Saturday, May 30, 2009

If not UKIP then who?

The Telegraph leader today says that a vote for UKIP in the upcoming EU elections is a "wasted vote"

The European and local elections offer an opportunity for a protest vote, a vote that expresses disgust at the moral collapse of an entire political class. But there is only one meaningful protest that the electorate can register at the polls, and that is one that helps force the Government to call a general election in the near future. And that excludes voting Ukip.

Why does it? The only reason Brown will call an election is if he believes he has a chance of winning it. The only thing that will make him believe that is if the Tories get a bloody good kicking at the EU elections - and the only party that is likely to do that is UKIP.

The latest polls look grim for Brown - with one suggesting that they are likely to come third behind UKIP with just 16% of the vote - but the same polls are not exactly inspiring for the Tories as they are expected to collect a mere 30%.

A 14% lead over the Labour Party might look good on paper, but a share of just 30% for the main party in opposition to a government in such a disarray is, frankly, shit.

The Telegraph then goes on to say we shouldn't vote for the BNP either.

If a vote for Ukip is extremely foolish, a vote for the BNP is something much worse. We argued the other day that this clownish outfit is not as dangerous as it would like us to think; nor should its political programme be taken very seriously, as it is crude and self-contradictory.

This demonstrates a complete misunderstanding of the current mindset of the electorate. The Tories are not gaining support lost by Labour and there is no evidence to suggest that it is UKIP who are benefiting from Labour supporters drifting away from their usual refuge. It is Labour supporters who are more likely to vote BNP.

The suggestion that those of us who are likely to vote for minor parties are wasting our time is ridiculous. How else can we demonstrate to both main parties that we want a new approach to the EU and a complete review of our relationship with that organisation and our own parties?

If we don't vote for UKIP then who should we vote for? The Tories? Let's suppose that a considerable proportion of potential UKIP voters did vote Tory - how, exactly would a poll rating of, say, 40% Tory to 16% Labour encourage Gordon Brown to call an election which he knows would result in a complete stuffing for his party?

The Telegraph seems to think that the expenses row is reason enough to call an election. It might be, I don't know - (though, in my opinion, it is not) but what I do know is that all three main parties are tainted by the same brush in that row so if that is the reason why The Telegraph wants an election they should be encouraging us to vote for anyone BUT the main parties.


Mark Wadsworth said...


The Torygraph are just reverting to type. As we well know the EU Parliament is a joke, but it's still a golden opportunity for the vast majority to give Call Me Dave a reminder that he's sort of vaguely promised us a referendum on Lisbon Thingy.

There is no way that we can use these elections to give The Goblin King a reminder that he's no longer wanted as PM (if he hasn't got the message yet, he never will) - although this is what the Torygraph suggests we 'should' do.

Goodnight Vienna said...

Interesting analysis. The Tories still, despite Cameron's speech @ Milton Keynes and his Guardian articles, have no clear Lisbon referendum position beyond the 'three ifs' (if the treaty is not in force, if there is a GE, if the Irish vote no) & 'we will not letter matters rest'. Cameron has still given no clear reason to vote Conservative at the euros so I'm with you on this one.

Anonymous said...

If enough people vote UKIP the message might get across to the two labor parties running things that SOMETHING must be done about Europe, UK Sovereignty, uncontrolled immigration etc. I'm sure that this expenses business is viewed by those in power as a minor hiccup, they'll just pat on us on the heads, make a few tiny concessions, say 'there, there little people' and then same old, same old....if WE let it.

tally said...

The English anti eu vote is split between the bnp ukip english democrats and a few tory die hards.
this could lead to labour slipping in under the radar unfortunately.

North Northwester said...

As it is perceived as a single-issue party - though it is not - UKIP is, I think, the party for the European elections par excellence.
It consists largely of Tory voters or Tory-inclined voters, but with a strong patriotic Left-wing strand.
I don't like the anti-EU Right being split, but a big vote for UKIP is as clear a message to the Big Three parties - federasts to the last man - that we hate it. Then let them stew on that.

Of course, they'll probably ignore it, but I feel we've got to try.

DocRichard said...

OpenEurope has published an important league table of MEP performance here:

MEPs have been ranked using two main categories:
‘Transparency, openness and democracy’ and ‘Fighting waste and misuse of EU funds’.

I have gone through the data for UK Greens, Con, Lab, LibDem and UKIP and summated their scores, then divided by the number of MPEs. The lower the score the better.

Here are the results :

Greens - 51

LibDem - 116

Conservatives 152

Labour 205

Ukip 343

This survey is vitally important for the electorate. People are understandably angry with the three Westminster parties, and at the moment, due to deficient information, UKIP is the main beneficiary of the disaffection, polling 10-16% at the moment. This research shows that voting UKIP in protest at MP expenses scandals is to jump from the Westminster frying pan into the Brussels fire.