Skip to main content
Tags: churchill | farage | sunak

Could the 'Farage Factor' Resurrect UK Conservatism?

reform united kingdom party politics

Nigel Farage, honorary president of the Reform UK Party, on day one of The National Conservatism Conference on April 16, 2024 in Brussels, Belgium. The National Conservatism (NatCon) conference, was attended by 500 delegates over two days, featured speeches from former UK Home Secretary Suella Braverman and Hungary's Prime Minister Viktor Orbán, among others. (Omar Havana/Getty Images)

Jacob Lane By Friday, 17 May 2024 10:02 AM EDT Current | Bio | Archive

(Editor's Note: The following opinion column does not represent an endorsement of any political party or candidate on the part of Newsmax.)

Conservatives in the United Kingdom have seen better days.

Recent local elections were an absolute disaster for the party.

And with these contests set to be the last before a general election later this year, the conservatives should be bracing for a very rough winter.

Coming in third, Conservative leaders watched as their representation on local councils plummeted from 989 to 515. Ironically coinciding with the 45th anniversary of Margaret Thatcher’s victory in 1979, this collapse was a drastic reversal for a party that has been in the majority since 2010.

Making matters worse, Conservatives lost a national by-election in Blackpool South, with a 26% swing to Labour.

That’s not just a bad day at the office — it’s the third-largest Conservative Party-to-Labour Party swing since 1945; back when Winston Churchill was prime minister!

Blackpool South is the fifth seat in two years that labour flipped from the conservatives by more than 20 points.

With results like these becoming the norm, this is no electoral fluke —  it’s a trend, and a very bad one for the Conservatives.

Assuming these swings are repeated in a general election, even to a lesser degree, the Labour Party could secure a larger victory than Tony Blair’s landslide in 1997.

For some context, Labour won nearly two-thirds of the seats available in Parliament that year, securing 418 out of 650.

If things don’t turn around and quickly before the general election, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak will likely be booted from No. 10 Downing Street, with what’s left of his party forced to the opposition benches in the House of Commons.

If this prediction becomes a reality, Sunak will be forced to resign as leader of the Conservatives, triggering a race to find a new chief.

That leader should be Nigel Farage.

A Eurosceptic since his start in politics, Farage began campaigning to leave the EU in the early 1990s. He later played a key role in the 2016 Brexit referendum, helping secure an unexpected and hard fought victory for the Leave campaign.

Farage’s ability to connect with working class voters, especially in traditional Labour strongholds, demonstrates his effectiveness as a campaigner.

The fact he was able to energize a disorganized and disjointed Leave coalition, rallying this camp from a low of just 22% support, underscores his effectiveness as a messenger.

Farage’s willingness to engage in debate is another testament to his leadership.

In the lead up to Brexit, he challenged Nick Clegg, then Deputy Prime Minister, to a series of debates on the U.K.’s membership in the EU.

Polls conducted after the debates reveal that Farage didn’t just win. He crushed Clegg, with 68% believing his message carried the day.

It’s clear Farage can win hearts and minds on issues, which would make him a formidable leader in a general election.

With the next prime minister likely to be Labour’s Keir Starmer, thanks not to his own charisma but widespread dissatisfaction with the Tories, the Conservatives are in desperate need of a charismatic leader to bring back voters into their ranks.

Farage, known for his lively speeches and snarky comebacks, once described former EU president Herman Van Rompuy as having "the charisma of a damp rag and the appearance of a low-grade bank clerk."

Imagine some of the one-liners he would use against Starmer, injecting some much-needed flair into the Conservative’s next campaign.

Finally, Farage understands what it takes to lead a political party.

As the former head of the UK Independence Party (UKIP), he led the group, which was vastly outspent by the Conservatives and Labour, to a third-place finish in total votes in the 2015 general election.

He also guided the Brexit Party to victory in the 2019 European elections, trouncing the opposition, which included the Conservatives. Farage’s ability to build winning coalitions on issues that matter to voters, like both legal and illegal immigration, demonstrates his deep understanding of voter concerns.

The Conservative Party is going to spend at least the next five years in opposition. Such time out of power will offer the party, especially senior leadership, a much-needed period for reflection.

The task ahead for Conservatives will not be easy. The party must work to regain the trust of the working-class, pro-Brexit, Labour turned first-time Conservative voters they once rallied under Boris Johnson.

The Conservatives are desperate for a fresh start.

Nigel Farage, with his name recognition, electoral appeal and command of the media, is the person best suited to build the party back up, restoring it to Thatcher-era greatness.

Only one question remains: can Farage be convinced to take the job?

(A related story may be found here.)

Jacob Lane is a Republican strategist and school choice activist. He has worked for GOP campaigns at the federal, state and local levels, as well as with various PACs and nonprofits. Read Jacob Lane's Reports — More Here.

© 2024 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

If things don’t turn around before the general election, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak will likely be booted from No. 10 Downing Street, with what’s left of his party forced to the opposition benches in the House of Commons. Farage understands what it takes to lead a political party.
churchill, farage, sunak
Friday, 17 May 2024 10:02 AM
Newsmax Media, Inc.

Sign up for Newsmax’s Daily Newsletter

Receive breaking news and original analysis - sent right to your inbox.

(Optional for Local News)
Privacy: We never share your email address.
Join the Newsmax Community
Read and Post Comments
Please review Community Guidelines before posting a comment.

Interest-Based Advertising | Do not sell or share my personal information

Newsmax, Moneynews, Newsmax Health, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, and Newsmax World are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

America's News Page
© Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved
Download the NewsmaxTV App
Get the NewsmaxTV App for iOS Get the NewsmaxTV App for Android Scan QR code to get the NewsmaxTV App
America's News Page
© Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved