The 85% who don’t want UKIP
Matthew Goodwin and Robert Ford have written a very thorough and accessible book Revolt on the Right explaining where the support for UKIP comes from, the New Statesman has an article today going over the same ground, much research time and newspaper inches have been devoted to the minority. UKIP supporters on social media are a rag tag bunch of religious converts to the cause of kipperism and frequently use the term majority when talking about support for the party or it’s policies. But of course this is not true between 80-90% would not consider voting for UKIP in a General Election, the figure is even lower if you look at Scotland.
The numerous articles in the press and comments by those in the know say that UKIP are defining the political narrative, but should we be allowing them to do that. The 80% are the majority, some of them are on the right of political spectrum and some of them on the left. Should the 80% be held hostage by the fear of the political classes of a UKIP win in a marginal seat in the next General Election. Should the political leadership of the parties that we support focus on gaining back that core 11-15% of electorate who support UKIP, which to all intents and purposes is lost. There has been plenty of recent research that shows that they will vote UKIP whatever the other political parties do. With ex Conservative party voters prepared to vote UKIP even if it can be shown that a Labour Government might be the result.
The very vocal even fanatical support for UKIP on social media is one that books no disagreement, no grey zone where UKIP policies might be looked at by kippers without the rose tinted glasses. UKIP is right wether it be on a desire to return to a failed education system or in the denial of climate change or in their MEPs failure to vote on key issues that would bring benefits to the UK. But the great majority of UKIP supporters are not on social media, they are not on twitter all day extolling the virtues of small government and the horror of wind turbines. They are people who have been left behind by society they probably have no strong views on the virtues or not of a libertarian style government. They love UKIP because they see Nigel as straight talking prepared to say what others can not, an anti establishment figure but not too scary. Someone anti PC, anti those silly do gooders who prevent kids throwing snow balls, with a simple narrative to leave the EU and everything will return to a time that they can understand.
Whilst I enjoy my time on twitter gently prodding the kippers and pointing out their fallacies, I am waging a “personal” battle against the stubborn intransigence of kippers who when faced with facts will continue to spout the party line – they of course will say that I am wrong that I am part of the establishment, to this I quietly smile to myself and reflect on a lifetime of being so far from the establishment that I would be surprised if there is not a file on me somewhere.
But I want my political party to ignore UKIP, I don’t want the 10-15% dictating to the 80+% what the future of this country should be. I may not agree with Len MacCluskey, and kippers hate UNITE with a passion bordering on delusional, but when he says he wants Labour to have a bold vision for the electorate I agree. I don’t want it clouded by a desire to please a minority who will not return to the fold. I want a simple narrative that’s says to UKIP that if a majority want a referendum on Europe they will vote for parties that will hold one (and by a majority I mean 50% of the electorate). If the majority of the electorate want to abandon polices to negate climate change than they will vote for parties that will deliver that. If we really believe as a society that meritocracy would exist without government interference then we will vote for a party that will remove all equal rights legislation. Since there is no sign that we about to do that perhaps the political parties would refrain from foisting policies that 11-15% want on the rest of us.