Archive for the 'UKIP' Category


What’s dangerous for Farage about this UKIP defection is that it’ll raise questions again about his leadership style

Saturday, January 24th, 2015

The MEP is one of quite a few who’ve moved on

What makes this particularly striking is the timing so close to the general election, and the fact that Mr. Bashir follows a whole line of UKIP MEPs who’ve “moved on”.

The Tories will do anything to undermine the kippers as they see their vote seeping away to the purples. Many of those have to come back if they are to have any chance on May 7th.

It was being said by leading Tories last year that Lynton Crosby had a “lot up his sleeve” which would be deployed in the run up to polling day. Maybe tonight’s news is one of them.

Mike Smithson

For 11 years viewing politics from OUTSIDE the Westminster bubble


If the LDs experience is anything to go by then major party status for UKIP is bad news for the blues

Friday, January 9th, 2015

The chances of the purples fading must now be lower

One of the features of general elections in recent times is that the Lib Dems always seem to get a boost during the campaign. Thus a 4-5% increase in their final share at the election compared with pre-formal campaign polls has almost been the norm.

What has driven this is the extra attention they get from the broadcast media in the formal campaign period – something that TV and Radio stations are broadly required to give them. This is in sharp contrast to non-elections times when the third party traditionally has struggled to secure the attention of the media.

UKIP’s slight dip in some polls in recent weeks is probably down to the fact that it has found it harder to make the news in the way it was doing after the Euros in May and following the high-profile defections and subsequent by-election victories from August to November. Now Farage and Carswell can look forward to getting almost guaranteed levels of coverage from the start of April.

So it must be possible that polling levels in the mid-teens might continue until May 7th with the consequential impact on the two big parties particularly the the Tories.

But the general election is about winning seats not building up national vote shares and UKIP needs to ensure that it maintains its focus on its key targets.

Mike Smithson

For 11 years viewing politics from OUTSIDE the Westminster bubble


More than a quarter of UKIP voters would prefer a LAB government and fewer than a third want a CON one

Saturday, January 3rd, 2015

Tonight’s poll


UKIP are betting favourites to win in just five seats at GE2015

Tuesday, December 30th, 2014

Given the way that the purples dominated the political narrative for a large part of 2014 it comes as something of a surprise to observe, as Antifrank does on his excellent blog, that UKIP is clear favourite in just five seats, all of them currently held by the Tories.

The constituencies are listed in the table above and clearly Douglas Carswell’s Clacton is by far the party’s best bet. I regard the 1/10 as as close to a near certainty as you are going to get at the net election.

Surprisingly his fellow MP and winner of the Rochester by-election, Mark Reckless, doesn’t make the list. He’s behind the Tories in the betting. I agree with AntiFrank that he is a good bet at 13/8. Because there are only two UKIP MPs he is going to get a fair bit of attention.

The reason why he’s not favourite is, I guess, the finding in the Lord Ashcroft by-election poll that the Tories would win there net May. I’m only partially convinced. The polling question, unlike the one for the by-election, did not refer to him by name which could have had an impact.

Mike Smithson

2004-2014: The view from OUTSIDE the Westminster bubble


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