Archive for the 'UKIP' Category

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The latest Farage farrago, Douglas Carswell is accused of helping the Tories defeat Farage in Thanet South

Thursday, August 25th, 2016

Can or will Douglas Carswell remain a UKIP MP if senior Kippers are making these allegations?

Forget traingate this is the political story of the week, although I can sympathise with those who say a UKIP internal squabbling story is up there with a dog bites man story, but this story has achieved that rare feat, leaving me lost for words.

Senior members of Ukip have accused the party’s only MP of helping the Conservatives defeat Nigel Farage in South Thanet in the general election last year, according to Ukip’s main donor, Arron Banks.

Farage, then the leader of Ukip, was beaten by the Tory candidate, Craig Mackinlay, after a controversial campaign in the Kent constituency.

Banks’s company has written to Kent police with the allegation that Douglas Carswell, the Ukip MP for Clacton, helped the Tory campaign retain the seat. It details allegations that Carswell downloaded Ukip data for South Thanet and passed it to the Conservatives, enabling them to do “push polling” of key voters.

Push polling is when an apparently unbiased telephone survey spreads negative rumours about a candidate.

Carswell defected to Ukip from the Tories in 2014 but has had a fraught relationship with both Banks and Farage.

According to the letter, Carswell was granted access to the Ukip database but then only accessed the South Thanet data.

A letter sent to the police by Precision Risk & Intelligence, where Banks is chief executive, claims that “we have evidence of excessive spending by the Conservatives and secretive dealings between them and a senior Ukip representative to collude against Mr Farage”.

It should be noted that Douglas Carswell has quite pithily denied these allegations, he said “There is no basis in these claims whatsoever. We should just be relieved that those responsible for the disastrous campaign in South Thanet were not responsible for the successful referendum campaign.” 

But given that these allegations it might be worth looking at this market being offered by Ladbrokes on Douglas Carswell resigning the UKIP whip in 2016.

Carswel Whip

Given the time constraints it is no bet for me, even given Carswell’s past form for leaving political parties and the allegations made against him this week, the bet will not pay out if he is expelled from UKIP. UKIP does have a history of kneecapping* the internal opponents of Nigel Farage, as Suzanne Evans, the Lady Jane Grey of UKIP, can attest to.

TSE

*That’s a metaphorical kneecapping, not a literal one.



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Nigel Farage: the Comeback, Comeback, Comeback Kid?

Monday, August 15th, 2016

Farage
Ex-UKIP leader Farage on Vladimir Putin’s Russia Today

He appears to be planning a FOURTH return to the UKIP leadership

When Farage quit the UKIP leadership many were speculating that this was not the last we would see him flying the UKIP flag and there’ve been hints that this is the case.
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In an interview on Russia Today suggested that he in fact might return as UKIP leader if Brexit is not delivered as he would like. He added that hoped he doesn’t have to but he would consider “plunging back in”.

If he did then it would be his fourth non-consecutive term leading Team Purple.

He first resigned the job in 2009 so that he could fight the speaker, John Bercow, in Buckingham. This proved to be a disaster in many ways. In the election, in which the mainstream parties did not stand, he was pushed into a poor third place on 17% behind a prominent pro-EU Conservative. On election day itself, of course, the private plane he was flying in towing a UKIP banner crashed and he was badly injured.

His next resignation came in the immediate aftermath of GE2015 when his party secured only one seat, the CON defector Douglas Carswell, and he himself was beaten by the Tories in Thanet South. That resignation lasted the weekend and by the following Tuesday he was back in the job.

In the current leadership race Farage’s favoured contender, Steven Woolfe, did not get on the ballot after a ruling by the party’s NEC.

Mike Smithson




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Diane James now 75% favourite to be next UKIP leader

Wednesday, August 3rd, 2016

Does anybody know what this is about?



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The LAB-UKIP race is on: Which party will split first?

Wednesday, August 3rd, 2016

UPDATE



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Diane James becomes new favourite for the UKIP leadership following more revelations about Steven Woofe

Monday, August 1st, 2016

Diane James came to prominence in the February 2013 Eastleigh by-election when UKIP achieved a very creditable second place behind the LDs.

If she does get elected then UKIP would join the Conservatives, the SNP, the DUP, PC, and the Greens in having women leaders.

The UKIP short-list will be finalised tomorrow.

Mike Smithson




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Odds-on UKIP leadership favourite, Steven Woolfe, should know today whether or not he’ll be allowed on the ballot

Sunday, July 31st, 2016

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The Moss Side born barrister looks well placed build on UKIP’s strengths in LAB’s Northern heartlands

Steven Woolfe MEP is the red hot odds on favourite to become UKIP leader in succession to Nigel Farage who stood down after the referendum. He’s said to have the backing of Arron Banks.

He’s articulate, telegenic and an effective communicator on TV. Unlike Farage who is very much of the South East, Woolfe is from the north West where the party has had some good results in the past. He was elected to the European Parliament in May 2014. He’s in his 40s, ambitious and on the face of it looks the ideal person to take the party forward in the post-Farage period.

The only problem at the moment is a little local difficulty over his eligibility. According to the Indy the party’s top brass is meeting today to resolve the question of whether he is actually a party member or not. The report goes on:

“..Under party rules, any candidate in the contest to succeed Nigel Farage must have been a party member for at least two years. Mr Woolfe was a Ukip MEP and party spokesman on immigration during all that period, but documents – also leaked – show that he allowed his individual party membership to lapse in December 2014, and renewed it only in March. A panel that is due to meet on Sunday, when nominations close, will have to decide whether that disqualifies him..”

UKIP has a record of being fairly strict on matters like this and it might be tricky to make a exception for him.

Hopefully we should get some news by the end of the day.

Judging by the betting (he’s a 63% chance on Betfair) punters think he will be on the ballot and will win the leadership.

Mike Smithson




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David Herdson looks at the post-referendum purpose of UKIP

Friday, June 24th, 2016

UKIP youth

Your next mission, should you choose to accept it … is what?

The fruitcakes have taken over the asylum. UKIP, which well under a decade ago was a fringe party – it polled only 3.1% in the 2010 general election – has achieved the purpose for which it was created. Those critics who laughed at the party’s failure to win more than one seat last year should reflect that electoral success is only a means to an end, and is rarely the only means through which it can be achieved.

Rather like a fleet or army in being, UKIP didn’t need to win a direct battle against its opponents (which was useful because it wasn’t very good at it); it simply had to pose a sufficient threat to them by the fact of its very existence in order to prompt them into altering their course of action to offer UKIP the strategic opportunity they seized on Thursday.

Little more than a year after Douglas Carswell returned as UKIP’s sole MP, the true value of his party’s 3.88m votes is now apparent. So much for the ‘wasted vote’ thesis. Farage stands triumphant while all around him lies the wreckage of the careers of the leaders of great parties, of their policies and – who knows – perhaps yet of one or more of those parties themselves.

Never can the future have looked so bountiful in all directions. But in that excess of opportunity lies UKIP’s dilemma: after having succeeded in what it was created for, what does it do next? (It’s true that the UK is still a member of the EU but despite what will no doubt be delusional proposals from Europhiles for some new settlement on the one hand, and the paranoia of cynics that somehow the elite will backslide on the other, no-one can seriously question that the countdown is now running. The decision has been made).

UKIP’s European mission isn’t necessarily over even with EU withdrawal. There’s still the matter of the European Court of Human Rights, which remains a super-national impingement on British sovereignty, but that’s a lesser prize. The real challenge lies now within British politics.

Or challenges, plural. With all three old parties in various states of confusion and weakness, and with UKIP’s unusually broad membership base ideologically, it can – and must – choose where to position itself for the 2020s now that its former USP is greatly negated, or else it will wither and die.

– Does it try to build on that eclectic base and act as a generic protest party against a distant elite? But then what does it do if it attains power?

– Does it promote ‘freedom’ in more individual forms, harnessing its traditional liberal / libertarian strain, and so targeting the Conservatives and Lib Dems?

– Or does it seek to build on the huge Leave votes from Labour heartland areas where the Conservatives are limited in appeal and Lib Dems discredited, and position itself as the authentic voice of the working class?

These aren’t wholly contradictory strategies but there are clear choices that will have to be made between them, or other options, if their platform is to have some kind of coherence.

Beneath the policy question lies another practical problem: the party’s strength in depth, or lack thereof. As a young party, it remains very bottom-heavy: a lot of voters but few cabinet-capable and fully media-ready politicians, for example. If Britain had PR, UKIP would have won around a hundred seats last time out. Had they done so, could they have nominated enough to do the job sufficiently well without causing embarrassment? The track record from the European Parliament isn’t good.

For the time being, the leadership question answers itself. Despite Farage not being party of the official Leave campaign and despite some off-colour moments from him, this remains his victory more than anyone’s. Within UKIP, his position will be unassailable for some years unless hubris strikes. Yet Farage isn’t necessarily the person best-placed to capitalise on the immense strategic opportunity available – but who could do better even if they’d be allowed to? Opportunity in theory is fine but it takes people to grasp it in practice.

The whole edifice of British politics as we know it is weaker than at any time in the last eighty years. There can be no certainties at all. If the first half of the 2010s were extraordinary, the second has the potential to be utterly revolutionary – but only if those with the chance to make it so can take it. UKIP, unlike the SNP, may well fall short on that score. But then UKIP, unlike the SNP, has already achieved its greatest goal.

David Herdson

p.s. A quick word on Margaret Hodge’s No Confidence motion for the PLP. We don’t even know as yet whether the motion will be accepted, never mind how MPs will vote for it if it is. What we do know is that it carries no validity within Labour’s rulebook, only the power of pressure (though that would be considerable if it’s carried). What Corbyn is proving now, as Blair, Brown and Miliband proved before him, is that a Labour leader determined to go on holds an extraordinarily powerful position, particularly while the internal opposition to him remains leaderless.





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A BREXIT indicator? UKIP’s National Equivalent Vote share down by nearly half in 3 years

Monday, May 9th, 2016

UKIP youth

Thursday saw UKIP winning just 2% of the first past the post seats

Given that the dominant political story at the moment is the EU referendum it has been rather surprising that so little attention has been paid to UKIP – the party which very wisely concentrated its resources on the PR-based list seats in Wales rather than first past the post elections in the English locals.

They certainly had success in Wales and also picked up two PR based seats on the London Assembly but the English local were more than just disappointing. A large proportion of the seats up were in Labour heartlands – just the sort of area where they’ve appeared to be doing well.

    Yes they made gains but their overall total of council seats taken was 58 or just 2% of the seats at stake. Contrast that with 2013 when UKIP won or retained 147 seats, 6% of those contested and a net gain of 139.

They’ve also lost their coveted 3rd place on vote position to the Lib Dems who won seven times as many council seats.

It is very true that first past the post works against the smaller parties as we saw at GE2015 when they only got one MP.

Mike Smithson