Friday 6 June 2014

Newark marks the beginning of the end for UKIP

Newark probably marks the start of UKIP's decline, but the major parties should not take much comfort from it. The issues that UKIP raised have still not gone away and the traditional parties have shown no enthusiasm to make them their own.

UKIP's hotheads were telling everyone that they were going to win the seat last night, but the few cooler heads that the party has in its ranks were happy to see the party come second with about thirty percent of the vote. Nigel Farage, who has the coolest head of all, seems to have realised that even that was over-optimistic which is why he probably decided to be in Malta on election day. UKIP ended up with just twenty-six percent of the vote, so it looks as if the cool head had it.

Small insurgent parties like UKIP or the BNP a decade ago, rely on enthusiasm to carry their momentum forward. Once the momentum slows down, then the insurgents do not have an efficient party machine that could consolidate the new gains and prepare to carry the party forward when the next momentum comes. They tend to fall apart as the enthusiasm wanes and people begin to fight amongst themselves over the minutia of political matters.

That has already begun to happen with UKIP as the party suffered a major schism before last month's European elections with the creation of An Independence From Europe. We can expect more such breakaways in the months ahead as the egos clash over the correct road road to take. Not only that, but we are already seeing newly elected councillors either walking away from UKIP or being slung out by it. We can expect to see a lot more of this in the months ahead as the momentum grinds to a halt and it becomes obvious to even the hottest Kipper head that the party is not going to win any seats in Westminster next year.

The problem is that the issues raised by these insurgent parties have not gone away, it is just that there is no vehicle that disaffected voters can turn to for representation. Millions of our people have been left behind economically by globalisation, and many of them are revolted by the determination of the metropolitan elite who run all three main parties to push forward a social agenda that leaves ordinary people feeling repulsed.

The most likely outcome now is that Labour will win next year on a lousy turnout with around thirty-five percent of the vote cast, on the back of an electoral system that is only semi-legitimate in the eyes of a sizeable chunk of the population.

Interesting times are ahead.


  1. Not one of your most sensible productions I'm afraid Ken. Not overturning a massive Tory majority signifies nothing, and if it did why wouldn't that be a comfort to the main two parties? UKIP has been much more fractious in the past than it is now, difficult as that maybe to believe think Kilroy.

    The problem for UKIP may be that the 25% we regularly score in by-elections may represent a ceiling in our support which we'll struggle to break through. Even this would not necessarily hinder the party's policy objectives.

  2. Normally I would agree with your first paragraph, Tom, as UKIP still made gains in vote share. The problem is that the momentum is slowing down, and the party does not have the machine needed to consolidate gains made and prepare for the next push. A bit like the Jacobite army in 1745 - all enthusiasm, no bottom.


Views Themes -->