Nigel Farage's Comeback: Reform UK Surpasses Conservatives Ahead of General Election

Nigel Farage's Reform UK has surpassed Prime Minister Rishi Sunak's Conservative Party in an opinion poll, achieving 19%, ahead of the upcoming British election. Farage's return to frontline politics has boosted the party's popularity, though they are not expected to secure many parliamentary seats due to the electoral system.

Reuters | Updated: 14-06-2024 05:23 IST | Created: 14-06-2024 05:23 IST
Nigel Farage's Comeback: Reform UK Surpasses Conservatives Ahead of General Election

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Reform UK overtakes PM Sunak's Conservatives in opinion poll

Nigel Farage's Reform UK Party overtook Prime Minister Rishi Sunak's Conservatives in an opinion poll for the first time on Thursday ahead of Britain's election on July 4. The poll by YouGov for the Times newspaper put Reform UK on 19%, up from 17% previously, and the Conservative Party unchanged on 18%. The opposition Labour Party topped the poll with 37%. The survey of 2,211 people was carried out June 12-13, after Sunak pledged to cut 17 billion pounds ($21.70 billion) of taxes for working people in his party's election manifesto. Reform's poll rating has risen since Farage, best known for his successful campaign for Britain to leave the European Union, said he was returning to frontline politics, taking over leadership of the party and standing for election to parliament. "This is the inflection point. The only wasted vote now is a Conservative vote, we are the challengers to Labour and we are on our way," Farage said in a video posted on X. A small right-wing party, founded in 2018 as the Brexit Party, Reform backs populist causes such as tougher immigration laws. Asked if the trend would stick, a Conservative lawmaker who declined to be named said: "Yes. I think people are fed up with the Tories (Conservatives), but not with Conservatism. So they are moving to another Conservative party." Sunak's campaign has also been hit by sharp criticism after he left D-Day memorial events in France earlier than other world leaders. Other opinion polls show the Conservatives much further ahead of Reform. Despite overtaking Sunak's Conservatives in Thursday's poll - which reflected the share of a nationwide vote - Reform is not forecast to win many, if any, parliamentary seats. Its support is spread comparatively evenly across the country, whereas backing for the larger and more established parties is more concentrated by geographic areas. Britain has a first-past-the-post electoral system, meaning Reform could pick up millions of votes across the country without winning any of parliament's 650 individual constituencies. ($1 = 0.7835 pounds)

Tesla's Musk wins shareholder approval for $56 billion pay package, touts his ability to 'deliver'

Tesla shareholders approved CEO Elon Musk's $56 billion pay package, the electric vehicle-maker said on Thursday, a big thumbs-up to his leadership and an incentive to keep his focus on his biggest source of wealth. The approval underscores the support that Musk enjoys from Tesla's retail investor base, many of whom are vocal fans of the mercurial billionaire. The proposal passed despite opposition from some large institutional investors and proxy firms.

Bulgaria's GERB party wins most seats in parliament

Bulgaria's centre-right GERB party won 68 seats in the 240-seat parliament on Sunday and will need at least two coalition partners to form the cabinet, state election commission results on Thursday evening showed. The Movement for Rights and Freedom (MRF), mainly representing Bulgaria's large ethnic Turkish minority, won 47 seats while pro-Western bloc We Continue the Change (PP) had 39 seats.

G7 agrees on loan deal to support Ukraine with Russian assets

Leaders of the Group of Seven major democracies agreed on an outline deal on Thursday to provide $50 billion of loans for Ukraine using interest from Russian sovereign assets frozen after Moscow invaded its neighbour in 2022. The political agreement was the centrepiece of the opening day in southern Italy of the annual summit of G7 leaders, attended for a second successive year by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy.

Biden, Zelenskiy inch toward NATO with 10-year defense agreement

U.S. President Joe Biden and Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskiy signed a 10-year bilateral security agreement on Thursday aimed at bolstering Ukraine's defense against Russian invaders and getting Ukraine closer to NATO membership. The deal, signed on the sidelines of the G7 summit in Italy, aims to commit future U.S. administrations to support Ukraine, even if former President Donald Trump wins November's election, officials said.

Trump talks tariffs and taxes, calls Republican host city 'horrible'

Donald Trump criticized U.S. aid to Ukraine and suggested raising tariffs to replace the U.S. income tax on a Thursday visit to Capitol Hill where he also called the city hosting his party's presidential convention "horrible." In separate meetings with Republicans in the House of Representatives and the Senate, Trump sought to mend divisions ahead of the Nov. 5 election that could see his party win control of the White House and both chambers of Congress.

Israeli forces advance deeper into Rafah as diplomacy falters

Israeli tanks advanced deeper into the western area of Rafah, amid one of the worst nights of bombardment from air, ground, and sea, forcing many families to flee their homes and tents under darkness, residents said on Thursday. Residents said the Israeli forces thrust towards the Al-Mawasi area of Rafah near the beach, which is designated as a humanitarian area in all announcements and maps published by the Israeli army since it began its Rafah offensive in May.

Exclusive-Famine watchdog projects 756,000 Sudanese face starvation in coming months

An estimated 756,000 people in Sudan could face catastrophic food shortages by September, according to a preliminary projection used by United Nations agencies and aid groups to determine whether to officially declare a famine. The preliminary results, as of June 1 and seen by Reuters, reflect a rapidly deteriorating situation in the war-torn country. The most recent previous projection, released in December, showed that 17.7 million people, or 37% of the population, faced high levels of food insecurity, but none were considered in a catastrophic situation.

US Supreme Court preserves access to abortion pill mifepristone

The U.S. Supreme Court rejected a bid by anti-abortion groups and doctors to restrict access to the abortion pill, handing a victory on Thursday to President Joe Biden's administration in its efforts to preserve broad access to the drug. The justices, two years after ending the recognition of a constitutional right to abortion, ruled 9-0 to overturn a lower court's decision to roll back U.S. Food and Drug Administration steps in 2016 and 2021 that eased how the drug, called mifepristone, is prescribed and distributed. The decision was authored by conservative Justice Brett Kavanaugh.

Mexico's Sheinbaum backs Lopez Obrador's judicial reform, says 'nothing to worry about'

Mexico's President-elect Claudia Sheinbaum said on Thursday that judges in the country should be elected, echoing her agreement with a controversial judicial reform proposed by outgoing President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador. Mexico's peso currency and stock market have tumbled since the June 2 landslide victory of the ruling Morena party and its allies in Congress, stoking investor fears lawmakers will use the mandate to pass a series of constitutional reforms.

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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