Sunday, April 28, 2013


UKIP's turn to soak up some punishment

Nigel Farage has a good line in attacking his opponents, offering no quarter as he knifes their reputations, with gleeful abandon. But today has seen the backlash: Tories leading the charge against a parvenue who threatens not just them but Labour and Lib-Dems too. So we see ther ST featuring a story, gleaned from Facebook, about a UKIP candidate, Chris Scotton  who has said he has been active with the far right EDL and sympathetic to this party's aims. The Observer manages to lead with a story about 'chaos' in UKIP policy-making, devoting two pages to the part's current p[rospects with local elections coming up on Thursday.

UKIP asre fielding 1700 candidates, a massive intervention in an area where they scarcely figured last year. As most of the seats contested will be Tory, there will be a good oppostunity to see how big a slice of Conservative votes UKIP are likely to take not just on Thursday but in 2015: a long time away still but still a focus of Tory high anxiety. UKIP stand at 11% in the ST's Yougov poll, equal to the Lib Dems, so whilst it is likely to poll better than ever before, it is unlikely to storm any citadels this time around. Thrasher ad Rallings, of Plymouth University, see UKIP's following as typically older than the average and less well educated and more likely to be male than female. They tend to be against gay marriage and favour the return of the death penatly.

By entering the fray so agressively UKIP have taken a gamble: if it fails it will be ridiculed and dsimissed by the mainstream parties. Hence the row over alleged Tory 'smear tactics'. UKIP's deputy leader has answered that,   "UKIP has been subject to a co-ordinated smear campaign." Ken Clarke, for the Tories has dismissed the party as hardly worth botherring about. But there can be no doubt Tories are worrying about the threat posed by Farages insurgent army,. A poll for The Sun today predicted Tories would lose 360 seats and control of 11 councils: a virtual meltdown. Ukip will aim to improve mightily on the 8 seats it  managed in 2009. Farage had better get used to the roasting he is receiving- it's a compliment really to how grave a threat he is perceived to pose..

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