Tuesday, 27 May 2014

UKIP Voting: More than a Protest.

Its pretty clear that the UKIP landslide in recent elections proves that the main three parties are completely disconnected from the wishes of the voting public.

Its been interesting to listen to the various party leader's responses.

First is the Prime Minister, David Cameron. His response is summarised as "We've promised an referendum on Europe and if you're all good and vote for me, you'll eventually get it as long as we have enough time to bombard you with enough pro-Europe propaganda that we sway you all into voting to stay in Europe. I'd wager he's secretly hoping that promising a referendum years in the future will harness the current zeitgeist.
All it may do is start a feeding frenzy in the Conservative party where it starts to devour itself, just like it did when it dethroned Maggie Thatcher and installed John Major.

David Ed Millband's response totally ignored the sentiment of everyone in the country and kept stating it was a protest vote and in a staggering display of arrogance assumed it would all be alright during the general election and all the voters that deserted them last week will come back to the fold. Never have I seen such a level of complacency and such a patronising tone. Its clear that no-one in the Labour NEC actually understands what is going on in the country and why people are voting the way they are voting.

Nick Clegg didn't have to say anything: he looked a broken man. Their losses in the local and European elections can only be described as catastrophic. Plainly and simply he looked as though every Liberal MEP that had lost their seat had phoned him and personally held him responsible for it. And then every local constituency chair must have had a go. He has the look of a man who has seen the future of the Liberals, and its without him at the helm. He's the leader of what is supposed to be the third biggest party in the country. He had the balls to take on Farage and lost spectacularly. He's the archetypal career politician and people hate and despise him for it. David Cameron comes across with the same coefficient of smarm, but whereas Conservative voters will vote for any old dog labelled Conservative, liberal voters aren't so loyal. Most Liberal voters are relatively new to it and can happily swap votes and not feel guilty.

Nick Farage meanwhile, has the look of a Cheshire cat. It will be interesting to see if this UKIP bubble will continue to expand into putting MPs in Parliament. Given the current huge upswell of support for UKIP, its conceivable there will be some form of UKIP representation in Westminster soon. What Nick Farage does once the doors open to UK parliamentary seats is anyone's guess. Will he stay in the European Parliament, or will he aim for Westminster?

One of the key facets of the responses of the main parties is they plainly don't understand what has happened. They see the UKIP vote as inconsequential. But they do this at their peril. From talking with people, there is a firm feeling of resonance, that UKIP says the things that people are feeling and experiencing in the country. It may be that UKIP are a one-trick pony, but that's a spectacularly important trick for the majority of UK people.

The voting has been interesting. In the South UKIP has gained at the expense of Liberals and Conservatives. In the North, UKIP have gained at the expense of Liberals and Labour. People have been disgruntled enough to vote against the main party in their area and voted UKIP. Its a hugely significant event.

Between now and the general election will be very interesting. With UKIP stealing votes from all the major parties its had the effect of diminishing the gap between Labour and the Conservatives.If the same pattern of voting occurs in the general election things will be very popcorn-worthy.

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