Is UKIP Serious About Winning Seats at Westminster?


UKIP may well top the poll in terms of vote share in the Euro Elections on Thursday 22nd May, but to what end?  UKIPers seriously do think that coming first in an election to an institution, which UKIP says is pointless, counts as a political earthquake.

If, however, UKIP were serious about winning seats in the only Parliament that counts, when it comes to enacting legislation to put an In/Out Referendum to the UK electorate, then it would surely focus time, resources and money on winning elections within the UK that would help it gain seats at Westminster.  Therefore, the results that really count for UKIP on May 22nd are not the Euro ones, but the parochial local authority contests taking place across England and in Northern Ireland.

As any party campaign strategist will tell you, local authority Councillors are the boots on the ground that you need to raise your party’s profile in local areas.  It is not Quantum Mechanics to say that, if you want to be a serious contender to win seats at Westminster, then you need locally elected representatives of your party undertaking the ‘mundane’ work of Councillors and, crucially campaigning all year round with all that implies.

One might almost be led to think, by the decision to field Roger Helmer in Newark, that the party has no serious wish to win the seat.  Were there no more emollient, less controversial characters from which to chose a candidate, perhaps even a woman?  Someone well placed to maximise the expected protest vote in the by election?  Or are more controversial statements and gaffes, forests of column inches, extended media coverage and Nigel Farage appearing on every programme on the BBC (with any tenuous link to politics) more important than finally securing a seat in Parliament through the ballot box?  Is UKIP, instead, hoping to gain a seat through yet another (fag end of a Parliamentary term) defection by a well past his sell by date, hard right Tory backbencher?  A Roger Helmer of Westminster, in fact.

Without any likelihood of there being a referendum for many years, UKIP and its supporters are putting sizeable efforts into electing a group of their members into, in their opinion, a moribund institution.  These lucky individuals, predominantly white, male, middle aged and well heeled can look forward to five years of honing their expenses claims skills, whilst doing next to nothing to constructively represent their constituents and the UK in Brussels and Strasbourg (and the wider world).  And, whilst doing nothing they will at every opportunity bellyache about the institution that they are doing their best to undermine from within, one expenses claim at a time.  And, just in case any UKIPer is reading this, it is your taxes that pay for their generous expenses, allowances, research trips etc.  Their extravagant expenses (as UKIP themselves refer to them) are part of our subscription to the European Union.

Of course, if turkeys had a vote, they would probably not vote for Christmas, so perhaps we should not be surprised that UKIP’s would be MEP turkeys are quite happy for their party to commit significant resources to get them elected to well paid sinecures (funded out of the purses of their fellow taxpayers).  Resources that would surely be better used to get them the political leverage within the UK to bring about their collective heart’s desire, an In/Out Referendum, if they were serious about obtaining one?

Aneurin Bevan said, “How can wealth persuade poverty to use its political power to keep wealth in power?  Here lies the whole art of Conservative politics in the twentieth century.”  UKIP have assiduously studied and copied this art, whilst at the same time absorbing it through osmosis, courtesy of ex Tories like Mr Helmer.  No slouch he at completing a European Parliament expenses claim.  Should he lose in Newark, he will be able to drown his sorrows at length as a newly elected MEP.

Whatever else UKIP’s supporters may or may not be, they are looking more and more like mugs, easy prey for a bunch of hardened expense account liggers.  Liggers who know as much about the lives of the people whose votes they are soliciting as David Cameron knows about what it is like to live on JSA, with no hope of getting a job.

17 thoughts on “Is UKIP Serious About Winning Seats at Westminster?

  1. UKIP are a politically dud grenade trying to shake up the political establishment and showing the populous they are doing so by convincing them that they have ammo when they don’t. Hope that makes sense!


    • Perfectly!

      As an aside, a group of their fellow travellers (who admit to having ideological differences with UKIP) are ready to defend UKIP’s right to campaign with a troop of armoured Land Rovers and a couple of hundred well trained men.


      • Well as the current campaign is for europe and local elections, the outcome at Westminster isn’t really in most peoples minds, although I think it is general opinion the lib dems are heading back to semi oblivion, the big two fiddle the constituencies to ensure they get the majority of the votes between them.


      • How fiddle? This is not pre 1832 Reform Act politics and there are many more parties in Parliament, the fourth UK Parliamentary Party being the Greens, alongside PC, SNP and NI parties in their respective countries.

        You have to win local authority seats to create the necessary party structure and support to win seats in Westminster.


  2. beastrabban

    Reblogged this on Beastrabban’s Weblog and commented:
    John D. Turner here suggests that UKIP’s electoral strategy isn’t about actually winning the important elections in Britain, but simply about gaining lucrative seats in Brussels from which their MEPs can join the Europ gravy train they so affect to despise.


    • not really does anyone really believe the tories will not retain Newark, they have a massive majority and it is one of their safest seats, the outcome will be more interesting in the numbers that vote for each party rather than the outcome, a tory loss would be a major shock to the tory system at this particular time in the governments lifespan.


      • So why has UKIP picked a candidate who seems least likely to mobilise a protest vote in Newark this year? A strong showing this June would be a springboard to an even better result in next year’s General Election. They are unlike other parties, in the sense that they do not seem to know how to campaign year in and year out, to build on results over a period of years until a seat is won.


  3. UKIP is taking Labour votes, not Tory. Labour has not been socialist since Blair. The existence of Labour today is the threat to all the generations who came before and to present poor, most of whom are in work or pensioners, as well as the enslaved on Workfare that include young and old, disabled / chronic sick over 60.

    Labour did not bring back the 1975 law guaranteeing pension payout over 13 years of rule, whining that equalising the state pension at 60 for men and women that EU demanded was not important to be funded.

    The ring fenced National Insurance Fund is the sole source of the state pension, and is not from general taxation. So the moral theft of state pension from women aged 60 from 2013, is from a NI Fund that has been well in funds, not needing a top up from tax for decades. With women having paid 12 per cent of their wage over a life-time in work, only to have their money denied them and paying more NI contributions to forever lose around £40,000 of payout over 6 years.

    Meanwhile women MPs have kept the pension payout at 60 if within 10 years of 60 from 2012.

    As UKIP and Labour as so close together now, as right wing parties.

    And why is UKIP on there? To deny Labour those votes, as it is Labour voters being mostly over 50s who are being lost to UKIP, not Tory voters.

    Getting Labour out of the way so that real socialsits can save the threatened millions in a nation where large parts of England and Wales are poorer than Eastern Europe, by getting councillors into councils on May 22 and start saving lives from this month.

    Labour sacks Labour councillors who vote against council cuts budgets.

    The Greens are the source of green taxes making rich energy firms richer and that are half the energy bill to poor of all ages, leaving kids freezing in unheated homes, and killing 30,000 elderly each winter. So £1 billion subsidies to profit making private firms by courtesy of green taxes.

    There are alternatives to vote for and join for council May 22 elections.
    See my website’s home page for the alternatives:

    Sorry that UKIP and ED are on there, but as my website is open to the world, it is just so my page does not appear partisan, but of course I am.


    After a life-time of paying 12 per cent NI contributions and income tax, and still paying the 75 per cent of personal taxation that comes from Indirect Taxes and VAT, even on food, meaning the poorer you are, the closer you get to a 90 per cent tax rate, in or out of work and however long we live.

    I get no state pension at 60 and worse is to come from 2016 that reduces it to nothing.
    See if you lose most or all of your state pension:

    See how ineffective the Labour opposition has been in all the losses by women especially under Austerity, Welfare and Pension Reform (aka abolition) and job losses:

    Vote UKIP for European Elections, who cares. It takes money out of Labour’s pocket, as is progressively being done from trade unions, realising Labour is no help to them or their members.

    The shame of it, is that the entire trade union movement has not moved all its funds to its own party, endorsed by the late lamended Bob Crowe, of Trade Unionists and Socialists Against Cuts, and they could have out-done UKIP with billboard advertising for the local council elections.

    In Cornwall, the trade unions have Mebyon Kernow.

    No2EU was endorsed by the late lamented Wedgwood Benn, but appears nowhere and yet was endorseed by trade unionists.

    Labour is the same as UKIP, as Labour began welfare reform during its two terms in office, brought in Atos costing billions and paying no corporation tax and killings the poor claimants by suicide or dying soon after declared fit for work, food bank use began to rise under Labour, and Labour invented the Bedroom Tax.

    Ed Balls has said Labour would just continue Tory spending plans and be even harder on welfare reform than the Tories. So why not vote UKIP in the European Elections if you are an old Labour voter? It’s only Europe, not what could save your life from your local council.

    Vote different, vote to save your life and of those you care about on May 22.
    Vote one of the real socialist parties.


    Well see on my blog what socialism is and how its loss threatens our lives:


    • Are you in favour of staying in the EU or pulling out? And, if the latter how do you think that will benefit the mass of the UK population?

      For the record, National Insurance Contributions are not hypothecated so there is in reality no National Insurance Fund out of which to pay for the whole of the social security system, not just the State Pension. All government expenditure comes out of a single pot.

      I am sorry you have been fooled into taking such a negative view of Green (and Labour) Party policy. Investment in the UK’s environmental business sector would safeguard jobs; create 100s of 1,000s of new jobs, many in manufacturing; improve the UK’s energy security, by reducing our reliance on imported coal and gas; reduce production of global warming gases; create technology, knowledge and energy exports.

      A UK energy network built on the principles of energy efficiency and with a major role for renewables would be good for the whole of the UK. It would not be good for the major six energy companies, the Tories, UKIP and their backers in the City of London. UKIP, in particular, favours investing in a large number of new coal and gas fired power stations. Who would benefit from that investment, the consumer, you and me, or the Big Six?

      Where is your evidence, please, that deprivation in the UK is lower than in parts of Eastern Europe?

      So, if I read you correctly, you think that a victory for UKIP will result in a socialist millenia, eventually? How much suffering in the interim do you think would be acceptable to achieve the outcome you seek? And, do you sense that the shades of Hardie, Bevin, Bevan, Attlee, Wilkinson, Castle, Benn, Foot, Jones et al are nodding in agreement with your analysis and remedies?


    • Farage does not agree with you. He said very recently that UKIP has yet to break through with Labour voters. Why? Its policy of outright privatisation of the NHS does not play well on the Labour (waverer) doorstep. Anuerin and UKIP do not mix, it seems.


  4. Natalie. Graham

    I do love the notion that UKIP are going to shake up the political establishment. The perception is that the government is made up of public school, millionaire posh boys who are in politics for what they can get out of it for themselves and their friends in the City of London. There’s no point in voting fro labour as they are just like the tories now anyway. The complaints come too about politicians’ expenses ad what the unelected members of the House of Lords get from the taxpayer. Then there’s what is claimed to be the EU gravy train.

    So who is seen as offering a challenge to this cozy old boys’ network and represent the ordinary person? UKIP, a party led by a former pupil of Dulwch College (described as one of Britain’s most prestigious public Schools) who before he got into politics (as a Conservative party member and election candidate) was a broker in the City of London and who, I heard reported on the BBC the other day, has pocketed seven and a half million from his role as an MEP. That in spite of leading a party whose MEPs have an attendece record well below that other UK party’s MEPs.

    But Farage is just one man, (although many would argue that UKIP itself is just one man,) what about others? Perhaps the previous party leader is a better example of UKIP’s affinity with the common man and the fight against the tory millionaires, the unelected House of Lords and the extravagant politicians’ expenses. Lord Pearson of Rannoch (doesn’t sound promising does it?) is perhaps most notorious for, during his time as a Conservative (yes another extory) peer, claiming his ‘estate in Scotland’ as his primary residence, thus allowing him to claim overnight subsistence in excess of £100,000 for staying in his £3.75m house within a five minute walk of the House of Lords. Even though he listed his London House as his address for business purposes. This man of the people justified this by saying having an address in London was convenient when hiring servants and staff, It also enabled him to avoid paying £220,000 in Capital gains tax when he subsequently sold the house but I am sure that was purely incidental.

    Perhaps the Party Treasurer might be the man to be more circumspect with regard to money and expenses. Perhaps he will be the one who we can rely on to reign in the influence of the public school millionaire tories and their mates in the city. This particular Old Etonian’s biggest claim to fame is that he was the person who gave the largest ever individual donation to guess who? Yes: the Conservative party an individual donation of three million pounds. ow that is a lot of money to have to spare I hear you say, I wonder where he got it from. From the proceeds of his brokerage business in the City of London is the answer.

    Perhaps the list of party donors will be more helpful as it is well known that the other parties are all in the pay of big business. Well, aside from the presence in the list of the 10th wealthiest member of the aristocracy in the UK and the 12th biggest landowner (same person) and a hearty sprinkling of Lords Ladies Viscounts and the like and a number of former Conservative party donors, a look at the Electoral Commission’s figures show us that UKIP has a higher proportion of donations from businesses than any other registered UK party.

    So if you want an end to politics being run by public school, millionaire conservatives, business, the aristocracy and the City of London something is telling me that UKIP may not be the ones to ride in and save you.


    • Have you ever considered that all the sound and fury over expenses is just a classic case of misdirection? The amounts involved are small change, in comparison with tax fraud and alegal tax avoidance, but you would be hard pressed to work that out from the amount of ink, real and virtual, devoted to the issue of expenses claimed by politicians.

      Journalists, as a certain trial currently ongoing at the moment show, were well placed to look into the expenses claims of others … ;-D

      I would rather people got exercised over 10s of billions of pounds rather than a few million.


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