Brexit and electoral consequences

 

Sir, – I find it extraordinary that Chris Johns’s latest Brexit missive from London following the local election results chooses to ignore a rather large elephant in the room (“Is Brexit breaking Britain?”, Business Opinion, May 5th).

Since it was formed only four weeks ago, Nigel Farage’s Brexit Party has attracted 85,000 members who have donated more than £2 million towards fighting this month’s European elections. And it already tops the opinion polls for those elections by some margin.

This is a remarkable achievement and reflects the widespread and continuing anger among Tory and Labour voters at Westminster’s refusal to honour the result of the referendum.

Your columnist chooses to analyse the local election results as a massive anti-Brexit vote. This is not the interpretation of Britain’s leading polling guru, Prof Sir John Curtice, who has said that the Liberal Democrats’ resurgence is more due to it reclaiming its position as the party of protest rather than gaining the support of pro-EU voters from the major parties.

Had the Brexit Party fielded candidates in the elections the results – and the 30,000 ballot papers that were voided with the word Brexit scrawled on them – would have been very different.

But it has bigger fish to fry – European ones first, then a general election which will have both Tory and Labour party chiefs alarmed at the prospect.

The idea that 17.4 million people have somehow given up on Brexit despite the British parliament’s best efforts to thwart it is a fallacy and one that politicians will learn to their cost at the ballot box.

They haven’t gone away, you know. – Yours, etc,

KEN

ANDREW,

Cobh,

Co Cork.

Sir, – About six months ago at the height of the Brexit crisis in the UK parliament, there was no shortage of political commentators predicting a dire outcome for the DUP because of the party’s support for Mrs May.

We were told that the electorate would punish the DUP for disregarding Northern Ireland’s referendum decision to remain in the EU.

Well, we have just had the local government elections in Northern Ireland and the DUP has been returned as the largest party by a comfortable margin.

If this is punishment, I would hate to see what a real hiding would be like. – Yours, etc,

EUGENE McELDOWNEY,

Howth,

Co Dublin.