LONDON — It is an election Britain was never meant to be holding — the country was scheduled to have left the European Union by now.
A postponement of Brexit, Britain's departure from the EU for further negotiations has left it having to hold elections on May 23 for the European Parliament, and the result is likely to mark another stage in the erosion of the country's traditional two-party political system.
Both of Britain's main parties — the Conservatives and Labour — are struggling to come up with coherent messages for the elections and are being buffeted by internal infighting.
The Conservatives have all but given up campaigning as dozens of local party chair persons and hundreds of grassroots activists have shunned the elections and offered no help. The Conservative Party is also running out of money with big donors withholding their normal funding.
The Conservative grassroots revolt against Prime Minister Theresa May's Brexit policy is opening the door for a likely stunning performance at the polls by Nigel Farage's newly-minted Brexit Party. Founded in January, the party could well top the polls with the ruling Conservatives facing the humiliation of a virtual wipeout.
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