Wednesday, March 09, 2011

Tories begin to wake up to UKIP

But still don't get it.

Here is Paul Goodman on Conservative home, trying to analyze what on earth is going on in the polls as the UKIP vote share doubles and more since the general election amongst the polling organisations. This of course was underlined by the Barnsley election, but as Goodman points out  more perceptive eyes had spotted the trend before last week.
An Angus Reid post-Barnsley poll has shown it at 7%. Populus has estimated it at 5%. The estimable Anthony Wells of YouGov spotted rising support for UKIP as early as January. At the last election, UKIP came in at 3%.
He cites three key reasons for UKIP's rise.
1) The Lib Dems movement in to coalition has killed their outsider tag, thus leaving UKIP the field of the anti party party.
2) The BNP is in an utter mess.
3) Nigel Farage
There is truth in all of this though I suspect, and given the Barnsley study by Survation point 2 is marginal. Why chase a few thousand votes when there are millions to be won?

Where Goodman, and so many others of his ilk fall down is that they cannot get their heads around what is happening out there. There has been a media belief - at times abetted by people in UKIP, that the party is fixated on soley the EU and Immigration. That is just not the case, and people are beggining to wake up to it. However the Westminster bubble is, as always behind the curve.

So Goodman is going on about Immigration. Now of course it is important, and he links to Nick Bethel's research saying UKIP voters don't always link the EU to immigration (which as yesterdays ECJ judgement suggests they should do).

But the point is that people are also chiming with UKIP's policies in other areas. The new Government Pension policy was lifted almsot in its entirety from the UKIP manifesto for example. The Liob Dem policy about raising the household tax allowance has been something we have been banging on about for years. UKIP was the first party to affiliate to No2ID. We were campaigning against the European Arrest Warrant for years before Wikileaks existed. And so, and so forth.

Lib Dem switchers are not coming to us because of our stance on Europe, but on our near Orange book focus on economic liberty and our stance on civil liberties. How does Cameron deal with that? How does he deal with our support for proper choice in education - a subject on which he has demanded resignation in his own team? How does he deal with our stance on crime and punisshment, whiel Ken Clarke walks away from traditional ideas of crime and punishment?

How indeed does he square the treatment of the armed forces?

Oh yes and how can he turn to his own side and say
"I believe that being in the UK EU is good for Britain, so you cannot have a referendum"
as he did today in Prime Ministers Questions, thus proving that he has no truck with any concept of Direct Democracy,without once telling us why?


paulsc said...

"I believe that being in the UK is good for Britain, so you cannot have a referendum." I love this little Freudian slip of yours. I think you mean EU not UK.

Gawain Towler said...

Hah, nice spot