Nigel Farage: a threat to the Tories?

The right-wing populist Nigel Farage presented his Reform UK party's election manifesto on Monday. He has pledged cut taxes and freeze "all non-essential immigration". In a recent poll he comes just ahead of the Tories with 19 percent. The national press gives its take on his chances.

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The Times (GB) /

A thorn in the side of his rivals on the right

Farage's voters are protest voters, The Times explains:

“Imposing a 20 per cent tax on migrant workers, paid by employers, is as unrealistic as it is undesirable. This applies also to Mr Farage's call for 'net zero migration'. ... Yet to many of those voters, those who would not countenance voting for Sir Keir Starmer, it matters not that Mr Farage's sums do not add up. They support him not for his policy genius but as a tormentor of the Tories who, they believe, betrayed them. The leader of Reform need not explain his promises because voters do not expect him to enact them. His is not a blueprint for government but a plan for the destruction of his rivals on the right.”

The Guardian (GB) /

Just ignore him

The British prime minister should remain true to himself and not try to copy Farage, The Guardian advises:

“If there is one lesson to be had from the rise of populist politicians, from Johnson and Farage to France's Marine Le Pen and Italy's Giorgia Meloni, it is that authentic likeability works. ... Given the UK's first past the post system, Farage's party is unlikely to garner enough support in the Commons to be more than a passing nuisance to a Tory opposition. He would not succeed in a coup for the Tory leadership. Sunak can ignore him. As for Starmer, Sunak should treat him with courtesy. He will gain nothing from doing what his advisers appear to be telling him to do, which is to act the school bully.”