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Was the UKIP result a protest vote blip or will it translate into MPs at the general election?

(64 Posts)
VivaLeBeaver Sun 05-May-13 15:58:54

My mum reckons all the UKIP councillors were down to a lot of people voting for them as a protest not actually thinking UKIP councillors would get in. She reckons the people who voted for them won't vote UKIP at a general election.

I'm not so sure she's right and am worried now at the next general election more people will vote for them as they become seen as more of a mainstream party.

claig Sun 05-May-13 16:22:40

I'm not sure. I voted UKIP in this local election, but probably won't at general election. It really depends on how the Tories react and if they change and start listening to ordinary voters. It also depends on the economy. If it recovers, then people will vote Tory, if it doesn't and if the Tories keep the same policies with the same Old Etonians etc, then people may vote UKIP as a protest again.

Grant Schapps was on TV today and it seems to me that the Tories still haven't got the message. he said we have heard what people have said and we are "on it" i.e. just more of the same, they are doing the right things, it will just take time. That won't work if the economy does not recover.

The UKIP MEP, Geoffrey Bloom, was on TV and he said they would scrap most of the quangos and save £50 billion, they would stop what he called "bogus charities" and save £1 billion and they would save something like £10 billion in foreign aid. A lot of teh 25% of people who voted for them would agree with all those policies. The metropolitan elite wouldn't like it, but I think a lot of the public would.

I think Labour will not win the next election. The 25% of voters showed that they will not give them their trust and that they would rather vote UKIP.

It is really in the Tories' hands. If they start listening and carrying out the wishes of ordinary voters then they will still win.

claig Sun 05-May-13 16:32:41

In the European elections next year, UKIP will probably win hands down.

A rubicon has now been crossed. Thousands of voters who had never before voted UKIP because they felt it would be a wasted vote, finally decided to vote UKIP in these elections, because they are so disillusioned with the mainstream parties who do not represent them. Having voted UKIP once, it becomes much easier to vote for them again.

If they get airtime on TV and explain how they will cut foreign aid, quangos and some of these charities and salaries of the charity bosses, councillors and NHS Trust bosses etc, then lots of the public will vote for them as a breath of fresh air.

Chuka Umunna was on TV the other night and tried to challenge farage by saying why doesn't he believe in global warming, as if that would save New Labour. I think Farage replied something like "bring it on".

Bring it on, let the people have their say instead of the metroplitan elites, the quangos, the spinners and the liars.

claig Sun 05-May-13 16:36:14

I can just see New Labour fighting for more windmills, more carbon taxes and more solar panels against UKIP and the general public.

Bring it on, and bring them down!

StiffyByng Sun 05-May-13 16:51:02

The answer is no. They have virtually no chance of getting a Westminster seat.

1. Farage is the only one with a shot as things stand, as no one knows any others, and very few have the track record to run a campaign. The chances are that the next two years are unlikely to see any other party members rise to anything other than unwelcome notoriety. Farage will have to pick his seat very carefully. He needs a three-way marginal, preferably with a non-incumbent standing. The failure to win Eastleigh given the Huhne scandal was quite telling, and certainly Farage should have stood himself.

2. People use protest votes in local elections in a way they don't in general elections. The Lib Dems and Greens have been vastly more successful in local elections for a good couple of decades without making great inroads in Westminster. UKIP's best hope of an MP is a by election in the near future while they still have some momentum.

3. The first past the post system makes it much harder to win a seat in a general election. In addition, you'll have a higher turnout which may well dilute the UKIP vote. Even if Farage, and maybe a very small number of others, find and win seats, they will be a tiny minority in the Commons. There has been a UKIP MP already - Dr Bob Spink deferred when the Tories chucked him out before the last election. He made precisely no impression. A minority Government would be the only scenario where they would wield any power at all.

4. Their record in local government will be crucial. Most of the new councillors have no experience. In addition, their views on a range of social and political issues are unknown and untested. Based on the small sample so far, there will be skeletons in cupboards. There is far more reason for anti-UKIP people to do lots of digging now than before. By 2015, UKIP could have a very different reputation. The BNP 10 years ago was seen as a growing power in local government and a threat to Westminster. Now it is mostly dead.

5. UKIP had virtually no manifesto for these elections. Threads on here have also shown that people voted for them without knowing some of their more conservative policies and were a bit shocked. Crucially they avoided all economic discussion in detail. It isn't (shouldn't be?) possible to go into a general election with such an approach. Particularly if the other parties have immigration and EU policy which has moved towards UKIP's stance, their other policies are currently very weak.

claig Sun 05-May-13 16:54:55

As farage said, all 3 establishment oarties are nearly indistinguishable. They all believe in global warmimng and foreign aid and higher minimum pricing for alcohol and subsidies to rich landowners to erect inefficient windmills etc.

UKIP has emerged as a party that speaks for what the people really think (which is similar to the much derided by the metropolitan elite Daily Mail view) and which does not get discussed on the BBC.

UKIP is the party of the bourgeoisie and the working people and that is why the metropolitan elite call them "nutters" and "fruitcakes".

SirChenjin Sun 05-May-13 16:57:21

Agree with Claig - can't really add anything to her posts.

AKissIsNotAContract Sun 05-May-13 17:01:22

Great post stiffy, very reassuring. I've been concerned that we will end up with a Tory/UKIP coalition at the next general election.

chibi Sun 05-May-13 17:05:56

i am a working person, too.

i am not a metropolitan elite, whatever that is.

i am an immigrant.

i vacillate between nervous and afraid of what they will do to me, and people like me if/when they get in. likewise how the other parties will swing their manifestos to match ukip's.

but hey, i'm just that parasitical cockroach who teaches your kids. i probably have it coming.

claig Sun 05-May-13 17:11:50

I think UKIP's policies on immigrants who are already here are not clear and do seem unfair from what I have heard about them. I think that UKIP will need to make their policies much clearer to reassure people who are currently here.

AKissIsNotAContract Sun 05-May-13 17:13:23

presumably you've never claimed maternity leave claig and have no problem with UKIP's policy to abolish it?

chibi Sun 05-May-13 17:14:59

well. it is difficult to feel reassured by people who have made it amply clear they despise you and hold you responsible for the problems of the country. i can't imagine what they can say which will calm my nerves.

oh well.

anyway, as you say, the people have spoken! hurray! they hate my guts and wish me ill!

and that was just the 25% who could be bothered to vote!

claig Sun 05-May-13 17:17:59

I don't know what their policy on it is. I think their policies are all at sea at the moment and they will have to make everything much clearer and I think that a lot of their policies will change in the process.

UKIP have women mayors and councillors and candidates, so I don't think that their policies will be against the interests of women, when they are clarified.

If they are, then I won't vote for them and nor will millions of others. They are a new party and still need to firm up their policies. I don't think they will shoot themselves in the foot, unless they are a party that is not for real and is just a protest party.

AKissIsNotAContract Sun 05-May-13 17:20:28

I don't know what their policy on it is

says it all really, you voted for a party without having clue what they stand for.

StiffyByng Sun 05-May-13 17:20:39

I think this thread is already proving some of my points.

claig Sun 05-May-13 17:21:20

chibi, Farage's wife is German. UKIP are not against immigration and immigrants. As far as I understand it, they want controlled immigration rather than an open-door EU policy and want skilled immigrants rather than unskilled ones who compete for low-paid jobs when we have millions of people unemployed here.

chibi Sun 05-May-13 17:25:29

i love that my sense of security in this country shuld hinge on who is married to a party leader

she's german


i'll get her to put in a good word for me then, shall i? hmm

i'm not buying the whole 'it's just a protest vote'. is it pure coincidence that everyone who wanted to protest chose a party whose most famous platform is immigrants=ruining everything and must be stopped?

oh sure. nothing to worry about here at all.

claig Sun 05-May-13 17:28:38

'you voted for a party without having clue what they stand for'

Yes, I said so on another thread. I, like probably most of the other people who voted for them this time, voted for them without ever reading their manifesto or speaking to one of their candidates or looking at their website. I did it to make a protest, like many others did too.

As Farage rightly said, UKIP is not just about Europe or immigration, it is a mindset which is why its individual policies are not probably understood by most of its voters.

As the journalist from the New Statesman siad on the politics show today on TV, it is about "culture wars". It is about ordinary people not being represented by a metropolitan elite who take ordinary people's votes for granted.

The Daily Mail is hammering the Tories today telling them that they ignored the ordinary people with their metropolitan elite chumocracy.
But will the Tories listen?

If they really wanted to know what the people think, why don't they employ people like Richard Littlejohn - someopne who never went to Eton - as an adviser instead of members of the chumocracy?

Eeeeeowwwfftz Sun 05-May-13 17:35:25

The government of the day almost always performs badly in council elections. The media always portray it as being a crisis for the government. The last two governments won successive general elections. So the historical precedent would suggest there is nothing to worry about - but one shouldn't be complacent. As others have said, this party's inexperience will cause them great problems in a general election campaign, as it has done for the LibDems and Greens in the past (the traditional recipients of the protest vote).

Incidentally anyone who thinks the uk has an "open door" immigration policy has clearly never entered the country on a non-eu passport, let alone applied for a visa.

claig Sun 05-May-13 17:36:12

People know that they don't care what we think. They will spin it and hope that the first past the post system will get them back in. They won't hire advisers who understand why 25% of the voters turned to UKIP, they will carry on as usual, they say they they have heard us and that they are "on it".

Come off it, the people know they don't listen.

claig Sun 05-May-13 17:37:27

Eeee, I said open-door EU policy meaning open-door for citizens of EU member states.

StiffyByng Sun 05-May-13 17:38:36

75% of those who cared enough to turn out for the local elections didn't vote UKIP of course.

timidviper Sun 05-May-13 17:42:26

I think all that will happen is that the Tories will spin their policies to sound a bit more right wing, Shiny Dave will claim he has listened to the people and the general public will be too stupid to see through it.

Sorry if that sounds negative but I live in a retirement area where many people blindly vote Tory because they are scared of everybody else and are, generally, poorly informed on the issues.

claig Sun 05-May-13 17:43:20

Yes, but Labour got 29% and UKIP, a party that has come from nowhere, got 25%.

The door has been pushed open, now many more people will vote UKIP believeing that they can even beat Labour next time.

When we voted UKIP, we didn't know how well they would do. But now everybody knows that lots of people voted for them, and they may do the same next time. If the Tories listen and change then that won't happen. But can the Tories change? Can the chumocracy admit that they were wrong on certain issues, can they reverse their carts and meet the people halfway?

StiffyByng Sun 05-May-13 17:50:09

But that's not how it works, Claig. Euro-elections, yes, but they get even more of a protest vote than local elections. UKIP already have MEPs. Your own posts demonstrate the trouble UKIP will have at the next general election.

The UK electorate is currently generally centrist. Recent right wing Tory parties under Hague and Howard were electoral poison. Even socially liberal Cameron couldn't outright win an election. Moving to the right would be a bad thing in the long run for electoral hopes. Cameron backed gay marriage for example because the majority of the UK population has no problem with it.

Come the general election, should UKIP still have any sway, the party will struggle to produce a manifesto that doesn't alienate quite a lot of people who chucked an anti-politics vote at them last week. They can't opt out of 'politics'.

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