Top of the Month: Brexit Party effortlessly fills the political void

Nigel Farage's latest political vehicle, The Brexit Party, swept the board at this month's European elections to return the largest number of MEPs, a remarkable achievement for a political party that did not exist just six weeks before the vote.

Was The Brexit Party's dearth of other policies a political comms masterstroke? (©Peter Summers, GettyImages)
Was The Brexit Party's dearth of other policies a political comms masterstroke? (┬ęPeter Summers, GettyImages)

This masterstroke in political communications and results had several factors behind it.

The first was the party’s manifesto, or lack of one. By refusing to nail its colours to the mast on any policy issue but one, the party successfully dodged any uncomfortable questions from the media or the electorate on what it would seek to do, if elected.

Whether this was a piece of comms genius or naked opportunism is for others to decide.

Another factor was the party’s decision to field candidates who, like Farage, have cut-through with the electorate it was targeting, including the resurrected ghost of the Christian right, Anne Widdecombe, and Annunziata Rees-Mogg, sister of Victorian-era Conservative strongman, Jacob.

But the party’s main weapon in the battle for ideas was the startling clarity of its message to the electorate.

Nobody placing their ‘X’ in the relevant box of the ballot paper could be in any doubt what they were voting for.

This was in stark contrast to remain party Change UK, which, try as it might to get its message of the perils of Brexit across, achieved pitiful levels of support. 

This was, of course, also true of the main political parties - Labour and Conservative - which both failed to give the electorate any clear sense of their positions on the all-important question.

Honourable mentions

Lib Dems/Green Party: Honourable mentions must be made of the Lib Dems and Greens in the elections, both of which campaigned on a clear ‘remain’ message and, in so doing, provided sanctuary to the politically homeless across the centre and centre left of British politics.

Hawksmoor: Another honourable mention, this time a-political, to the restaurant chain after one of its waiters accidentally served a customer a £4,500 bottle of wine instead of the £260 one they ordered. "Mistakes happen," the outlet tweeted, coolly.

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