UKIP 27.4%, Labour 25.4%, Conservative 23.9%
Greens 7.87, Liberal Democrats 6.8%.
That was the breakdown of the recent EU election results for the main UK political parties. UKIP being the big winners with 24 MEPs (+11) and Liberal Democrats with just 1 MEP (down 10) having the mother of all political meltdowns.
If Prime Minister David Cameron was audacious he would call the general elections this year knowing that his coalition partners (Liberal Democrats) are in free fall. Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg’s falling reputation is nearing rock bottom and that is unlikely to turn around before the next election.
Clegg seems to be disliked by both the left (too Tory) and the right (too pro EU) in equal measure. If Clegg loves his party he would resign or promise to do so. But if he loves the trappings of state power more, Clegg will cling on. Hard for any political leader to reverse such poor polling figures.
The Tories have come out fair in the votes given they have been the lead Government during the current austerity era since coming to power in 2010. The recent vote gives them a decent platform to defend their record at the next general election. Especially on the economy.
Labour must feel disappointed with their overall vote. As the main (or only) opposition in Parliament, Labour must feel worried that they could not get at least 30% of the vote. Labour did well in London but Ed Miliband leadership has still yet to convince the wider electorate to return Labour to power after just 5 years.
Miliband comes across as too patronising at times. His 12 year journey from Treasury adviser, MP, Energy Secretary through to Labour leader has been meteoric. Why? I doubt his style of policy wonk delivery will attract enough voters to win the general election.
Why Ed Miliband did not promise a referendum on the EU? Such a decision could attract/keep centrist voters who are euro sceptic and have since voted for UKIP.
The Labour shadow cabinet has failed to land sustainable blows on the government during Eds time as leader which must be a concern for party supporters. Who have been the shadow cabinet’s big hitters? Who is their Robin Cook?
Cook was an effective shadow cabinet member that had the John Major Government on the ropes during the 1990s. The biggest surprise of Sundays results was UKIP winning a seat in Scotland. Now that needs some explaininhg from our friends in the north! Wow!
The Lib Dem received a projected 13% of the national vote in last week local government elections. Again UKIP exceed expectations to win 17% of the vote. Labour received 31% and the Tories 29%.
We have to accept that UKIP leader Nigrk Farage is an excellent communicationer and managed to attract voters due to the simple way he put across his message. Farage has made so many appearances on BBC’s Question Time where he consistently out debates his rivals with ease. Since 1999 Farage has been on Question Time at least 27 times.
In an age where most frontline politicians from the 3 main parties all sound the same, Farage has managed to speak in a manner that does not look image conscious. Some may call it “cheeky chappy”.
The 3 main political parties – supported by some media circles – constantly accused UKIP of being racists. This move was bound to backfire with those undecided eurosceptic voters who eventually opted for UKIP. And the do Brits love an underdog which UKIP have played to a treat. [No one could accuse the late socialist Bob Crow of being a racist despite his strong anti EU views.]
The UKIP racism attacks by the main parties was so hypocritical and lame given that those parties have dabbled in similar actions/utterances when in power. i.e. the Tories/Lib Dem “go home” policy and numerous Labour Home Secretaries playing the anti non EU immigrant card to grab the headlines.
[Labour’s Margaret Hodge started a frank debate in 2007 on immigration and was quickly muzzled. Was the Labour Government accused of being racist then?]
Has Ed Miliband done enough to be Prime Minister next year? Should Labour ditch Ed before the election? Should Ed reshuffle his shadow cabinet and bring the Alan Johnsons and Alistair Darlings back to front line politics?
What will be David Cameron’s next major move to ensure the Tories stay in power? Will he surprise his rivals and call a snap election? Will there still be a hung parliament next year? And if so who will partner who?
As for Nick Clegg it could be the long goodbye.