At the Conservatives’ PopCon event, the Reform Party politician discussed his outlook on the aftermath of the upcoming election and ruled out joining the Conservatives. In contrast, Sir Jacob Rees-Mogg likened his political party to the “Duracell rabbit of politics”.
Nigel Farage believes his Reform Party could potentially supplant the Conservative Party, forecasting a “extinction event” for the government at the next election.
The group, led by former prime minister Liz Truss, claims its aim isn’t to replace Rishi Sunak as Conservative leader but to spark a discussion on ideas.
When asked about his party preference, Mr. Farage said, “Without a doubt, Reform.”
He added, before a full room of Conservative MPs and activists, “I think many here today will eventually come to the same conclusion.
Though it happens only once every hundred years, I do believe the Conservative Party is facing a potential last chance.
“They have been around since 1834. They now face the possibility of extinction and are aware of it.
“I believe PopCon has now created six families of Conservative backbench MPs; they are extremely divided.”
The outcome remains uncertain; however, for the first time, we believe replacing them is possible.
He later stated, “I want the Conservative Party to be replaced.”
Farage’s Vision for Political Shift
The Conservative Party lags in polls, trailing Labour by about 20 points on average.
Meanwhile, the Reform Party trends alongside the Liberal Democrats.
Mr. Farage expressed his wish to have “nothing to do with” the Conservatives, with whom he collaborated in 2019 to secure an 80-seat majority.
On shared policy grounds with the PopCon group, Mr. Farage mentioned, “There’s a clear majority in the country for border controls, and nearly six million self-employed people are desperate for regulatory relief to run their businesses unimpeded.”
These are points of consensus between notable Conservative and Reform figures.
Ms. Truss, Sir Jacob Rees-Mogg, and Lee Anderson were among the Conservatives who spoke at the conference.
They challenged the government’s stance on smoking bans, the net-zero target, the European Convention on Human Rights, taxation, and quasi-governmental organisations.
Ms. Truss argued the current government fails to tackle “left-wing extremists” and called for “covert Conservatives” to stand for election and support the party.
Former home secretary Dame Priti Patel, Tory peer Lord Frost, former chief whip Wendy Morton, and former Tory Party chair Sir Jake Berry also attended.
Sir Jacob’s Vision for Conservative Future
Sir Jacob wishes for the UK’s withdrawal from the ECHR to be part of the next Conservative Party manifesto, although he doesn’t think Mr. Sunak will pursue it.
In his speech, the former business secretary declared the “age of Davos man is over,” referencing the World Economic Forum in Davos.
Asked about his elite status, Sir Jacob admitted he comes from a “very fortunate background,” having attended Eton and worked in finance.
He advocated for more power to parliament over arms-length bodies for better accountability to his constituents.
Contrary to Mr. Farage’s view on the Conservative Party’s future, Sir Jacob insisted it will outlast Farage’s influence.
“I don’t want to criticise Nigel, but the Conservative Party has a long history,” he added. “It continues to endure; it’s like the Duracell rabbit of political life.”