Farage’s Reform UK Party Support Drops Amid Controversial Ukraine Remarks

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak's Conservatives saw a slight rise to 20%, up from 19%. Keir Starmer's Labour Party maintained a commanding lead at 42%.

Support for Nigel Farage’s right-wing Reform UK party has declined ahead of a July 4 election, according to a BMG Research poll released on Thursday.

This drop comes after Farage claimed that the West provoked Russian President Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine.

The BMG Research poll for the i newspaper, conducted between June 24-26, showed Reform UK’s support at 16%, down from a record 19% the previous week.

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s Conservatives saw a slight rise to 20%, up from 19%. Keir Starmer’s Labour Party maintained a commanding lead at 42%.

A separate YouGov poll from June 24-25 indicated a one-point drop for Reform to 17%, with the Conservatives and Labour also down one point each, at 18% and 36% respectively.

In a BBC interview aired last Friday, Farage reiterated his stance that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine resulted from the eastward expansion of the European Union and NATO.

Farage, a prominent and controversial figure, faced significant backlash across the political spectrum but repeated his comments during the campaign this week.

Despite Britain’s strong support for Ukraine since the February 2022 invasion, public backing remains steadfast, as shown by earlier polls.

The decline in Reform’s support could alleviate some pressure on the Conservatives, whose votes might have been siphoned by Farage’s unexpected entry into the race.

Rob Struthers, BMG Research Director, commented, “This is a glimmer of hope for the Conservatives as the Reform surge appears to have stalled.

However, the overall picture for Rishi Sunak remains extremely bleak … Labour’s lead over the Conservatives remains above 20 points.

This leaves little doubt that the Conservatives are fighting to avoid a near wipeout next week.”

On Thursday, Reform UK announced the endorsement of former Newcastle soccer club owner John Hall, a previous significant donor to the Conservatives, who has now made a substantial donation to Farage’s party.

Meanwhile, any hopes the Conservatives had of closing the gap with Labour were further challenged by an investigation into five party members, including two candidates, over bets on the election timing.

London’s Metropolitan Police confirmed an inquiry into “a small number of bets” with potential offenses such as Misconduct in a Public Office.

Labour received a boost from The Economist, which endorsed Starmer under the headline “Keir Starmer should be Britain’s next prime minister,” emphasizing Labour’s potential to address Britain’s chronic economic growth issues.