Too much Glenfiddich last night – for those out of the UK, there was a little election yesterday over here. In the cold light of day, what happened?
Seems to me that it was moderately successful for UKIP if looked at as an established party but as a newbie, it was bloody amazing. It was almost as if there were holes, gaps here and there which needed filling and UKIP came in and filled them. In London though, they were met with more resistance, gaining 10%, rather than the 25% nationally.
There were tweets about that being the bastion of the Westminster elite and the multiculturalists, e.g. in the corrupt Tower Hamlets where I believe that a full 186% of the voting roll turned out for Labour.
Then one stops and thinks hang on – 10% gain in London, the heartland? Any party would love a 10% swing. Then one sobers up even more and thinks again – hang on, the council elections were where they hoped to make gains – some gains – but the Euros were where the main thrust was. So anything at all in the councils meant UKIP were announcing themselves.
There’s something a bit teapartyish about last night. Suzanne Evans, who lost her seat, was seen as a less sophisticated political person, an amateur and sophisticated London didn’t take to her. Or so the Beeb narrative goes.
The issue now, as everyone knows, is that, come Monday, UKIP must sit down and get the damned manifesto restarted, it needs to be up by the autumn in order to seriously challenge for 2015. Nigel must not come over as a political prostitute, willing to jump into bed with the Tories, although welcoming the true conservatives in the Tory party would be OK.
The immense danger, as the enthusiasm naturally wanes over the days and months for what was, after all, a people’s victory last night, whatever spin you impart to it – the danger is that UKIP do not consolidate. Newark is the first great test and I can’t see Roger Helmer taking it but let’s not pre-empt.
Winning all those seats has now put the spotlight firmly on UKIP and Suzanne Evans can’t evade the question of the Brexit strategy any more. That looked bad on TV. Article 50 and the referendum need to be seriously discussed now, without Richard North’s and AM’s scowling.
Were the Tories swept away? No, of course not. Was Labour damaged? They out-gained over UKIP overall. So why the Guardian headline? Well, for a start, it was devised in the wee hours but overall, it was a momentous night all the same, in patches across the country.
UKIP is now fighting on this other flank now – that of a domestic party with notions of power-sharing, nay even of eventual government. How many voters will stick with them? How many, seeing the success last night, will think – maybe I’ll vote for them next time?
What was the Guido factor? How many read Guido and how much of London listens and heeds? Because he’s turned UKIPer too and is a powerful voice. Tim Montgomerie was perhaps a bit too evenhanded for tory tastes.
It’s time now for the mature, sane, hard work to continue in this reborn party because the snakes in the grass will be out in force, every day, every hour, trying to bring UKIP down. One esteemed Tory blogger even likened UKIP to cockroaches, thereby insulting a substantial proportion of the UK’s adult population.
And don’t forget we still have the Euro result to come in the next few days.
My own inconsequential thought now for UKIP is steady as she goes. Has OoL a policy on all this? Not really – we are for libertarians of all hues as a site.
This courtesy of Clarissa [Misanthrope Girl]: