UK Independence Party Appeals to Right-Wing Voters

The Euroskeptic party’s support is growing. It might finally break through nationally.

Nigel Farage, leader of the United Kingdom Independence Party, participates in a plenary session of the European Parliament in Brussels, December 13, 2011
Nigel Farage, leader of the United Kingdom Independence Party, participates in a plenary session of the European Parliament in Brussels, December 13, 2011 (EP/Pietro Naj-Oleari)

Could 2012 be the year that the United Kingdom Independence Party breaks into the British political system as more than a Euroskeptic platform? The scenario looks more likely after last week’s local elections. Nigel Farage’s party averaged 13 percent of the vote.

In the last month, according to a YouGov poll, UKIP was the third most popular party in the United Kingdom. They have doubled their support since last year and surpassed the Liberal Democrats, currently in government with the Conservatives, by 1 percentage point.

The most likely reason for the party’s gain is that David Cameron’s political flavor is becoming tasteless to the right wing. The Conservatives thought that they could always rely on its vote as as there was no other place to go. UKIP’s record performance last week showed otherwise and has already cost the Conservatives some seats.

If UKIP’s success is a result of of voter dissatisfaction with the coalition government, it could pose a big threat to the Conservatives in 2015 when there will be parliamentary elections. Even if UKIP takes just 5 percent of the right-wing vote, the Conservatives may find it extremely hard to win a majority.

Conservatives are aware of the threat. Backbencher Gary Streeter, a parliamentarian for South West Devon, was quoted as saying voters no longer think the party’s “leadership is conservative enough.”

UKIP is not a single issue party anymore. It woos Conservative voters with their opposition to the European Union as well a tough law and order manifesto where “life means life” for prison sentences but their favored reintroduction of grammar schools is popular across the political spectrum.

The United KingdomIP vote is still spread very thinly around the county, so it will be hard for them to do well in a general election when votes are cast per district in a first-past-the-post system.

What would make the rise of UKIP something far more worrisome for the Conservatives is if any of the lawmakers who voted in favor of a referendum about European Union membership and in the process defied their party leadership, decide in the future to defect to Nigel Farage’s party.

Whatever or not defections happen, the prime minister can no longer take for granted his right-wing support base. The general election of 2015 may prove to be an interesting one on the right.

Comments

  1. Hi,

    I’m afraid you are woefully misinformed and if you really expect s casreer in politics it obviously won’t matter if you are presenting fantasy as most politicians do!

    Your first error was in stating that Farage’s party averaged 13 percent in the recent local elections – this is not true, they average 5%.

    It is true to say they averaged 13% in the minority seats where they were able to muster candidates!

    Consider the facts:
    There were 4,987 seats available by election
    of those UKIP was able to find candidates for 700
    of those 9 were elected.

    No with such a risible result after 20 years and with 1.96% of the vote for London Mayor I do believe you are being staggeringly naiive but optimism based on inexperience is not the preserve of the young!

    UKIP had a truly catastrophic result in the recent elections, primarily due to utterly inept leadership in fact incompetent leadership that has been astonishingly unprofessional.

    It may surprise you that in 20 years, despite advocating a policy of campaigning to Leave-The-EU Farage’s inept leadership team have failed to mount a single solitary campaign of any note, not a petition, not a single meaningfull training session, a woefull lack of briefing papers and absolutely no exit and survival strategy.

    For all that they criticise the EU for the lack of transparency of its accounts neither Farage nor UKIP have EVER published transparent accounts – despite a promise that UKIP MEPs would all publish their accounts yet neither Farage or any of his MEPs has ever done so!

    An undertaking was given for and on behalf of UKIP by Farage that no UKIP MEP would practice nepotism or employ members of their staff and it was not until Daniel Foggo then of The Sunday Times, published the facts that either UKIP members or it seems Farage’s colleagues became aware that he was paying Kirsten his wife £30.000 a year – yet his own office could name no UKIP or political work done by Kirsten!

    Other UKIP MEPs have also employed family members and not declared it!

    You speculated on defectors from The Tories joining UKIP – this is but a sad dream and part of the spin and propaganda of UKIP – UKIP has not and will; not attract any politician of gravitas, note or probity under its present inept leadership.

    True it may attract the odd councillor of little note and less reputation as it has done to date – similarly discreditted Tory MPs and MEPs who face deselection withing the party may way have one last fling of petty vengeance or futile self importance – vis the discreditted Neil Hamilton or the disafected Roger Helmer who was, many will remember, on recortd supporting the criminality of the UKIP MEP Tom Wise who received a two year prison sentence for defrauding the public purse with an instrument signed by Lindsay Jenkins.

  2. Hi,

    Do check out the 3 peers you quote:
    Lord Heskith was on Newsnight a short while ago and has clearly lost most of the plot! He was querulous, uncertain, indestincy and just a name from history – bandiesd around as some sort of trophy but of no visible current political competence.

    Lord Pearson – positioned by his father’s money and clearly of little ability was ‘used’ by Thatcher – his skill would seem to be limited to going out to lunch! A fund raiser who is past his sell by date to judge by his biungled delivery to UKIP. Untrustworthy and dishonest, two faced but clearly informed on sufficient of the details of The EU to show his contempt for membership of the malign social experiment.

    MEP Roger Helmer – announced his retirement but then had a hissy fit when denied the privilege of annointing his successor – withdrew his retirement and in a strange act of vengeance it seems he announced he would join UKIP – he has made a huge and continuous income from the EU and unwisely was a close defender of the criminality of Tom Wise who was sent to prison for 2 years as was Nigel Farage who regularly lied to the public claiming top have dumped Wise – when it was more a case of having little wisdom rather than no Wise!

    The Bursnalls are new comers of little consequence butr that has not prevented them from being associated with some particularly crass statements including the suggestion that the vote be witghdraw3n from the unemployed!

    Lord Willoughby de Broke – a long term EUroSceptic who greatest achievement in the field was his excellent web suite of EU idiocies etc. which sadly seems to have been closed. Seems alied with UKIP for no other reason than their claimed EUroScepticism whi8ch sadly seems to be more of a vehicle for the enrichment of its leadership than a realitry of campaigning!

    Regards,
    Greg+L-W.

    This post was censored. Debate the issue, not the author please.