Monday, 26 May 2014

The tide is high

So that's the election to the European Parliament pretty much done and dusted for another four years. The final results from Scotland and all of those from Northern Ireland have yet to come in, but they're not going to make much difference to the UKIP vote, which turns out to be around 4.35 million people, pretty much where I said they should have been.

This is the important figure: not the share of the vote, but the raw number of voters. Because, while many, many more people will turn out for each of the three main parties in a general election, this is high tide for UKIP - if you didn't vote for them last Thursday, you're unlikely to do so next year.

Unless, of course, the party changes radically. If UKIP is to get any further, it's going to have to make greater inroads into old Labour territory. And that probably means thanking Nigel Farage for all he's done, but telling him that he's gone as far as he can. A bit like Ian Holloway, he might get you promoted to the Premier League, but he won't keep you there. Or you could see him as the Moses of politics, the man chosen to lead his people back to their promised land but destined not to take the final step himself. But that's a tad heroic, as a comparison.

In any event, it's time for Farage to lay down his burden. UKIP needs to change if it's to mean anything. Now if they could recruit Alan Johnson and make him leader...

Just as a postscript, it's a pleasure to see erstwhile Mail Online blogger, Janice Atkinson-Small, elected as a UKIP MEP. At last, one of the great heroes of this blog is to get a decent income from the state.


Tyrone Jenkins said...

At last Janice Atkinson-Small has come into her inheritance! Titter!
With regards to the wider political tectonic rumblings Yasmin Alibhai-Browns's opinion piece in yesterdays INDEPENDENT, 'What have the other parties to fear?' is also pretty spot on, although generally I do find her a bit sanctimonious!
Talking of sanctimony Diane Abbot is of the view that the UKIP bubble is about to burst at the Newbury by-election.
As for myself I engaged/indulged in the usual process of voting Labour more out of a sense of nostalgia for a time when they still had ideals left to lose. Quite probably just prior to the death of John Smith though more likely before the Kinnock compromises/bluster!
On election night itself (Euro but not local authority in Wales)I attended a free local screening of Ken Loach's 'the spirit of 45'organised by the local branch of 'Left Unity'. I went for the free screening, although the post-film discussion was interesting with most of the leftists arguing that UKIP should not be dismissed as 'fascist' or 'Racist'. Neither should they be seen, sans Hitler, as simply a split within the ruling class. Rather they are a legitimate expression of disenchantment with the failure of the political class to engage with the concerns of the working class. I think they had made an effort not to be too doctrinal for fear of frightening me away. I'm not a potential recruit, I simply attended to see the Loach film!

Tyrone Jenkins said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Tyrone Jenkins said...

Whoops! I wrote the above comment in haste and have since noticed one or two whoppers! As I'm too indolent to rewrite the thing I will simply apologise for the challenge punctuation and failure to capitalise the title of the Loach film in the appropriate places! Thank goodness that copy-writing is not a personal vocation!

Tyrone Jenkins said...

...I meant Newark and not 'Newbury'!