Friday, May 3, 2013

England’s local elections produce a 'remarkable' night for Nigel Farage and UKIP as the party storms to success after success, second in South Shields by-election, Lib Dems lose deposit and come seventh behind the BNP, sea-change in UK politics

Dear All

Today’s big story is UKIP.

Since the Eastleigh by-election, you could say that there is a sense of change in the air.

The change being that you don’t have to vote for the ‘big three’ political parties in British politics of Labour, Conservative and Lib Dems

The County Council elections in England are important in the continual rise of the UKIP brand, if anyone is over the moon this morning, it is Nigel Farage

For the Conservatives, UKIP is a serious problem; they are losing support and voters to them.

So, after the battle of the ballot box, the Conservatives have lost control of two English local authorities.

As well as that and of possibly more significance is that the UK Independence Party (Ukip) claimed second place behind Labour in the South Shields parliamentary by-election.

At present, UKIP have no seats in Westminster.

Last night, was as equally bad for the Lib Dems as the Conservatives.

Nick Clegg’s leadership is looking increasingly estranged from the rest of his party, he sold them out; can’t reconnect and the voters have abandoned the Lib Dems.

In politics there is a simple rule don’t lie to the public, you can be forgiven for making a mess of it politically, but lying carries severe penalties.

Nigel Farage's party is firmly on the road to success, they have made inroads in the council elections becoming the second largest party in Lincolnshire.

The bonus is that the Conservatives lost control of the authority.

A cherry on that particular cake!

In Lincolnshire, UKIP won 16 seats to become the second largest grouping on the council.

In the run up to this election, the Conservatives adopted a flawed strategy, they decided to derided UKIP with David Cameron describing them as "fruitcakes, loonies and closet racists" and then Kenneth Clarke piled in and called them "clowns".

If anyone has a yearning for the Circus this morning, it must be Cameron and Clark, their 'high wire act' ended in despair, but there are spaces for clowns doing slapstick.

Mr Farage touring the TV and radio studios quipped:

"Send in the clowns!"

So, having done well, Euro elections coming up with chances of more seats, but the real prize is Westminster.

Mr Farage said UKIP now has "every chance" of winning a House of Commons seat at the next by-election in a marginal constituency.

That by-election could be at Portsmouth South this summer if Lib Dem Mike Hancock is forced to stand down.

Mr. Hancock is being investigated of claims of harassment and alleged sex assault.

Farage said of his party’s success:

"We have been abused by everybody, the entire establishment, and now they are shocked and stunned that we are getting over 25% of the vote everywhere we stand across the country. This is a real sea-change in British politics."

Conservative Party chairman Grant Shapps said it was important for Tories to respond to the concerns of voters who defected to UKIP.

He added:

"We get it. We have heard you, we understand and we are also anxious to make progress."

Are we heading out of Europe?

Not yet, but there is one almighty fight coming down the pipeline, and the ‘big three’ aren’t responding to the needs of the people, so Farage is right there is a sea-change happening.

Mr Shapps told BBC Radio 4's Today programme:

"I think the results we have seen so far demonstrate people have concerns and reasons for voting in different directions, including UKIP which go beyond Europe.

To give it a name, I would call it Tory unfairness.

The South Shields contest, triggered by David Miliband's decision to quit as an MP, was won by Labour's Emma Lewell-Buck with a reduced majority of 6,505.


Last night, Nigel Farage was saying on This Week that UKIP would get about 25% of the vote, they got 24% of the vote secured by UKIP's Richard Elvin to take second place.

Nick Clegg's party lost its deposit after securing just 352 votes, finishing in seventh position behind an independent, an independent socialist and the BNP.

To say that the Lib Dem support has collapsed is an understatement and the pressure is on Clegg to find a narrative, it might be that a return is only possible if he goes.

Lib Dem President Tim Farron acknowledged the result in South Shields was "shocking" for his party!

Tory backbencher John Baron, last month delivered a letter to David Cameron signed by 100 Conservative MPs calling for referendum legislation.

So far despite a promise, nothing is going through Westminster, this result is important, and it should be viewed as such.

Mr Baron said:

"I take the view UKIP are not simply a protest party. There are a lot of people in Ukip with genuine concerns. If you can deliver legislation in this Parliament, or at least show serious intent that if the Conservatives get in we will definitely have an in/out referendum in 2017, then my question to anyone is why would you bother voting for UKIP?"

Business Secretary Vince Cable said the results were "obviously very disappointing" for the Liberal Democrats.

Seems you can’t get anything passed Vince.

However, he lives in denial that UKIP are merely a protest vote, it is more than that now, and he should sharpen up.

So, what now for Cameron?

Is it a shift to the right?

I would say no, however, there is a need for creative politics, immigration is a problem, the solution lies in Europe; there is a need for a proper EU internal immigration policy.

It is so obvious a policy, in the early days of the EU when it was less than a dozen countries of more or less the same economic status there was no real problem, expansion created more problems and no solutions to make the adjustment were considered.

Dogma was allowed to fester and we are where we are!

And if the situation isn’t addressed, the people of Britain will vote to leave the European Union, in the process destroying the ‘big three’’ political parties.

We aren’t at the tipping point yet, but we are on the slope!

Yours sincerely

George Laird
The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University

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