Tag Archives: UKIP

This might sound a bit radical…

7 Jan

This might sound a bit radical but could UKIP actually get their own Councillors elected instead of relying on defectors?

This quote is one I found on the Democracy Forum as part of the debate of the defecting of Cllr Whittle (see below). This is the public’s perception, enhanced by the news of the growing support for UKIP driven largely (or so the news tells us) by defections from the Conservatives. However the facts disagree with the assumption.

The overwhelming majority of current UKIP Councillors were elected as UKIP, rather than being defectors. There are 38 local councillors, with 26 whom were elected. This includes the nine out of the seventeen seats for Ramsey Town Council won in the May 2011 local elections. A rise from one seat which lead to the Mayor being a UKIP Councillor  Likewise, UKIP has 12 MEPS with only one (Rodger Helmer) is a result of a defection.

So whilst in the early days, UKIP relied heavily on defections this seems now to have made way for full elected UKIP members. The perception maybe there but the reality behind it is changing,


True Motives Missed…

6 Jan

Councillor Frank Whittle defects to UKIP after becoming ‘disillusioned’ with Tories

The article above is a minor political news article from East Anglican Daily Times about an ex-mayor and local Councillor for Stowmarket who has defected to UKIP for the Tories. Not exactly breaking news (anymore) as the surge from Tories to UKIP continues. Rather, what caught my interest was the response from the Chairman of Cllr Whittle’s ex Conservative Association.

The Chairman, Andrew Speed, felt the cause of this defection is Europe, “we expect that once the national policy on Europe has been defined he may well return at which point we would welcome him back with open arms.” Europe, a lack of policy on Europe? Maybe in the early days but I believe Mr Speed is reflecting a wrongly held belief in the power of UKIP – the issue of Europe. Whilst Europe and all the proclaimed ‘evil’ it personifies (or so claims by Daily Mail et al.), I think that is only the part of the story.

With UKIP developing and maturing as a full political party, representing the ‘alternative’ now that gap has opened up with the Lib-Dems joining government. There is a deeper reason for the growth in polls (highest at 16% here, average is 12% or so), it is serious disquiet mixed with a real alternative for the voters. Surveys by YouGov and Lord Ashcroft have separately established that the EU is not the top issue for Mr Farage’s voters (which is why he has astutely sought to abandon the party’s longer title and pound-symbol badge). Rather, their main concern is immigration, with crime coming second and the EU only third. Studies of UKIP’s supporters find pessimism about the country’s future and rage against the political class.

Take gay marriage (a contentious issue among Tory grass-root faithful), UKIP represent the only major party to stand for traditional marriage understanding. Plus one to UKIP versus Conservative. Or defense where UKIP promise to “to provide proper defence resources and bring an end to devastating cuts“. Defense is a Conservative stronghold that is now looking a little overrun. Or because UKIP’s values represent what some voters are looking for as  its primary attraction is that it will “say things that need to be said but others are scared to say” (to quote the Lord Ashcroft‘s  survey looking at the threat of UKIP. The list goes on, and it’s not just ex-Tories defecting, its Labour and Lib Dems too.

Sorry Mr Speed but you missed the true motives. It is  the expression of dissatisfaction, borrowing the capitalistic mantra: “the voters have voted with their feet“.