Is UKIP the party it never happens for?
I’ve gone on Twitter this afternoon offering a Â£1000 wager to Telegraph blogger, Ed West, over his assertionsabout UKIP that it is “only a matter of time before they overtake the Lib Dems” in the polls. I’ve defined the bet as UKIP’s share exceeding that of the Lib Dems in any of the next 36 months, in the PAPA All Pollsters’ Average over that period – the calculation being based on the figures as we have them at the end of a month.
There could just be a fluke month at the time of the next EU elections in May/June 2014 – but that is beyond the three year period.
The great problem for UKIP is that they are rubbish at campaigning on the ground – as we saw yet again in the OES by election.
If ever there was an encounter when they should have been soaking up dissident Tories it was Old & Sad. The Tories weren’t interested and here was a chance to get a reasonable slab of the 26.45 share that the blues got last May. It was there for the taking and they flunked it.
The blues dropped more than half their vote yet UKIP could only scrape a miserable 1.9% onto what they’d got at the general election. Pathetic.
Remember their big hope at the general election. They were going to take out John Bercow in Buckingham and their most well-known figure, Nigel Farage, was candidate. None of the main parties entered the race and this should have been a heaven sent opportunity.
What happened? Farage came in a miserable third behind a pro-EU conservative. Oh the humiliation!
This wasn’t surprising given the approach of Farage to campaigning. His plan was to spend election day flying above the constituency in small plane pulling a banner. Sadly this ended in what could have been a serious accident – but what does the plan say about Farage’s approach to elections?