Archive for the 'UKIP' Category


Marf’s PB “UKIP Map of the World” cartoon erupts again – this time with a big story in the Mail

Tuesday, December 16th, 2014

mapofworld (1)

Check out the Mail story here


The media narrative turns against the purples as the prospect of getting more MPs grows

Friday, December 12th, 2014

Whatever happens over Hamilton it will be wrong

The former Conservative MP for Tatton who lost out to Martin Bell in 1997 has been much in the news of late as he has tried to be selected for a winnable seat for UKIP at GE15. The latest development, according to a report on the FT’s front page, is that spread-betting multi-millionaire and second biggest donor to the party, Stuart Wheeler, has threatened to turn the tap off if Hamilton doesn’t get selected.

In the past week Hamilton’s efforts to be the Boston & Skegness candidate and now Basildon are said, according to reports, to have been thwarted by what are being described as “dirty tricks”.

A senior party member told the FT: “This is all to do with Nigel’s ego. He thinks he may not win in Thanet South [the seat for which he has been selected], so he is determined to bring Neil down. He cannot bear the thought Neil might be an MP but not Nigel.

This is the first general election, of course, where UKIP has a serious prospect of picking up some MPs and inevitably there’s a huge amount of media interest particularly when someone as well-known as Neil Hamilton is in the frame.

These latest developments come in a month when things have been tougher in the media for the party and its leader and it could be like this right up to May 7th.

The Hamilton case is difficult to resolve. Facing a crucial election UKIP desperately needs the resources that Stuart Wheeler is able to bring but it cannot be seen to be giving in to a major donor.

Mr. Wheeler used to be a big donor to the Conservatives. Maybe he could return.

Mike Smithson

2004-2014: The view from OUTSIDE the Westminster bubble


The ongoing research into who the kippers actually are and whether they hurt LAB as much as CON

Sunday, November 30th, 2014

The evidence, surely, points to CON being most vulnerable

On Tuesday night I was at one of my most favourite events – the annual awards dinner of the Political Studies Association where this year leading political scientists Matthew Goodwin and Rob Ford won a top prize for their study of the rise of UKIP “Revolt on the Right”. This timely work has set off a lot of debate particularly the suggestion the Farage’s party will hurt LAB as much as CON on May 7th next year.

That has led to some controversy not least because poll after poll has shown that many more 2010 Tories have switched than 2010 LAB voters. To look at this properly you’e got to analyse the overall kipper vote in a poll and work out where it comes from. In almost every case 2010 CON voters are a long way ahead of 2010 LAB ones. I’ve had a number of Twitter exchanges with Matt Goodwin on this.

So it was with particularly interest that I read a review of the Ford/Goodwin thesis by Eric Kaufmann, Professor of Politics at Birkbeck, University of London and, Gareth Harris, author of the recent Demos report, Changing Places. This was highlighted by anotherDave on a previous thread. The following are extracts:_

“…On the face of it, Ukip should dent Labour more than the Tories. Ukip voters are, though not the most working-class, no less working-class than Labour. Surely Labour contains a more promising reservoir of potential Ukippers than the Tories?

Unfortunately for David Cameron, concrete evidence for this claim is hard to come by. Instead, the evidence is that culturally-conservative working-class Tories provide the bulk of Ukip defectors. The 2015 British Election Study (BES) internet panel surveys find that of those planning to vote Ukip in 2015, 40 per cent reported they voted Tory in 2010 against just 11 per cent who said they voted Labour. This is not just because people are sick of whoever is in office, which in this case happens to be Cameron. Around 20 per cent of those intending to vote Ukip in 2015 voted for Blair in 2005. Yet in that contest over 33 per cent said they voted for Michael Howard, a much larger slice than plumped for Blair

In short, ex-Tories outnumber ex-Labour voters within the ranks of prospective Ukip voters by a large margin.”..

The review goes on

“…..The BES and UKHLS confirm that Ukip voters come disproportionately from the middle, rather than lower, rungs of the income spectrum. They are more likely to be homeowners, employed and politically conscious than the average white adult. True, older voters, and younger voters without qualifications, are overrepresented in the party. But this points to status rather than class, culture as opposed to economic position, as the motor of Ukip support.

In the BES, 18 per cent of White British people intend to vote Ukip in 2015. Among the 5500 whites polled who have university degrees but are poorer than average, support drops to just 11 per cent. For the 7300 whites in the sample lacking university degrees who are wealthier than average, it jumps to 21 per cent. The archetypal Ukiper is a successful plumber, comfortable retiree or construction foreman, not an unemployed, deskilled casualty of globalisation. They are ‘left out’ of the status elite, and therefore resentful, but are not left behind by the modern economy. This is why economic palliatives will not lure them back to the mainstream. Finally, what distinguishes Ukip supporters more than anything else are their views on immigration and Europe, irrespective of class…”

To me the Kaufman description resonates.

Mike Smithson

2004-2014: The view from OUTSIDE the Westminster bubble


There’s nothing Farage could do about this this but Nick Griffin backing UKIP isn’t good news for the purples

Saturday, November 29th, 2014

Meanwhile Farage’s price in Thanet S continues to weaken


There are signs that Farage could be having second thoughts about standing in Thanet S

Friday, November 28th, 2014

What current MP Tweeted yesterday

At the PB party a week ago I was somewhat surprised at being told by at least two kippers that it wasn’t entirely certain that Nigel Farage was going to stand in the Thanet South constituency on May 7th. I, and apparently most punters, thought that this was a certainty following his selection that was widely reported in August.

Adding to the mystery was the above Tweet from outgoing CON MP for the seat, Laura Sandys, about the UKIP leader not have being seen there for three months.

    Whoever you are at this stage before an election you make sure that you are regularly seen in the constituency that you will soon be fighting.

Indeed back in 2009 Farage himself stepped down as UKIP leader so he could devote himself to winning Buckingham where John Bercow is the sitting MP and where none of the main parties put up candidates.

Apart from two ex-MPs who have defected UKIP has never won a Westminster seat and this needs graft and commitment. The actual choice that people is not like the party list in the Euros but for an individual who will be the area’s representative at Westminster. The ground work has to be done.

If Farage is having second thoughts then yesterday’s Ashcroft poll of Thanet South will add to them. The last thing he can risk is putting himself up for election and then failing.

Meanwhile UKIP’s odds start to move out

Mike Smithson

Ranked in top 33 most influential over 50s on Twitter


Daily Express reporting new poll with UKIP in second place

Sunday, November 23rd, 2014

No other details known at the moment


2nd Update 0430

The poll appears to be based on a subset of Sun readers from a YouGov poll which so far had not been published.

Sun Readers are not representative of the electorate as a whole

Mike Smithson

2004-2014: The view from OUTSIDE the Westminster bubble


David Herdson on Saturday: We might have passed peak UKIP?

Saturday, November 22nd, 2014

Is the message from Rochester that 2015 will be ‘close but no cigar’ for Team Farage?

Politics can be a contradictory old business. In many ways, UKIP has been the Party of the Year for the second year running. The SNP might dispute that but the reality is that the SNP lost their big vote in September while UKIP won theirs in May, becoming only the third party since WWI to win a national election. To add to that, they gained over 160 councillors at the local elections, have polled in a comfortable third place all year (apart from with ICM – a notable exception), and have, of course, made the Westminster breakthrough. Indeed, in winning Rochester and Strood, they become only the fourth party since WWII to gain two Commons seats in the same parliament, never mind the same year.

And yet those achievements can be misleading. In reality, 2014 was a year of consolidation, not one of advance. Last year marked their promotion to politics’ second division; this one has seen them maintain that status and the victories in Clacton and then again this week doesn’t change that. The gains in the Euros, locals and – to an extent – by-elections are a feature of those cycles operating over four or five years. Their polling, in the low- to mid-teens, is only marginally up on twelve months ago and is of a level that would not return a significant number of seats at a general election given their vote distribution.

It is a measure of how high expectations are about UKIP’s performance that the result of a win in a seat they didn’t even contest last time is being described as disappointing, particularly given the effort put in by the Conservatives. On the other hand, the narrative in politics is often about momentum, and UKIP winning by a smaller margin than any of the polls found has checked theirs a little.

In so doing, it also gives a bit of a pointer towards next year. We know that the Ashcroft poll found that voters in the constituency were likely to swing back to the Conservatives come the general election (all else being equal), and that UKIP undershot the lead Ashcroft reported for the by-election. Those two facts combined make it less likely that there’ll be any more defectors (or at least, any more who plan on standing again), and less likely that UKIP will make as many gains as they would have come May had they met expectations. Indeed, the two are not unrelated.

Part of this is because UKIP is riding two horses in opposite directions. On the one hand, those politicians most likely to defect are still Conservatives. On the other, UKIP is increasingly chasing the Labour voter, perceiving – probably rightly – that there are now more soft votes in the red column than the blue one. However, the net result of that contradiction is the sort of awkward and unconvincing speech Mark Reckless gave after his win where he tried to proclaim himself the voice of White Van Man. To nail that strategy, what UKIP really needs is a Labour MP to defect. I’m not holding my breath.

David Herdson

p.s. The Lib Dems dodged a bullet on Thursday. It might have been their worst-ever share of the vote, but it could have been worse still. One factor in the demise of the Owenite continuity SDP was when it finished behind the Monster Raving Loony Party in the May 1990 Bootle by-election; something which did much to destroy claims to be taken credibly as a serious party. At that election, the Loonies won 418 votes; in Rochester, the Lib Dems won 349.


Mark Reckless wins Rochester for UKIP with a majority of 7.2%

Friday, November 21st, 2014

But can he be confident of holding on next May and will it encourage more defectors?

In the end the Rochester result was a lot closer than any of the final polls had suggested but the first stage Mark Reckless’s massive gamble has paid off – he’s back again as MP for Rochester.

The winning margin was 7.2% which compared with the gaps of 12% and more that we had from the three final polls. It was much tighter than most people and the betting markets had predicted.

    It did suggest that you have to be cautious with polls where a significant part of a candidate’s support is coming from non-voters who are traditionally the ones least likely to turnout

He was helped by the decision of LAB not to take the battle seriously and put the resources in and by the dramatic collapse in Lib Dem support to less than one percent.

Looking forward there are two questions: is Reckless going to be able to retain the seat next May and will the less than emphatic winning margin act as a deterrent to other potential defectors?

In last week’s Lord Ashcroft Rochester poll the Tories had a margin of 1% when the the sample was asked for their general election voting intentions. But that poll has the UKIP by-election lead at 12%. This looks very tight for next May.

What we do know is that leading UKIP donors have been funding private polls so other potential defectors can test the water before they decide to jump. The Rochester result will put those findings into context.

Mike Smithson

2004-2014: The view from OUTSIDE the Westminster bubble