Most UK Citizens Ready to Vote for Third Party, Poll Finds

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UK Parliament - Sputnik International
The support for Labour has dwindled over its anti-Semitism crisis and the Conservatives have torn themselves apart over Brexit.

More than half of Britons have expressed their readiness to vote for a third party, now that the two main parties that dominate the House of Commons have lost people's confidence over various issues, a recent poll by BMG Research has indicated.

In April, a poll which encompassed 1,500 people showed that 43 percent of respondents would consider voting for a third new center-ground party, while 34 percent of respondents said they would not.

Since then, the number of those willing to vote for a third party has increased dramatically and by September had soared all the way to 52 percent — more than half of respondents — saying that they would consider giving their vote to a new party, while only 25 percent said they would not do so.

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The poll could be particularly worrisome for Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, as a third of respondents said they support a split within the party.

The frustration at the Labour Party comes following a long-running discrimination crisis, in which Corbyn has been pushed to apologize after the party sought to alter the internationally recognized definition of anti-Semitism.

The Conservatives, led by Prime Minister Theresa May, on the other hand, lost public support due to their inability to solve the Brexit issue, with May's Cabinet's compromise plan being so unpopular that open discussions have begun as to how to oust the prime minister herself. While some suggested that former Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson should become the new leader, a handful of MPs reportedly threatened to quit the party if that were to be the case.

But which would be the third centrist movement? The Independent speculates that the Liberal Democrats, who currently have 12 seats in the House of Commons (compared to 316 and 257 for Tories and Labour, accordingly), could take on this role.

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Its leader, Vince Cable, has issued a call for the "disillusioned" supporters of the main parties to join him on his quest against Brexit, not unlike the existing Labour "registered supporter" mechanism, which allows people to voice their support while not engaging in traditional party activities. Additionally, members of the party who are not MPs would also be eligible to run for leadership.

"Whether you see yourself as a liberal, social democrat, progressive, or centrist there is a home for you here, particularly as we fight Brexit together," Cable told the Press Association.

"I have made proposals to open up our movement to become an even more powerful force at the center of British politics, standing up to power and privilege to bring fairness and opportunity for everyone."

The Liberal Democrats are currently the fourth most represented party in the House of Commons, surpassed by the left-leaning Scottish National Party with 35 seats.

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