out of five Conservatives plan to vote for the Brexit Party in European elections

People take away Brexit Party placards after a rally in Clacton-on-Sea, Essex (Picture: PA)

Three out of five Conservatives plan to vote for the Brexit Party in the upcoming European elections, a poll says.

The survey, by the Conservative Home website, found that 61% of Tory members will switch allegiance to the newly formed Brexit Party, led by Nigel Farage.

In comparison, only 22% of those members plan on voting Conservative at the European elections on May 23.

The poll of 1,550 Conservatives found that 3% will vote for the new Change UK party, while 2% will vote Liberal Democrat.

Just 0.19% plan on voting Ukip.

Conservative Home editor, Paul Goodman, said there are a number of reasons why Tory voters are turned off their own party.

“It may be worth running through the reasons that we floated for this dreadful result for the Conservatives,” he said.

“They are as follows. First, anger at the postponement of Brexit after it had been promised over 100 times for March 29.

“Second, a backlash against Theresa May’s talks with Jeremy Corbyn, which now seem to be nearing a climax, whatever happens. This has infuriated and baffled many members.

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“Third, the belief that they provide a free hit chance to protest. Fourth, the belief that Nigel Farage provides a respectable pro-Brexit alternative (backing for UKIP in the survey has collapsed).

“Finally, the hope that a really bad result might prove to be a trigger for leadership change.”

Meanwhile, a report by The UK in a Changing Europe think tank said the European Parliament elections will be treated like a new Brexit referendum by many.

Professor Anand Menon, director of The UK in a Changing Europe, said: "There is an irony that the upcoming European elections will be the most scrutinised, watched and dissected.

Nigel Farage during his Brexit Party's first press conference of the European Election campaign (Picture: PA)
Prime minister Theresa May could be losing her party's vote to the Brexit Party (Picture: PA)

"And yet it remains far from certain whether - and if so for how long - any of the British MEPS will take up their seats."

The report states: "Like it or not, convincingly or not, many people will portray the election as a proxy Brexit referendum.

"As for the EU itself, the elections will, obviously, have a bearing on the composition of the European Parliament.

"They will determine the balance of power - between pro-European and nationalist-populist forces, and between left and right - and influence important decisions taken about key appointments to top EU jobs and the future agenda for Europe.

"All things being equal, British MEPs will play a part in those debates, even if their tenures do not last much longer than it takes for these initial decisions to be made.”

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