Since Nigel Farage officially launched the 'Brexit Party' six weeks during a coming-out party in Coventry, Farage and his allies have ridden widespread frustration with a seemingly ineffectual British political establishment to the top of the polls, attracting waves of defectors from the Tories and Labour.
The most recent polls - taken just days before the vote, which, for the UK, will take place on Thursday - show the Brexit Party is up by double-digits over its nearest rival, the Liberal Democrats. Meanwhile, support for Labour and the Tories has dwindled to single-digit levels.
BREX-EFDD: 37% (+3)
LDEM-ALDE: 19% (+2)
LAB-S&D: 13% (-2)
GREENS-G/EFA: 12% (+1)
CON-ECR: 7% (-2)
+/- 8-17 May 2019
— Europe Elects (@EuropeElects) May 21, 2019
If the Brexit Party succeeds, its candidates will occupy a plurality of the UK's 73 MEP seats. In the European Parliament, they will join a growing group of euroskeptic parties that have pledged to oppose the Brussels agenda at every turn and, where they can, change it entirely.
Ironically, the New York Times offers one of the most apt explanations of how Farage managed to pull this off:
As Brexit chainsaws its way through British politics, dismantling decades-old political allegiances, tearing apart the traditional parties and leaving voters confused, frustrated and angry, the Brexit Party is thriving by offering a simple and hard-edge message.
"People feel completely betrayed, they feel abandoned, they feel even hated and despised by the political class and also by the media,"
said Martin Daubney, the lifelong Labour voter now standing for the Brexit Party, who used to edit a raunchy men’s magazine before reinventing himself as an anti-pornography advocate. "It feels like a grass-roots political revolution on the streets of Britain right now."
Should the Brexit Party succeed in winning the largest share of the vote this week, it will send an unequivocal message to the dithering Tories: The people want Brexit, regardless of the details. A Brexit Party success could give pro-Leave Tories the ammunition they need to see it through.