This the same panel that last month supported the Prime Minister’s deal by 60 per cent to 36 per cent (however reluctanty).

And that in 2017 backed her Joint Report Agreement, which saw the debut of the backstop, by 73 per cent to 22 per cent.

So it isn’t a mass of UKIP-leaning purpleheads: indeed, Gerard Batten’s party wins a mere six votes out of over 1100 in this survey.

None the less, the result is the most astonishing we have ever published, and provokes the question: can it possibly be right?

It is extraordinary that three out of five Party members could say that they will vote for different party altogether. But there are at least four reasons why it could be on the money.

First, sheer anger with the postponement of Brexit after it had been promised over 100 times for March 29, at Theresa May’s talks with Jeremy Corbyn…and at these elections being teed up in the first place.

Second, a sense that they provide an opportunity to protest – a free hit.  Rightly or wrongly.

Third and consequently, the belief that Nigel Farage provides a respectable pro-Brexit alternative.  That he has a party to his right that he can denounce as extreme helps in this regard.

Fourth, that a really bad result might prove to be a trigger for leadership change.

And in today’s Mail on Sunday, a poll finds that 40 per cent of Tory councillors will back Farage’s Party in May.

If two in five councillors plan to do so, is it really that surprising, after all, that three in five members may too?

At any rate, there can be no doubt that this findinjg is a reliable guide to the trend.