Tuesday, 17 December 2013

Will there really be a political earthquake in the next year or two?

Below is from The Guido Fawkes website here

"Four more constituency polls from Survation out this morning, bankrolled by UKIP’s millionaire bookie donor Alan Bown. UKIP are up to 28% in Folkestone and Hythe, 30% in Great Yarmouth and 27% in Bognor Regis & Littlehampton. In Crewe and Nantwich they are only on 11%, but the Tories fall behind Labour into second. Indeed the Tories are down by an average of 14 points on their 2010 results across the four seats.

Bown has taken out a full page ad in today’s Telegraph to answer Lord Ashcroft’s claim that voting UKIP puts Miliband into Number 10. UKIP have two lines on this. First, that today’s polls show the net gain to the Tories if UKIP were not to field a candidate would be only 2% nationally. Only 26% of voters polled said they would vote Tory if UKIP did not run so, put simply, not enough are not going to ‘come home’ in 2015 as the Tories hope. Second, that UKIP voters do not really care if Miliband becomes PM. 53% said they would rather vote UKIP than Tory even if that meant Ed won, just 33% said they would vote Tory instead of UKIP to stop him. That is the number that will cost the Tories in 2015…"

In general polling over the last year UKIP are averaging over 10%. In some polls where they are prompted for they are even higher.

Nigel Farage is everywhere, arguable hugely over exposed but at present he is still an asset to UKIP. Indeed he IS UKIP in many peoples eyes.

UKIP have only a few hundred councillors (226) and 9 MEPs. Yet they do appear to have a lot of momentum with more members now than the Lib Dems (well over 30,000) and greatly increased media coverage. They also have a key target to aim at - the European Elections in May. There are 73 MEP seats up for grabs, will UKIP be the largest party within that? It looks possible at present, with a second place seemingly already in the bag.

Of interest is the fact that many council elections will be held on the same day in May and it might just transpire that if people are willing to hammer the main parties in the Euro elections they might just find it easier to vote UKIP in the council elections. Once a "taboo" is broken then more votes may go UKIPs way.

Who knows what will happen, but imagine the political earthquake if that day in May goes well for UKIP. How would the Tories et al react? would it give UKIP momentum going into the general election, would people think twice etc etc.

There's lots going on next year to throw into the mix with the Scottish referendum and probably another bout of Euro worries etc etc. Farage will have to decide whether he is standing as an MP and where, I suspect he will leave it late to announce where he stands as it will leave the main parties less time to prepare a defence.

The biggest issue UKIP will have is being subject to greater scrutiny on their policies and their people. There will be a fair few negative stories, as the main parties get to work on them. However although they may get media coverage I don't think it will have much of an effect on potential voters.

People are thinking of voting for UKIP for all sorts of reasons not the least of which is "stuff the rest of you, you're all the same". (Which leaves open just how many ideas will the main parties take off UKIP to take the sting out - 1 or 2, lots or none).

So will the next few years see an entertaining flash in the pan or a significant further breakdown of the two party system we grew used to? I don't know and for me that makes it all the more interesting.