The Tories should take some consolation from Newport West – the disaster that did not happen

April 26th, 2019

Betting favourite for 2nd UKIP ended with barely a quarter of the CON vote

The narrative at the moment is all about how appallingly the Tories will do in the Euro elections on May 23rd. Almost no threads appear on PB these without some new prediction of the impending disaster. But are we overstating this? I think that we might be

Let us look back just three weeks when we were digesting the Newport West by-election result. The UKIP candidate who had a high degree of name recognition, Neil Hamilton. was favourite for second place. If you followed the ongoing narrative the Tories were going to get screwed.

But what happened: the Tory candidate got 31.3% of the vote with UKIP’s Hamilton on 8.8%.

To put it into context that by-election took place six days after the March 29th Article 50 deadline which had to be extended. Things were looking pretty gloomy for the Tories at that moment and yet it wasn’t reflected in the by-election. Indeed the Tories saw a swing from LAB to CON.

There is a tendency to overstate Farage’s party when it comes to real elections.

Let’s not forget as well the 2014 Euro elections when most of the polls had his party with large leads over CON. ComRes had a 13% UKIP margin over CON, Opinium an 11% gap and Survaion a 9% one. When the votes were counted the UKIP led CON by 3.6% although the Tories were pushed into third place. This hardly mattered a year later when David Cameron led his party to an overall majority in the general election.

Mike Smithson