Nigel Farage’s Brexit Party went into this Thursday’s general election in turmoil, running at just 3 percent in opinion polls.
Just a week before the election three party MEPs, Annunziata Rees-Mogg, Lance Forman and Lucy Harris, resigned from the party to back the Tories instead.
Rees-Mogg said, “The Conservatives are the only option for Brexit supporters and democrats alike.”
MEP John Longworth had been sacked the day before for “repeatedly undermining” Farage’s election strategy.
He had wanted the Brexit Party to withdraw from even more seats.
Farage already withdrew 317 candidates early in the campaign, to boost the Tory vote, infuriating many candidates and Brexit Party supporters.
But Farage’s appeal for the Tories to withdraw from Labour-held constituencies fell flat. He lashed out, claiming the Tories were splitting the Leave vote.
Farage appeared to be floundering as the general election loomed closer.
He had no answers when confronted with the fact that a number of Brexit Party candidates have made Islamophobic comments.
But the Brexit Party pulled big crowds with rallies across Britain earlier in the year. In May’s European elections, the Brexit Party won the most seats.
Farage can still tap into widespread discontent with an out of touch political class and the ongoing saga of Brexit.
He doesn’t expect to retire any time soon. On the contrary, Farage has unveiled plans to rebrand his party as the Reform Party after the election.
The failure of the mainstream parties to deliver for ordinary people will continue to create space for more right wing groups to get a hearing.
Sturgeon shows it’s not all caviar with the SNP
After the British general election, there is likely to be continuing turmoil in Scotland.
The Scottish National Party (SNP) is set to win a majority of Scottish seats.
Labour’s campaign, refusing to accept the right of Scottish people to have a referendum on independence, left it third in the opinion polls.
SNP first minister Nicola Sturgeon reiterated this week that another independence referendum should be held within a year.
But the Tories said they definitely wouldn’t allow one, with the Scottish Conservative manifesto named “No to Indyref2”.
Labour said it would not concede one for several years.
But Sturgeon has not moved from narrow constitutionalism.
She said last week, “I am in the business of winning Scottish independence, not just having a referendum to make a point or have a gesture.
“No matter how difficult this seems sometimes, you have to have a process that is legal, that is constitutional and that is capable of being accepted not just within the UK but within the EU.
“For those who want Scotland to become independent that, at times, can feel like a hard truth, but it is a truth nonetheless.”
So even if parties that back independence won every seat, Sturgeon would stay implementing austerity, cuddling up to big business and begging Westminster to allow another referendum.
Unfortunately Labour’s refusal to scrap Trident nuclear missiles and to back independence made it much harder to reveal the SNP’s weaknesses.
There will be major mobilisations for Scottish independence in the near future.
They have to be linked to a fighting anti-austerity, anti-racist politics.