It’s only one poll, but according to a YouGov poll:
Ukip is now MORE popular than LABOUR:
Nigel Farage gets polls boost as Ukip surges ahead
If they carry on like this, the General Election next year might become a three way fight.
The Lib Dems seem to be completely down and out. I’m an ex Lib-Dem voter. I voted for them year in, year out. I used to vote for them because I thought they stood for classical liberal values, and for democracy. But when in 2006 95% of Lib-Dem MPs voted for the illiberal and undemocratic smoking ban, I stopped voting for them. I’ll never vote for them again.
I think all the mainstream political parties are facing identity crises. There’s very much a sense of fin de siècle in the air, that the old order is disintegrating.
Take the Labour party. It used to be the party of working people. But the current Labour elite have mostly never done any work in their lives. They’ve lost touch with their electorate. As Dick Puddlecote puts it:
White van men up and down the country – whether displaying the cross of St George outside their houses or not – tend to like burgers, beer and baccy. Ed’s party, though, are fiercely opposed to absolutely everything working people like to consume.
They don’t respect the choices of working people, they despise working people because of their choices.
What is the point of working people voting for politicians who actively despise them? And when they see Nigel Farage outside a pub with a pint of beer and a cigarette (and maybe a burger too), won’t they see someone who shares their values, even if he’s a wealthy ex-stockbroker?
The Conservative party has a similar problem. Under David Cameron’s leadership, it has ceased to be conservative. It’s become a progressive, modernising party. Cameron threw his weight behind trendy environmentalism, global warming, and the EU. Is it any wonder if sceptical conservatives began to find UKIP’s anti-EU platform more attractive? As I’ve said before, UKIP now has the policies that the Conservative party ought to have.
Over the next 6 months, if UKIP continues to grow in popularity, the internal stresses in both the Labour and Conservative party look set to rise. They’re both becoming increasingly schizophrenic parties. I won’t be at all surprised if Ed Miliband gets dumped, and replaced by a “representative of working people”. And I won’t be too surprised if the same happens with David Cameron, and he’s replaced by a “eurosceptic conservative”.
But would deserting voters return to them? I’m not sure they would. I wouldn’t go back to the Lib-Dem fold if a true liberal and democrat took over from Nick Clegg. I’ve been far too badly burned. I don’t trust them.
What I want to see is the entire progressive/modernising political class thrown out of office.
By contrast, UKIP doesn’t seem at all schizophrenic (although I’m sure it’s got its own internal tensions). And Nigel Farage always seems cheerful and assured, and someone who knows exactly what he wants. And that in itself is attractive.
And so as the mainstream parties tear themselves apart over the next 6 months, the British people may well end up deciding to vote for the the only party that isn’t. Unless, of course, Nigel Farage gets dumped as well. But that would be the biggest surprise of all. He’s the party’s greatest asset. He more or less is UKIP.
Polly Toynbee rather plaintively says: “The trouble is that the sort of people who vote UKIP… often don’t watch the BBC News, don’t read newspapers that tell them the truth about where the parties stand.” i.e. UKIP voters don’t pay any attention to people like her. Why should they?