UKIP’s remarkable night. And what’s next?

Nigel Farage said that for UKIP it was a remarkable night. Do you agree with his statement  and would you say there are some implication for the future of British politics? Read few comments.

Nicholas Randall, Lecturer in British Politics, School of Geography, Politics and Sociology University of Newcastle

UKIP have performed very well in European Elections in the past. They have never performed as well as this before in local elections. So it that sense it was a remarkable night. In terms of implications, much will depend on UKIP’s ability to maintain its momentum. They will need, for example, to develop a more coherent organisation and increase their resources if they are to continue to make progress. In particular, they need to demonstrate a capacity to win seats at Westminster. Despite their success, this remains a tall order.

What I think this shows is that there is pretty profound dissatisfaction with the three main parties. It demonstrates that all the parties need to engage, if at all possible, this disaffected section of the electorate.

A final implication is for David Cameron. This result places the pressure back upon him from his critics within the party. It makes it more difficult for him and his supporters to place the Conservative Party on the moderate centre ground of British politics.

Bill Jones, Professor of  Politics,  Liverpool Hope University

Yes it’s been a good 24 hours for UKIP. They came second in a by-election in the north, reducing Labour’s winning majority by 6000 votes. In the local elections, where they have fielded a record 1700 candidates, they have so far claimed a quarter of the votes cast (vote counting is delayed in local elections this year and we won’t know the full results until later today and tomorrow morning).

The implications for the future are:

1. UKIP have now become a mainstream party,arguably the ‘third’ one after Labour and Conservative..
2. The Liberal Democrats, who lost their deposit in the by-election, are threatened with implosion as a political force.
3. UKIP has now added a whole raft of rightwing policies to it’s central focus of withdrawal from EU and now threatens to attract Conservative radical right votes. If this proves to be the case Cameron can give up any hope of winning a majority in 2015.
4. UKIP’s performance in by-elections (it came second in the Eastleigh one a few weeks back) and local elections shows it can take votes from Labour and is a national force rather than a southern based party.

Farage is a clever politician: funny, optimistic and delighted to play the maverick to attract the ‘protest’ vote which Lib Dems have disqualified themselves from receiving such votes as a result of being in government.

Stephen Fisher, University Lecturer in Political Sociology, Department of Sociology, University of Oxford

Yes it is remarkable.  It is a major challenge to the three main parties but hard to predict how they will react.

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One Response

  1. Well no more foot dragging over referendum Cameron, Farage as just put a rocket up your arse for motivation? People in the UK are tired of the 3 parties delay tactics and excuses. Its time to let people decide and vote.

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