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Can’t Control the Narrative


Britain looks like it’s on the brink of a new era: the end of Tory misrule, a new Labour government and an emboldened right-wing populist party. Nigel Farage is “back” campaigning to make this an ‘immigration election’.

Opening the door for Farage. Keir Starmer, 2023.

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak looks more depressed every day as the campaign unfolds. His government’s failures have provided fertile ground for Reform UK to grow and flourish. The Tories are now working to contain the damage, as most pollsters and pundits agree the Conservative Party is about to get a thrashing.

Meanwhile, the Labour Party’s dullness and lack of ambition have ceded a populist space to Farage and Richard Tice. But Reform UK has little to offer most voters except migrant bashing.

Immigration is the only animating issue in Reform’s manifesto. The economic platform is just reheated neoliberalism mixed with a few nationalist gestures. Reform wants to close the borders, cut taxes, deregulate housing, and reroute public funds to ‘patriotic’ education.

While Labour is set to win a most undeserved victory, Farage will be waiting in the wings with his eye on the 2029 general election. This election might just be the dress rehearsal if Reform can secure a historic breakthrough under first-past-the-post.

Photograph courtesy of Keir Starmer. Published under a Creative Commons license.