Monday, July 3

UKIP kidding themselves over by-election

UKIP leader Nigel Farage declared himself pleased to have grabbed third place in the Bromley and Chislehurst by-election but the result is far from a ringing endorsement of the Eurosceptic party.

Tory candidate Bob Neill scraped in by the skin of his teeth with the Lib Dems coming within 633 votes of taking the seat.

With the Conservatives haemorrhaging votes (11,962 to be precise), a UKIP gain of 872 suggests people are not as fed up or scared of Europe as Farage and co would have us believe.

According to the Guardian, UKIP ploughed £75,000 into the by-election, a considerable sum for the return of votes they actually received.

In fact each of the 2,347 votes Farage picked up cost the princely sum of £31.96. Not exactly a bargain.


Steve Hodford said...

I think things are even worse for UKIP than you make out. Under Eric Forth, Bromley was an old-style Thatcherite Tory constituency, vehemently anti-Europe. Their campaign this time made much of the fact that they’d refused to have anything to do with Tory central office, had chosen their own candidate in defiance of David Cameron’s preferred list and made it clear they didn’t support the Tory leader’s party reforms. And they nearly lost the 17th safest Tory seat in the country. The poor turnout and the result show that thousands of Tories stayed at home because they no longer support this sort of Conservatism – the very sort of Conservatism that UKIP hoped to exploit and win the seat. This was UKIP’s very best and probably last chance to win a Parliamentary seat. They had a high profile candidate from the area, a lot of media exposure and a huge amount of money available. And they blew it. They’re still crowing about beating Labour into fourth, but that only happened because the Labour vote saw a chance to unseat the Tories and defected en bloc to the Lib Dems.

Bromley serves as a snapshot of how UK politics stands at the moment: Labour deeply unpopular with its voters who are, nevertheless, still not ready to vote for David Cameron’s New Tories; The Tories, split between those who support old-style Conservatism and Cameron’s ‘reform or die’ ideas; the LibDems still seen as a party of protest and not as a credible party of Opposition; UKIP having to face the fact that their ‘blame it all on Europe – we want our country back’ sort of politics is washed up. And none of them ready to admit the truth to themselves.

Cllr Matt Davis said...

"people are not as fed up or scared of Europe as Farage and co would have us believe"

Oh yes they are! It's just that UKIP are plainly incompetent and incapable and that is what the electorate don't like. They may reject the messenger but ordinary people are very receptive to the actual message.