Archive for the 'UKIP' Category


UKIP are doing a passable impression of ferrets in a sack again

Sunday, September 27th, 2015

For a party with only one MP such regular ructions is a real achievement

The above is a tweet from Douglas Carswell quoting an article about the UKIP donor Arron Banks, the rest of Douglas Carswell’s twitter feed over the past few days has been similarly entertaining about his disagreements and issues with Banks and his staff.

Whilst all of this amusing to non UKIPers it might have wider ramifications for UK politics, especially with Arron Banks telling campaigners ‘I have Nigel by the short and curlies financially.’

It makes defections to UKIP less likely given the opprobrium heaped upon Douglas Carswell by some in UKIP since the election and Mark Reckless losing his seat in May and is now attempting to revive his career by standing in next year’s Welsh assembly elections, defecting to UKIP is the equivalent of the Kiss of Death for one’s career. As is opposing/criticising  Nigel Farage as Suzanne Evans has found out to her cost again this weekend. 

With Labour appearing to place ideological purity ahead of electability, the migrant crisis and with the forthcoming EU referendum, UKIP have a historic opportunity to reshape the fabric of this country but right now they appear to be declining that opportunity whilst opponents of UKIP are struggling to contain their glee.

Forget all the post election council by elections showing UKIP generally doing badly, forget the opinion polls, the key stat for UKIP is the following one, ten per cent of UKIP members have left the party since the election. The People’s Army is demobilising before their most important battle, that does not bode well for UKIP and could damage the wider Leave movement if not handled well.


PS – It is exactly one year ago today that Mark Reckless defected to UKIP, if a week is a long time in politics, a year must feel like an aeon for Mark Reckless


New study suggests that UKIP’s “2020 strategy” is going to be challenging

Saturday, July 11th, 2015

House of Commons Library blog – Steven Ayres

In 5/6ths its 120 GE15 2nd places it faces majorities of 10%+

In the aftermath of May 7th UKIP was taking some comfort from the 120 second places it had chalked up suggesting that this provided a good platform for next time. Maybe.

Steven Ayres on the House of Commons Library blog has produced an interesting analysis of Farage’s party’s performance and the potential to build on its record GE15.

His chart says it all. The party might have chalked up 120 second places but in the vast majority of these seats it was a long way behind.

The regional split in the post is interesting. UKIP took 40% of the second places in the South East in the majority displacing the LDs.

Mike Smithson


The most important result on May 7th

Monday, June 22nd, 2015

Why David Cameron might be grateful to Mark Reckless defecting

Whilst it might be accurate to say every constituency result on May the 7th was important, the result in Rochester & Strood might be the one that has most impact in this parliament. Anything that helps, to borrow LBJ’s maxim, about keeping the Eurosceptics inside the tent pissing out, rather than outside pissing in, is good for the Tories, Cameron and the continued life of this government.

Given the way the scheduled In/Out referendum has dominated events since the election (and will continue to do so, even after the result, particularly if it is a small victory for IN) and the smallness of his majority, defections to UKIP or scandal would be the major causes for that majority to be wiped out, as the health of Tory MPs in recent years has been exceptionally good (it is nearly a decade since the last Tory MP died of natural causes whilst in office, and only one in the last sixteen years.)

The chances of further defections to UKIP were reduced by Mark Reckless losing, and not only did he lose, but it was a very comfortable victory for the Tory candidate Kelly Tolhurst, I’m not sure many MPs will want to join Mark Reckless in potentially being a minor footnote in history, pour encourager les autres as they say, particularly if the current contretemps in UKIP end in Douglas Carswell leaving UKIP.

The odds on the year of the next General Election are available here, 2020 is at 2/5.




UKIP becomes a one-man band once again – another extraordinary day in the life of Farage’s party

Tuesday, May 19th, 2015


The UKIP implosion Part 2: Farage accused of being “snarling, thin-skinned and aggressive”

Thursday, May 14th, 2015

The fall-out from Farage’s unresignation continues

Last Friday Nigel Farage stepped down as UKIP leader following his failure to become an MP. After the weekend that was all rescinded when the party executive refused to accept it.

The following day there was a hugely publicised row between Farage and his party’s only MP Douglas Carswell.

This morning the Guardian and a number of of papers are highlighting a remarkable attack on Farage by UKIP’s campaign chief, Patrick O’Flynn in an interview with The Times that it is carrying on its front page (££).

What’s striking here is the person who is making the attacks. O’Flynn is the former political Editor of the Daily Express and his move to the party last year was regarded as a big coup. As well as the headline comments O’Flynn gets more specific:

“What’s happened since Thursday night, Friday morning has certainly laid us open to the charge that this looks like an absolutist monarchy or a personality cult,” he said. “I don’t think that even Nigel would say it’s been the most glorious chapter of his leadership..” He said the party had to ask itself why it had failed to secure a string of winnable seats, including Mr Farage’s own target in Kent..The team around Nigel himself need to reflect why it was that Thanet voted in a Ukip council but didn’t vote in Nigel as the MP for Thanet South, Mr O’Flynn said.”

This is tough stuff and it is hard to see how both Farage and O’Flynn can continue in the same party. One of them surely has to go.

No doubt we’ll see more Farage-related betting markets being announced during the day.

Mike Smithson


Farage’s “unresignation” makes him and his party look stupid

Monday, May 11th, 2015

During the campaign Farage made a big thing of him being ready to step down if he failed to win Thanet South. Well he did fail and did announce last Friday that he was resigning.

This afternoon he’s back in the job after the party’s NEC “refused to accept it”. Rubbish. It just appears as though his campaign threat was a device.

This doesn’t look good for UKIP nor Farage and makes them both appear flakey.

People will take him far less seriously in future.

Help keep PB going by making a donation to support the site's costs in the Post GE15 Appeal

Mike Smithson


So were there really shy Kippers?

Sunday, May 10th, 2015

Prior to the election, there was speculation, the pollsters weren’t picking up “Shy Kippers”.

Though every single phone poll underestimated UKIP, it was within an acceptable amount, and the largest errors were from the online polls from Panelbase and Survation, who overestimated UKIP by 3%.

The polls that underestimated UKIP, on average, underestimated UKIP by 1.6%, and the polls that overestimated, did so on average by 1.9%. The online pollsters overestimated UKIP by 0.8% and the phone underestimated UKIP by 1.7%.

So for shy Kippers in the phone polls and overrepresented Kippers in the online polls, yes the data does confirm that, but given the smallness of the errors, people shouldn’t put too much faith in the Shy Kippers meme.

In what has been a difficult few days for the pollsters, they can take some comfort that they at least got the UKIP share of the vote largely right.



Shy Kippers might be a problem for pollsters like shy Tories were in the 90s

Sunday, April 26th, 2015

Could the (phone) pollsters be underestimating the UKIP support?

Meet the Shy Kippers

Shy isn’t the first adjective I’d normally associate with UKIP supporters, but ever since David Cameron’s (in)famous comment about UKIP being a bunch of  “fruitcakes and loonies and closet racists mostly” there’s been a perception that UKIP are the BNP in blazers.

But look at the above chart from YouGov, it might be indicative that some Kippers are shy about admitting who they really support. We’ve seen polling that shows, UKIP are considered by the voters, to be the most extreme party, with the candidates likeliest to have racist/extreme views, and a plurality of voters seeing UKIP as racist and what  seems a regular offerings of UKIP candidates, members and activists resigning for acting in a manner that fits with David Cameron’s maxim about UKIP, so you can see why they might be embarrassed to admit their true leanings.

Generally throughout this parliament, the phone pollsters have given UKIP a lower share of the vote than online pollsters, as the below chart of the most recent UKIP share of the vote with the pollsters shows.

If people are embarrassed in telling their friends and family they plan to vote UKIP, then they might embarrased when asked by a phone pollster for their voting intention and say their voting intention is for someone other than UKIP.

Online polling does give the voter an extra layer of anonymity, given that constituency polling is done exclusively by phone, this could mean UKIP are being understated, something that might be crucial when looking at the polling in UKIP’s target seats as it appears “Shy Kippers” doesn’t cause epistemological problems, Shy Kippers could be a modern day polling problem in the same way “Shy Tories” were in the 90s.


Meanwhile more grim news for Labour in Scotland