Remember that picture of Nigel Farage and Donald Trump, smiling broadly in the golden glow of victory? Well, today many in the party that Farage used to lead are staring blankly at defeat and wondering what the future holds for his movement — the pro-Brexit UK Independence Party — which did so much to deliver Brexit in the first place.
Results from local elections in some parts of Britain show that UKIP has been wiped out in parts of England that were once considered its strongholds.
In Lincolnshire — one of England’s most Eurosceptic counties — UKIP lost all 10 of its seats on the council, helping the Conservatives to a big majority. It is an ominous sign for UKIP’s new leader, Paul Nuttall, UKIP’s leader, who is hoping to win a parliamentary seat in the county at next month’s general election.
His party has lost all of its local lawmakers, known as councillors, in other pro-Brexit counties, including Essex and Hampshire.
It is important to remember that these results will not necessarily be repeated at the general election next month. Voters do not always vote for the same party at the local and national level.
But they do provide a snapshot of the public mood — and all signs indicate that UKIP’s demise is providing a further boost for the Conservatives.
UKIP’s local government spokesman has said that Prime Minister Theresa May is “painting herself in UKIP’s colors.” A leading figure in the main opposition Labour Party accused her of “hunting down UKIP supporters.”
There is no doubt that many former UKIP voters have been won over by Mrs. May’s tough stance on Brexit. Her warning to the EU commission President Jean-Claude Juncker that she would be a “bloody difficult woman,” is music to their ears.