Could UKIP explain

Could UKIP supporters explain why it helped to prevent Eurosceptic Conservatives winning in 21 seats, so giving us a a more pro EU Parliament?

More importantly, could they explain why their candidate came third in Buckingham, when there were no Conservative Lib Dem and Labour candidiates? What do they deduce from this about their tactics?

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161 Comments

  1. Mike Stallard
    Posted May 9, 2010 at 5:56 pm | Permalink

    Let us all agree: it is past time to discuss Europe seriously. If Mr Cameron cannot do a Sarkozy/ Aznar in Europe, as he has promised, it is definitely time to leave.
    You cut cancer out before it spreads and the cancer of Europe is spreading very fast here indeed. Look at the election! What a farce it was with the voters locked out, the swindle of postal votes and the utterly unfair boundaries. Look at the expenses scandal – straight out of the European parliament where a large entitlement is always expected. Baroness Ashton is the highest paid woman politician in the world, for instance. Look at the constantly empty House of Commons, then look at the clips of Dan Hannan speaking to a row of empty benches.
    UKIP pointed us all towards this. They are, of course, right. But I want the school here in Wisbech to save a few of the young men who are currently illiterate, unemployable, incapable of parenthood and turning fast into utterly useless and very angry people. And, at the moment, only the Conservatives are promising this.

    • THE ESSEX GIRLS
      Posted May 9, 2010 at 9:28 pm | Permalink

      Mike

      Talking of unfair boundaries these comments and stats on Iain Dale's site today are revealing in showing how the Celtic tail is wagging the British bulldog!

      "Once again, it has been the Celtic fringes which have delivered for Labour. In Scotland Labour got 41 out of the 59 seats and in Wales, 26 out of 40. In England the Tories got 297 seats, with Labour on 191, the LibDems 43 and the Greens 1 – a clear overall majority of 59.

      Votes – Scotland:
      Labour – 1,035,528, which translates into 41 seats
      Conservative – 412,855, yet only 1 seat

      Votes – Wales:
      Labour – 531,601 – 26 seats
      Conservative – 382,730 – 8 seats

      TOTALS
      LABOUR – 1,567,129 votes – 77 seats
      CONSERVATIVE – 795,585 “ – 9 "

      All this will fuel demands for England's voice to be given a greater role in any changes to the electoral system. It surely cannot be too long before the creation of an English Parliament becomes a mainstream political issue."

      Are Tories really fighting hard to maintain this system!

      • THE ESSEX GIRLS
        Posted May 9, 2010 at 9:33 pm | Permalink

        ps…and these cheeky celtic buggers have their own parliament and assembly!

        • Posted May 10, 2010 at 12:59 pm | Permalink

          Please dont have a go at the Welsh on this.

          Look at the simple arithmetic here. For example in Wales you have 2 large tory gorpgraphic regions in South West Wales, in Mid Wales Lib Dem and Tory then in the North West – Plaid, Tory and a few (I hate to admit) labour seats on the North East.

          Then look at the block in the South Wales valleys, Rhondda etc – all RED then look at the size of the geography of each constituency.

          This area is a known labour stronghold from its mining and steel days but now whilst of some population density it does not have anywhere near the level of population that merits the numbers of seats they have.

          I have driven through this area several times, if you take out Merthyr, Newport, Swansea, Cardiff, Neath all the other towns are small to medium in size. The population densities are nowehere near what they were apart from the big towns.

          So the obvious answer is that most of the consituencies in these areas could easily be merged cutting the total number down by half.

          Without drilling down into individual constituency popluation figures your figures showing 531,000 + Labour Votes = 26 seats VS 382,000 torie votes = 8 seats kind of backs that up.

          Same goes but worse in Southern Scotland.

          These are not Celtic nation issues, the same goes for the North East & North West of England and city centre constituencies that tend to vote Labour but have small numbers of people.

          My understanding is these must be Electoral Commission issues – I thought they determine consituency boundaries etc or have they been infultrated by New Labour as well?

          Labour would never do anything to fix this because as it stands I am guessing they have a 50 + seat head start (had it been fixed before 2005 they would probably not have won a majority – or at best slim)

          I believe this one of the first things a ConLib adminstration should deal with before even worrying about PR is this unfairness.

          Im a Celt and I NEVER want to see a labour adminstration again. Fix this and there is a good chance this shouldn't happen under FPTP anyway.

      • Y Rhyfelwr Dewr
        Posted May 10, 2010 at 11:08 am | Permalink

        As a Welsh Tory (yes, we do exist, end even elected eight Conservative MP's without which Labour and the Lib Derms would have been able to form a majority government), may I please beg you English to have mercy on us and not to abandon us to a fate of eternal socialism. It's only thanks to the occasional English Conservative government that we're not all living in caves!

        I'd also like to point out that huge numbers of Welsh voted against the Assembly (which has, in any case, all the power and authority of a bag of wine gums). The "Yes" majority was less than 1 percent. If I remember rightly, it was raining that day of the referendum (oh yes, Labour is quite happy to hold referendums on some issues). Of course, the "Yes" vote were the people with an axe to grind, whereas the "No" vote were simly seeking a preservation of the status quo — and thus less inclined to vote.

        Had the weather been dry, Wales would probably have rejected the offer of an Assembly. And Gordon would have had to find another excuse to invent jobs on the public payroll.

        The Assembly has been far from a blessing to Wales in any case. For example, the education budget for England is passed to the Department for Schools (sorry, I can't be bothered to write out its full moniker), which takes a slice to cover its administration costs, then divvied between the school boards, which take a slice to cover their administration costs, to the schools, which take a slice to cover their administration costs.

        In Wales, the education budget is passed to the Department for Schools, which takes a slice to cover its administration costs, then passed to the Welsh Assembly Government, which takes a slice to cover its administration costs, then divvied between the school boards, which take a slice to cover their administration costs, to the schools, which take a slice to cover their administration costs.

        In other words, the Welsh Assembly has created an extra and wholly unnecessary layer of administration, one that had never been needed before, and Welsh schools have to make do with less money as a result. I visited one school in Merthyr Tydfil a few weeks ago and was appalled that there was hardly a wall that wasn't covered in peeling and flaking paint. An IT teacher told me that they have to move all the computers when it rains, because of the amount of water that comes through the windows. But heavens knows, while there may be no money for children, there's no lack of it for bureaucrats!

        Talk about non-jobs! The Welsh Assembly is one great, big non-job, all for the sake of waving the flag. Well, guess what — we could just hold lots of rugby matches, carnivals and public parties in Wales, and we could all wave the flag to our hearts' content, and it would cost a hell of a lot less than the Welsh Assembly! It would also be rather more entertaining than the Welsh Assembly.

        • Stuart Fairney
          Posted May 10, 2010 at 12:17 pm | Permalink

          Do as I did ~ leave. It's fun to come back for the football (especially now we are on the verge of the premiership) but when you step back and look at this idiocy from the outside, you realise you can never go back to the land of S4C, mandatory welsh for all the school children and the welsh word for pasta* above the isles in supermarkets.

          (*English people, I kid you not, they actually have this)

        • THE ESSEX GIRLS
          Posted May 10, 2010 at 4:14 pm | Permalink

          Y Rhyfelwr Dewr

          We talk the same lingo, sir, even if in a different dialect!

          With more like you maybe we could together dump the Scots – and Labour with them!

          The Essex Boys seem to have more fun they say at the National Stadium than at Murrayfield anyway!

  2. Alan
    Posted May 9, 2010 at 5:57 pm | Permalink

    Why do they have to explain anything? I'm a UKIP supporter but not a member. I'm an old Tory, a former member of the Primrose League, a died in the wool Tory who doesn't recognise the modern party. I voted according to my personal wish not to support a party that gave us the Heath lies and the fisheries policy. I didn't have any tactics to worry about, just my democratic right to vote.

  3. david
    Posted May 9, 2010 at 5:59 pm | Permalink

    Tut tut John complaining about UKIP, you'll be leading them soon, don't think Mr Cameron's ConDems will smile on someone like you.

    The Wets have triumphed, it'll be like Thatcher never existed.

  4. Posted May 9, 2010 at 6:03 pm | Permalink

    "Could UKIP supporters explain why it helped to prevent Eurosceptic Conservatives winning in 21 seats, so giving us a a more pro EU Parliament?"

    Because we are not euro-sceptics. We are euro-nihilists. We want out quite simply.

    If we're not allowed to argue our point, present our plans to the electorate, at election time then what point this democracy thing?

    • John Wrexham
      Posted May 9, 2010 at 11:51 pm | Permalink

      There's nothing wrong with UKIP standing in elections, but David Cameron has realised the obvious fact: most British people are sensible and there are more votes on the centre right than will ever be found trying to please people on the far right who appear to think Britain can just pretend Europe doesn't exist and that somehow we can make it in the 21st century pursuing economic policies more suited to the 19th century.

      Of course, John Redwood is right to question UKIP's approach to first past the post elections when so often they take votes from the Conservatives and so allow parties on the left to win. It's simple maths.

      If Nigel Farage was a serious politician he wouldn't stand against the speaker but against the politician who refused to hold the Lisbon referendum ie Gordon Brown.

  5. S Matthews
    Posted May 9, 2010 at 6:10 pm | Permalink

    Perhaps a more pertinent question might be; Why did Cameron not detox UKIP by allowing the Lisbon referendum?
    True, in once sense it would have been meaningless as the treaty had already been ratified, but had the public been consulted and voted against it, then Cameron would have had more credibility in any subsequent negotiations with Europe regarding repatriation of power.
    Seems like an obvious win-win, and failing to do so cost the election.

    • John Wrexham
      Posted May 9, 2010 at 11:55 pm | Permalink

      Shutting the door after the horse has bolted is the kind of politics that will ensure UKIP never get anywhere. A volt on Lisbon would make no more sense than holding one on Maastricht or the Single European Act. It would make more sense to pass legislation requiring all future transfers of powers from Westminster to Brussels, the UN, the City and anyone else to have to be approved first in a referendum.

      • Stuart Fairney
        Posted May 10, 2010 at 9:44 am | Permalink

        Yet, this is exactly what Mr Wilson did following Mr Heath taking us in. Mr Cameron could have promised likewise and satiated those of us who were betrayed but were unwilling to overlook this fact

      • S Matthews
        Posted May 10, 2010 at 11:17 am | Permalink

        John Wrexham, I think you are missing the point. Allowing the Lisbon referendum could hardly cost any votes, giving people what they want is generally a good idea, but would have persuaded many potential UKIP (and other) voters to go with the Conservatives.
        Its nothing to do with UKIP shutting the door after the horse has bolted, everything to do with making the Conservatives more attractive to eurosceptics without alienating a larger number of voters.

      • APL
        Posted May 10, 2010 at 6:59 pm | Permalink

        John Wrexham: "A volt on Lisbon would make no more sense than holding one on Maastricht or the Single European Act."

        If the Irish can be forced to vote multiple times on a Treaty when the original result doesn't go the way the EU likes, we should have repeated and reoccuring oppportunities to approve the EU treaties already passed.

        So YES, lets have a vote on Maastricht, lets have a vote on the '73 EEC act. If the '73 act was intended to bind for ever then the Parliament acted outside it's authority in any case.

        Treaties can be revoked and these should be. All we have done is given grounds for future claims on British territories.

  6. Andy
    Posted May 9, 2010 at 6:22 pm | Permalink

    Can conservatives explain why it failed to persuade those UKIP voters to vote conservative? No? Didn't think so. So let's dispense with the crude "this is all the fault of UKIP" stuff eh?

    I voted UKIP (as it happens in a constituency that it made no difference to the conservative winner). I did so in the hopes that some of the euroscepticism expressed by MPs such as yourself would percolates its way into the thick skulls of your leadership.

    The conservative party is euro-sceptic in name only. If they weren't we would have heard the Tories crowing about this upcoming opportunity:
    http://www.taxpayersalliance.com/eu/2010/05/that-

    If the Tories had announced before the election that they were not going to re-ratify, and that instead they would stick to their promise of referendum, I wonder how many of those 21 seats would have gone Tory? In fact I wonder if UKIP wouldn't have campaigned for you?

    Upset that you didn't get a majority, go and look in the mirror to find out why.

    • Stuart Fairney
      Posted May 10, 2010 at 12:19 pm | Permalink

      Like you, I voted UKIP in a safe tory seat, but I would have thought long and hard before doing so in a marginal.

  7. Winston's Black
    Posted May 9, 2010 at 6:27 pm | Permalink

    Cameron's treachery over Lisbon in 4 words.

    If The Telegraph is to be believed qualified majority voting courtesy of Lisbon will commit British taxpayers to bail out the Euro even though we are not part of it!

    Such treasonous behaviour is par for the course by the unpatriotic left but not alleged Conservatives.

    Obviously Dave considers his buddies Gordon and Nick to be more important than my beloved country.

    Thank God I voted UKIP, at least I tried to save my country unlike the parasites in Westminster (present company excepted of course!)

  8. Kit
    Posted May 9, 2010 at 6:28 pm | Permalink

    Before you launch attacks at principled UKIP voters shouldn't you be looking for reasons within your own party for your election failures? Shouldn't you be directing your frustrations at Dave "Fruitcakes" Cameron and his social democratic A-List chums? They didn't but the welcome mat out for us free market / small government / euro-sceptic types did they?

  9. Amanda
    Posted May 9, 2010 at 6:32 pm | Permalink

    I was one of those who considered voting UKIP in protest at Cameron's stance on the EU referendum: and my lack of trust in him for a multitude of reasons. However, I decided in the end it was better to vote Tory, and defeat Brown, in the hope that the Conservatives would get a small majority. In that way, I figured, Cameron would need the support of the right-wing and back benchers. We would be tacking towards the policies I can give support to.

    I am, therefore, annoyed with UKIP voters that they could not see this too. What, has happened is that instead of the right-wing Tories having more power, the left-wing Liberals have it. Well that was clever UKIP !!

    Mind you, I still blame Cameron. If he had not upset so many – ignoring us, calling us names, and imposing 'his' candidates on us – he and the country would not be in this very perilous position. So very well done Cameron, I don't think !! You wouldn't negotiate with your own right-wing or UKIP, but you'll give away your manifesto promises to Clegg – who lost !!!

    The country is moving right, and Cameron is going left. What was that about, if I win I'll put you in charge????? Is this the first broken promise????

  10. JohnM
    Posted May 9, 2010 at 6:35 pm | Permalink

    If 'call-me-Dave' had not broken his 'cast-iron' promise of a referendum on EU membership, he would have all UKIP supporters working and voting for him.

    Stupid man !

    If there is another General Election within a year then support for a referendum is essential policy for the Conservatives if they want to become the Government with an absolute majority.

    • John Wrexham
      Posted May 10, 2010 at 12:03 am | Permalink

      If the Conservatives tack to the right to win the five hundred to a thousand people who vote UKIP on average in each constituency, they will probably lose the three to five thousand voters that they peeled off from supporting the lib dems and labour this time. the result – the party will do worse and we will have a labour government AGAIN.

      We pursued the policy of pleasing UKIP under Michael Howard and William Hague and a fat lot of good it did us in the 2001 and 2005 elections.

      • APL
        Posted May 10, 2010 at 7:22 pm | Permalink

        John Wrexham: "If the Conservatives tack to the right .."

        What is the purppose of the Conservative party if not to make the case for 'right of centre policies' to the British People?

        We have several parties all willing to make the case for more or less radical leftish policies, why do we need another one?

        My complaint with the Tories is that they have been infiltrated by Socialists – those people who used to be called 'one nation Tories'. Isn't it odd, now that the right of centre Tory party barely exists and as you admit Cameron has taken the party to the left, the BBC never invokes the ' one nation Tory ' label. Odd that!

        In any case, as I can choose from any number of left of centre parties, including the Lib Dems, the BNP or New Labour, why would we want another left of centre party called the Conservative party?

        As to 'tacking to the right' and loosing votes, the Tory party has been on its belly for the last ten years, its been squirming, it has been next to useless as an electoral force; not because of Blair, not because of New Labour, but because it its senior members lacked the spine or didn't believe in the Right of centre policies that could differentiate it from the rest. The Tory party has had thirteen years to make the case for Right of center policies, instead it sat on its backside and decided perception was better that hard right policies, lets dream up a fatious slogan, we don't want to be the 'nasty party'.

      • Nick
        Posted May 10, 2010 at 9:25 pm | Permalink

        John Wrexham – the Tories have never "pursued the policy of pleasing UKIP". In 2001 Hague promised not to implement the Euro here for just one (only) parliamentary term! The Tories are on (frequent) record as saying 'We will NEVER leave the EU'. How is that remotely like the UKIP policy of leaving the EU?

        Would you Tory voters please get a grip: the Tories don't own the votes of those that support other parties, even UKIP.

  11. Michael St George
    Posted May 9, 2010 at 6:39 pm | Permalink

    Possibly because they wished to vote according to their principles, and for the only party which was actually promising to consult the people on our relationship with the EU.

    And just possibly because they knew that "Eurosceptic Conservatives winning in 21 seats" wouldn't have made a scrap of difference to a leader who showed what he thought of his Eurosceptic supporters and their views by ditching his "cast-iron" guarantee for a referendum on the Lisbon Treaty.

    Had Cameron not shafted his Eurosceptic base in pursuit of the strategy of cosying up to the Europhile LibDims, he would now be well ensconced in No 10. Serve him right.

    • Posted May 9, 2010 at 7:26 pm | Permalink

      I couldn't agree more! As a life-long Tory I fell out over the Maastrict fiasco, making the "King Maastrict is dead" speech at Conference, and became an ardent UKIP supporter. Cameron reneged on his promise on a Referendum so got what he deserved. I actually voted tactically this time as it was imperative to overturn a Labour marginal by 226 votes but I had to grit my teeth to do it after a long conversation with the candidate! Next time I shall stick to my principles – a binding Referendum or I spoil my ballot paper (but don't fudge the issue with the question posed).

  12. Peter Whale
    Posted May 9, 2010 at 6:41 pm | Permalink

    I can explain, if David Cameron had not lied about the Lisbon referendum The UKIP vote would have been nonexistant.

    • John Wrexham
      Posted May 10, 2010 at 12:09 am | Permalink

      Cameron made a mistake in promising a cast iron guarantee to hold a referendum for a treaty that in all likelihood would be done and dusted before he was in any position to hold said referendum and stop the treaty being signed.

      how can any opposition party guarantee any thing, they have no power except that of trying to influence the government by opposing what they do.

      he didn't lie, the facts changed and so he sensibly changed his policy, a choice any sensible person would make.

      • Peter Whale
        Posted May 10, 2010 at 11:09 am | Permalink

        Hi John Wrexham if David Cameron had explained that if the Lisbon treaty was ratified before he came to power that there would not then be a referendum that would have been okay. He did not, so it was he who was the last to renege, lie about the referendum on the constitution (lisbon )treaty. The affect of that treaty is seen today whereby we are forced to agree a Euro bailout which we are not even in.

  13. Clive
    Posted May 9, 2010 at 6:47 pm | Permalink

    Very good point, Mr Redwood, and one that not enough Conservatives are making at the moment. UKIP could very well have cost us the election. Time for them to wind up, perhaps? Certainly, it's time they were taken to task for what they've done – and I say that as a trenchant Europhobe.

    • Posted May 10, 2010 at 9:46 am | Permalink

      What a ridiculou, ignorant and arrogant thing to say. I suggest you read the comment from Witterings from Witney.

      • Clive
        Posted May 10, 2010 at 10:09 am | Permalink

        I'll give you the same reply I gave to Witterings:

        Last time I looked, it was still permissible for people to have a personal opinion, and to express it. You may not agree, but get over it.

        If all you're going to do is throw personal abuse instead of addressing the point in hand, I'd suggest you don't bother cluttering up these pages.

      • WitteringsfromWitney
        Posted May 10, 2010 at 10:12 am | Permalink

        Thanks for the backing Fausty – Twould seem young John has jumped on the wrong horse with this post! Strange, really, for one normally so astute.

  14. Henry Mayhew
    Posted May 9, 2010 at 6:53 pm | Permalink

    Those are very good questions, aren't they?

    I fought West Ham for UKIP in 2005 but realised I had to support, or at least not actively oppose, Cameron-Conservatism this time.

    Of course, if Cameron had not called kippers closet racists etc a reconciliation might have been a bit easier. He can hardly continue down that road while moaning about losing seats due to the actions of people he has roundly smeared and insulted.

    Despite many Ukippers voting Tory this time, 900,000 of those who made it to the polls didn't. Time to stop dismissing them and their concerns, perhaps?

  15. Mike Paterson
    Posted May 9, 2010 at 6:53 pm | Permalink

    I'm sorry, but this will not do.

    I cannot speak for UKIP or its tactics. I did have reservations about Farage's standing down from the leadership and his Buckingham announcement at the time. But I am just a humble voter with the old-fashioned notion that one votes for the party which most represents one's views. The Conservative's position on the EU, such as it is, puts it beyond the pale for many patriotic voters, what can I say? I reckon most UKIP voters would vote Tory tomorrow but for this.

    UKIP did poorly it is true to say, as did the LibDems, but in the circumstances, the Conservatives did most poorly of all. Fish in a barrel and you blew it.

    So how dare you blame UKIP voters for the utter incompetence of the Conservatives' campaign, resulting in your failure to gain a majority at the GM? The pathetic performance of Her Majesty's Loyal Opposition these past several years against possibly the worst government in the history of these islands prevented said candidates losing seats, not UKIP voters, heaven knows there were few enough of us in the end.

    I think it's time for you Tories showed a little more honesty, a little more humility and look to yourselves. It is you who have let this country down, not UKIP voters.

    • APL
      Posted May 9, 2010 at 10:16 pm | Permalink

      Seconded!

  16. Jabez
    Posted May 9, 2010 at 6:59 pm | Permalink

    If all it came down to was a few hundred votes in two dozen constituencies perhaps we ought to be thinking a bit harder about our own campaign.

    As for UKIP, they don't owe us a living and if its candidates choose to waste their own time and money that is their privilege in a democracy. And it is idle to pretend that most people in Buckingham, having initially voted for John Bercow as a Conservative, now see him as anything else; one hears that he has been a very good constituency MP and so, to his credit, his personal vote has held up despite the loathing in which he seems to be held by his own former colleagues.

  17. JohnRS
    Posted May 9, 2010 at 7:06 pm | Permalink

    Speaking as a Conservative supporter, John, you're looking in the wrong place.

    The problem was Cameron's disgraceful (and politically stupid) decision on the EU Constitution referendum. All he had to do was keep his word and he would now be in Downing Street as of right.

  18. Paul Williams
    Posted May 9, 2010 at 7:07 pm | Permalink

    Yes it's quite simple. The Tories are not Eurosceptic. Sure they talk the talk but when it comes to giving power away to Brussels they are in a league of their own.

    Cameron and his shadow cabinet made it very clear that they don't want a bust up with Europe – so that will mean more Brussels then.

    And stop blaming UKIP or the electorate, if the Tories don't like it well there's a simple solution offer the British people a referendum. But you don't, so voters go elswhere. The only people to blame for the Tories not winning are the Tories themselves.

    Lastly a simple question, repariation of powers back to the UK requires re-opening up EU treaties with the agreement of the other 26 countries, so how do Tories propose to do this when the other countries will refuse? (the honest answer to this question is that it won't happen). More hot air and nonsense from the EU-loving Tories.

  19. Paul, Southampton
    Posted May 9, 2010 at 7:08 pm | Permalink

    John,

    "Could UKIP explain?"

    It is a totally unreasonable question on so many levels.

    First, UKIP voters do not have to explain a damned thing to anyone, least of all to bitter Tories who snatched defeat from the jaws of victory. This is a democracy and anyone who is eligible is free to stand on any ticket.

    Second, I thought long and hard about whether to vote Tory or UKIP in a very marginal seat. I voted UKIP and I have to say the outcome of this election is better than I could have imagined. It may focus Dave's mind on winning back UKIP voters instead of alienating them.

    Third, UKIP is a known threat. A Tory victory should have been a decisive mandate without having to rely on a handful of votes in a dozen or so constituencies.

    Fourth, the Tories do not have a divine right to govern, even after 13 years of hard Labour. Every vote has to be earned. A little humility would not go amiss from Dave (and you) on this issue.

    • John Wrexham
      Posted May 10, 2010 at 12:15 am | Permalink

      The Conservatives' biggest problem is not that less than 5% of the people who voted voted UKIP, it's the fact that 51% of the votes went to Labour and the Lib Dems, despite the appalling record of the Blair-Brown government. Moreover in Scotland, the conservative party can manage to win only one sear, and is little better positioned in Wales. Unless UKIP is just a party of little englanders, its supporters might like to think on how to get more people to vote for parties on the centre right across the UK and why the UKIP is non existent in three of the nations.

      • Chris H
        Posted May 10, 2010 at 3:22 pm | Permalink

        You seem to think that the main three parties are the only ones with any God-given right to exist. You start legislating to remove "troublesome" parties that mess up your idea of the correct result and there will be problems. Many years ago, people thought the Green Party was a bunch of enviro-idiots. Now they've got an MP in the House.
        If Conservatives had appeared to fully support protecting this country from a Brussels takeover, then they would have kept my vote. We realise that many Conservative MPs do not want a Brussels takeover; but I have yet to hear and see that being said in a firm manner by the leader. Waiting another "full term" (so as not to upset the European bureaucrats) to discuss getting powers back is pointless; it gives Brussels ample time to tighten its grip.
        Mr Cameron's stance on Europe was not strong enough to convince me to vote for him. I still sense something amiss.

      • Peter Whale
        Posted May 10, 2010 at 8:42 pm | Permalink

        UKIP are represented in the EU as are the BNP . So the UK system is undemocratic just look at the electoral vote.

  20. Colin D.
    Posted May 9, 2010 at 7:09 pm | Permalink

    It is not for UKIP to explain. It is for Cameron to explain why he did not make a big issue of Europe in the run up to the election. He could have got huge mileage out of Labour reneging on their manifesto commitment over a Lisbon referendum. He could have got voters fired up from all parties and got many extra votes. UKIP supporters would have been persuaded to back Cameron and get rid of Brown if they had been given a way of moving away from their principled stance on Europe. Now we have the shameful spectacle of Cameron getting in bed with committed Europhiles. Only now do we find out that Hague was going to take a stronger line on Europe, but it's a fat lot of use being told that AFTER the votes have been cast.
    Cameron has let us all down – not UKIP, but we are all losers now.

    • APL
      Posted May 9, 2010 at 10:20 pm | Permalink

      Colin D: "Now we have the shameful spectacle of Cameron getting in bed with committed Europhiles."

      Sorry to say this Colin, but it is very easy for him to do so.

    • John Wrexham
      Posted May 10, 2010 at 12:20 am | Permalink

      Because Cameron, unlike his unsuccessful predecessors, wanted to win over the large number of voters who don't obsess about brussels every day of their lives. they are a far greater voting bloc than the barking right brigade. It's a toss up between Respect and UKIP for which one is the most sanctimonious and pointless of the political parties in Britain.

      It's back to the early 90s again – where the right wing seem to cause more trouble for the Conservative party leader than they ever cause the Lib Dems and Labour.

      • APL
        Posted May 10, 2010 at 5:52 pm | Permalink

        John Wrexham: "Because Cameron, unlike his unsuccessful predecessors .."

        Yes, but what about those predecessors? Cameron hasn't had to put up with, for example John Redwood going public in opposition everytime Redwood disagrees with a Cameron policy. Yet, Hague and Howard and Duncan-Smith had Clarke and all his other pseudo Tory fifth column in the party agitating against their leadership!

        Cameron hasn't had to put up with outright rebellion in the ranks like Hague had to when Strathclyde treated with Blair over Lords 'reform' and the abolition of the heriditary peers.

        John Wrexham: "voters who don’t obsess about brussels every day of their lives."

        We obsess about Brussels, actually the EU because it is clear as the day is long that nothing our Westminster Parliament does, matters so long as it is supine and content to take instructions from the EU.

        Even had we elected Cameron with a romping majority last week, Cameron would still have attenuated his policy initiatives to conform to the EU requirements.

        The election was a sham and a fraud.

  21. Andy
    Posted May 9, 2010 at 7:09 pm | Permalink

    Cameron did not lie – there is no point in holding a referendum on something that is now the law. The liars are the Labour and LibDem Party's. They promised and broke their word. They are liars and cheats.

    As to UKIP, they are stupid. They have allowed more Labour & LibDem MPs to be elected. It is a self defeating policy and as for those who think this is 'principled' it is actually idiotic.

    As to the issue of Europe we need to find a policy that most can support. I yield to no one in my loathing of the EU but I doubt the Britsh People would support my option of leaving and having a trade relationship with the EU. But I suppose we could test that idea.

    • Rapscallion
      Posted May 10, 2010 at 10:11 am | Permalink

      I'm sorry Andy, but that won't wash. There is a precedent for a referendum after ratification. Wilson offered a referendum on EEC membership in 1975, three years after we joined.

      Cameron could so easily have offered the same. The result would have given him huge bargaining power vis-a-vis the EUSSR. He could then have spelt out his demands and won.

      What we actually got was "we won't let matters rest there" I'm sorry but that just isn't good enough.

      Like you I loathe the EUSSR with a passion, but your leadership does not, even "Call me Dave" does not want to leave. You have to get rid of him and get a sceptic leader that will show the British people just how much we are being mugged every day by the EU and show them how much control the EU has over us.

      I've voted Tory all my life, but Thursday I had no compunction to vote with my conscience and my principles. I voted UKIP and there is only one person who drove me to that decision – Cameron.

      • Andy
        Posted May 10, 2010 at 3:14 pm | Permalink

        I regard the EU as little more than an embrionic Fascist State, so I loath it with a passion. And I also have residency in another European country: Greece.

        I just don't agree with you. I would like to find a new relationship with the EU, but what you propose would mean saying to our people 'it's in or out', and the fascist left (basically the Labour Party and lackies the LibDems) would create a scare tactic that would make the people vote to stay and that would tie us deeper into this mess. We need a far more subtle and clever way to proceed.

        Like you I have voted Tory all my life. I was born a Tory and will die a Tory, so I just couldn't bring myself to vote UKIP and by doing so allow Labour/LibDems to win the seat. As it happens my MP is a Eurosecptic and UKIP did not stand against him.

  22. Donna W
    Posted May 9, 2010 at 7:12 pm | Permalink

    I'm an ex-Conservative. I voted UKIP. I live in a very, very safe Conservative seat so my vote made no difference to the outcome of the election. But I made it anyway because it would help send a message to Cameron that I did not agree with his EU policy.

    I don't care how Eurosceptic we are told the Tories are – actions speak louder than words. Cameron backtracked on a Referendum on the LisbonConTreaty and also said there would be no IN/OUT Referendum because 'he believes the UK belongs inside the EU.' He then said he would work constructively with the EU and would not 'pick a fight.' Then Ken Clarke was sent to tell the EU Politburo that they had nothing to fear from a Conservative Government. Now where in all of that is evidence of Euroscepticism? The EU was hardly mentioned during the General Election campaign.

    Cameron said he would seek to repatriate sovereign powers from the EU, which should never have been given away in the first place. He is ignoring the fact that we are dealing with a Socialist Dictatorship and dictatorships don't respond to a softly, softly approach. It is time to play hardball – and with a post-Ratification Referendum Cameron could have done that. The EU won't tell us to shape up or leave – they need our money and if we left, so might others. There is no reason whatsoever why we couldn't hold a post-Ratification Referendum – we did it after we joined the Common Market and we can do it now.

    Finally – we have been told by successive Governments, including Conservative ones, that there is no need for a separate vote regarding the EU because we can vote on it during a General Election. Well, all the mainstream parties basically had the same policy towards the EU – as they have for the past 40 odd years. The ONLY way you can vote to leave the EU is to vote UKIP and that's exactly what I did.

    If I had been living in a marginal I may have behaved differently, but I don't. It looks likely now, under the QMV system introduced by Lisbon that the UK is going to be forced to contribute to bailing out the Euro. That should drive a few thousand more people into UKIP ….. perhaps Call Me Dave will suddenly realise that ignoring the wishes of his Eurosceptic core vote wasn't sensible and will put a Referendum back on the table.

    Of course, if we DO end up with some form of PR, the UKIP vote will surge – because it won't seem 'wasted' any more.

  23. Posted May 9, 2010 at 7:18 pm | Permalink

    Dear John, please be fair and accurate here.

    Lord Pearson, as leader, made the decision that UKIP should not put up candidates where there was another avowedly EU-sceptic candidate (please note, UKIP are NOT Euro-sceptic – we do not deny that the continent exists, and most of us rather like the place, we just don't like the EU as a way of running things), and we stuck to this policy (for better or worse).

    So while it is quite possibly true that in the absence of UKIP, the Tories would have won more seats, but it is not true that EU-sceptic Tories would have won more seats – as we did not stand against them. I believe that Lord Pearson even campaigned for and with Phillip Hollobone.

    Reply: But why did UKIP help a federalist replace David Heathcote-Amory, who like me resigned his Ministerial job over EU matters.

    • Henry Mayhew
      Posted May 9, 2010 at 9:07 pm | Permalink

      Yes, that was ridiculous. I suspect it was a local worzel.

    • Posted May 9, 2010 at 9:45 pm | Permalink

      John,

      UKIP stood in that seat in 2005 when Heathcote-Amory won. The difference is that the Labour vote went down and most of them went to the LDs.

      In fact, Heathcote-Amory barely added to his vote. It wasn't UKIP that lost you that seat. It was picking someone who thought that the public should pay for his £380 of horse manure.

      • Jabez
        Posted May 10, 2010 at 1:15 pm | Permalink

        His having been forced to repay £30k of expenses probably didn't help. If he had stood down and let another Conservative candidate fight the seat the story might have been very different.

        Why not look instead at the places where our own candidates should have won but, owing to their unsuitability for the constituencies into which they were parachuted, failed to do so without any assistance from UKIP?

      • APL
        Posted May 10, 2010 at 7:29 pm | Permalink

        Tim Almond: " pay for his £380 of horse manure."

        Yes, good point, not too many people have factored in the expenses dishonesty into the electon results.

    • John Wrexham
      Posted May 10, 2010 at 12:24 am | Permalink

      Heathcote-Amory is just the kind of politician who puts off most voters in the centre, so it is no surprise he lost his seat. Most Conservative candidates took votes off the Lib Dems, perhaps H-A should ask himself why he achieved the opposite.

    • Posted May 10, 2010 at 10:56 am | Permalink

      Re Heathcote-Amory, that is a good question. But if UKIP decided he wasn't EU-sceptic enough then that is the end of that AFAIAC, I am prepared to go with UKIP's assessment of this (and if in some places they were wrong, then they were wrong).

  24. martha
    Posted May 9, 2010 at 7:21 pm | Permalink

    I have to agree with the majority, if Dave hadn't reneged on his cast-iron guarantee he would have had my vote too, though my vote didn't make much difference anyway.

  25. Graham Doll
    Posted May 9, 2010 at 7:22 pm | Permalink

    UKIP voters should be thoroughly ashamed for their short-sightedness and selfishness. They have no excuse, they were warned often enough.

    • Rapscallion
      Posted May 10, 2010 at 10:15 am | Permalink

      Well I'm not ashamed, in fact I'm proud of the fact I voted UKIP.

      "They were warned often enough" – and just who the hell do you think you are?

      Its that sort of short-sightedness on your behalf that guarantees the opposite.

    • Little Black Censore
      Posted May 12, 2010 at 6:35 pm | Permalink

      You might just as well say, "Cameron was warned often enough". He must have known he could have had a lot of votes from people like me, who want a proper debate about Europe, but he ignored us.

  26. no one
    Posted May 9, 2010 at 7:25 pm | Permalink

    maybe we should have proportional representation in England, and then UKIP would have MPs, and Conservatives plus UKIP MPs in such an English parliament would be much more reflective of the views of the people

    • No one else
      Posted May 9, 2010 at 10:07 pm | Permalink

      …don't need an excuse. The parties lay out their policies and we the voters pick the candidate that suits our views best. Conservatives don't have a divine right to rule. DC and his clique should have kept their promise on Lisbon.

      I'd have voted Tory and was planning to up to last November. As it was UKIP got my vote this time around.

      There will be another election soon enough, and guess what – I'm currently planning to vote UKIP again _unless_ something changes at CCHQ.

    • John Wrexham
      Posted May 10, 2010 at 12:26 am | Permalink

      Hopefully the Conservatives will reform our electoral system as otherwise the next Labour government will surely do so and in its own interest too!

  27. Chris Rose
    Posted May 9, 2010 at 7:48 pm | Permalink

    I am always sceptical about organisations that ostensibly exist for their own demise. It never seems to work out that way. Once they get established, their main aim becomes their continued existence.

    UKIP benefits hugely from the money it receives from the EU and would die without it. The last thing it wants is for Britain to withdraw and to no longer have any MEPs in Brussels.

    UKIP has some honourable members but, as a political party, it is a complete sham.

    • Nick
      Posted May 10, 2010 at 9:42 pm | Permalink

      Please replace your tinfoil helmet.

  28. BillyB
    Posted May 9, 2010 at 7:55 pm | Permalink

    In other words John – would all the small parties please stop messing about and just disappear so we can return to the simple 2-party regime that had previously served the Tories so well.

    Reply: No, not so. But as someone who cares passionately about the endless transfer of powers to the EU from the UK, I do find it hard to take when UKIP strategy so clearly makes the position worse. For Farage to lose to Stevens was just the end, in their bizarre race to come second. It shows how unwise UKIP's intervention in Buckingham proved to be.

  29. Posted May 9, 2010 at 7:57 pm | Permalink

    Sorry Mr Redwood don’t Blame UKIP for Tory failures, you were told enough times before the election, the leadership of the Conservatives need to understand that we want a very hard line on the EU and also we do not want this greenie rubbish.

    The fact of the matter is there was very little to choose between the three main parties so the voters did not choose.

    However it looks likely that there will me another election within the year perhaps you can take these messages back to David Cameron and ask him nicely to offer us some real policies and try to get it right next time.

    Just a clue if we want Labour we will vote Labour if we want LibDem we will vote LibDem if we want Green we will vote Green, if you note so few did vote for the last!

  30. Janet
    Posted May 9, 2010 at 8:03 pm | Permalink

    And, while UKIP hug themselves in glee at having denied Cameron a majority, they apparently fail to realise that now they force him into doing deals with the most Europhiliac party available, the Liberal Democrats. So there's a good chance that what little Euroscepticism remained in the Conservatives will now be diluted out of existence. Law of unintended consequences, perhaps; certainly a distinct lack of forethought. Thanks UKIP.

    • Posted May 9, 2010 at 10:52 pm | Permalink

      Indeed. Thanks Ukippers for your valuable contribution to the pro-European cause.

      • Nick
        Posted May 10, 2010 at 9:45 pm | Permalink

        Unfortunately Cameron's "We will never leave the EU" is no different in either principle or substance from the LibDems.

  31. Mike N
    Posted May 9, 2010 at 8:20 pm | Permalink

    I am a UKIP member but I voted Conservative (I am in a marginal), but I did so with a very heavy heart… dispite supporting the Tories since I could first Vote (1997).
    I am a Generation X Tory… an endangered species it seems, living in a Marxist nightmare to which I cannot wake, wading through the waste, failure and decline… Cameron offers an induced coma as the panacea, 'better than nothing' I thought, but why can't you offer the cure?

    I have got nothing against Cameron, for what its worth I think he would could possibly make good leader given the chance, and he seems like a nice enough guy. But does he offer a cure? A rhetorical question.

    Cameron refers to people like me as a 'fruitcake' and a 'Little Englander'.. why? Because I would like a referendum on the EU? … Thankyou Mr.Cameron for your sagely respectful comments. But I am more generous than him and lent him my vote anyway, because I thought it would be close. Many many others did not. How many others will join them next time?

    The fact is John, the further Cameron pushes to the Left, the more of the right will peel off. We already have Labour, Libs, Green etc on the left… Cameron's mistake is to think that the centre left is the centre ground, in a way then its a self-fulfilling prophecy as the Conservatives shift left, no-one represents the right, except UKIP. That is the reality.

    • John Wrexham
      Posted May 10, 2010 at 12:31 am | Permalink

      David Cameron is not on the centre-left or anywhere near it. However, he does realise that you cannot win power by just appealing to people who think the country went down the pan sometime back in 1971 when we gave up pounds, shilling and pence.

      Every party in this country is a coalition of people who realise you have to compromise to win over enough voters if you want to get into government, otherwise you are just a 'thinktank' that doesn't even do much thinking.

      • Mike N
        Posted May 10, 2010 at 4:11 pm | Permalink

        I never said Cameron was centre-left, I said he thinks centre-left is the centre; ergo the centre-right is right wing.

        No-one disputes that parties are coalitions, but every party has 'red-lines' which hold the coalition together. If they cross those lines, the coalition starts to fall apart.

        The way around this is to bring in PR, then the coalitions will be looser and coalitions can shift more freely, and you can be rid of us pesky EU-nihilists. But the Conservatives don't like PR because we know that we will never govern alone again.

        So, onto compromises, what compromise has Cameron offered people in his party that feel that we are better off out of the EU?
        He has banned them from holding a cabinet post and failed to offer a referendum, and label us people as closet racists.
        This failure to compromise has cost him many votes, so maybe a bit of practicing what you preach!?!.

        You can keep your head in the sand if you want Mr.Wrexham, but the EU is not going away, it will continue to poison our politics until it collapses or is confronted.

      • Nick
        Posted May 11, 2010 at 12:20 am | Permalink

        Which is why we should have Direct Democracy and give up this old fashioned (400 or more years old) nostrum of electing representatives, at least for any major issues like the EU, death penalty, fox hunting, abortion, new taxes etc. Oh dear, I hope you aren't one of these 'the electorate are too thick to vote on individual issues' brigade? After the shambles of the 'Rotten Parliament' and the 'cast iron guarantees' from the LibLabCon, that won't wash.

  32. Socrates
    Posted May 9, 2010 at 8:24 pm | Permalink

    The basic question is what proof is there that those candidates or even that the Tory party is Eurosceptic. Whilst your Eurosceptic credentials are impeccable certain of your fellow MPs are certainly not. Worse still, I would be very suspicious of any candidate put forward this year because of the views of those in charge of imposing them.

    Until the Tory party is clearly Eurosceptic the problem will persist.
    The prospect of coalition with the LibDems will cause more uncertainty. Today's Tory Reform Group statement begs the question – what is the difference between TRG and the LibDems?

    • John Wrexham
      Posted May 10, 2010 at 12:32 am | Permalink

      The Conservative Party can talk about Europe till the cows come home and it would have plenty of time to talk because it would be permanently in opposition.

      • Socrates
        Posted May 10, 2010 at 9:36 pm | Permalink

        I think that you have completely missed the point.

        The EU is a one way street towards "ever closer union", continually sucking control away from its' subject Nations regardless of the democratic will of their people.

        As a student, I believed Ted Heath that the EEC was only a free trade zone, which was something I strongly believed in. Looking back I should have wondered that if we were already in EFTA why did we need to join another free trade zone?

        Like you, when Enoch Powell argued for voting Labour to prevent EEC expansion, I couldn't concieve of anything worse than a Labour Government and it made no sense. Sadly, I have come to understand that, at least in those days we could vote to remove a Labour Government whereas you can't get rid of Europe.

        Having seen John Major, who masqueraded as the heir to Thatcher, resuscitating the Maastricht Treaty when it was stone dead, killed by popular vote on the continent, I realised that Heath wasn't a one off aberration and that significant parts of the Tory Party were in favour of selling the Country out to Europe.

        In the words of the great philosopher Townshend 'We won't get fooled again".

        What on earth is the point of voting Tory so that they can sell us out to the EU instead of some other party? If Cameron should have proposed a coalition with UKIP before the election, he would have had more credibility than with the untrustworthy europhile Liberals afterwards.

      • Nick
        Posted May 10, 2010 at 11:59 pm | Permalink

        So that's why UKIP came second in the Euro elections, ahead of Labour and the LibDems?

  33. Bob
    Posted May 9, 2010 at 8:30 pm | Permalink

    The UKIP leadership did offer cooperation but Cameron (ignored and upset them -ed). He prefers to bed down with the Pro Euro Lib Dems.

    The …. Bercow's victory in Buckingham surprised me. I'd like to know how many of the votes he received were from Labour supporters and how many postal votes were involved. I cannot imagine any real conservative would vote for him.

    Perhaps if any of you readers are Buckingham based they could elucidate.

    Reply: The alarming thing in Buckingham was that John Stevens beat Farage – how could that happen given how pro Euro Mr Stevens is? John Bercow must have attracted substantial Conservative votes, as he got around half the total vote.

  34. WitteringsfromWitney
    Posted May 9, 2010 at 8:54 pm | Permalink

    John,

    Forgive me, but may I just address my initial remarks to Clive.

    This attitude that UKIP are at fault, that they should not exist is typical 'head-in-the-sand' thinking and is completely unacceptable and discourteous to say the least. Likewise John, I also have to say your post exhibits exactly the same attitude and thinking.

    By what right does Clive believe that UKIP should disband? By what right to either of you think that the right of the electorate to vote for a party providing a policy that the Conservatives are not, is unacceptable? Who the blazes are either of you to believe you can silence one particular party and more importantly why should those of us who deigned to vote for a party other than yours have to justify that vote? Why should the electorate be forced to vote the way both of you seem to want? Perhaps if the Conservative Party adopted more policies that are wanted, instead of trying to emulate the Labour and the LibDems your support may grow?

    The fact that UKIP, in my opinion, adopted the wrong strategy is neither here nor there. However, so did the Conservative Party, in that they had completely the wrong policies on some matters such as energy and the environment and in the process hid from the electorate that those policies were constrained in content by Britain's membership of the EU.

    In conclusion John, it is not UKIP that has to explain anything, least of all to you or anyone else, it is in fact David Cameron who has to explain how and why he blew the whole operation of ensuring that he was a 'shoe-in' as the next Prime Minister and his party the next government!

    Shame on you John – I did not expect to read such drivel as that posted by someone who I had come to admire and now believe that said admiration is entirely misplaced!

    Reply: In a democracy we all need to explain our views and seek to win over others. I am frustrated, as someone who voted No in 1975 and someone who wants no part of EU superstate government – who wants to trade and be friends with other European countries – that we EU sceptics have been so unsuccessful for many years. I accept or allow many criticisms and comments on this site aimed against the Conservatives, and have been known to make my own criticisms. So why can't UKIP examine its own strategy and accept the invitation of some space to explain it to other EU sceptics who read this site?

    • Henry Mayhew
      Posted May 9, 2010 at 9:19 pm | Permalink

      The election has been an almighty cock-up for everyone.

      I begged Nigel Farage to negotiate with the Tories two years ago. He said he would do so, after the European elections.

      At roughly the same time, I asked Alan Duncan to negotiate with UKIP – but he wanted surrender.

      Lord Pearson told me three months ago that UKIP had indeed tried to negotiate but had been rebuffed.

      You've got to accept, John, that Mr Cameron can be arrogant when he's having a bad day.

      We all have egos and UKIP wants to be heard. It wasn't.

    • Donna W
      Posted May 9, 2010 at 9:37 pm | Permalink

      Well, I think quite a number of us have explained.

      If a Referendum was held on the EU – either post-Ratification on the LisbonCon or an IN/OUT Referendum – and the British people voted in favour of the status quo, I would accept it.

      What I don't accept is being denied the opportunity to vote by our elected representatives. When Cameron said there will be no Referendum because HE believes the UK belongs in the EU, he forgot that he is there to do OUR bidding. HE serves US – he is not our Master. We are constantly denied a Referendum on an undemocratic superstate, which we never voted to join, which now makes 75% of our laws and appears to be run primarily for the benefit of France and Germany. We have a RIGHT to be consulted.

      I have always favoured FPTP because it gives decisive Governments. However, having watched the past few days and Cameron's willingness to negotiate with the LibDems I am fast coming to the conclusion that PR would be beneficial. The UKIP vote would increase if there was a good chance of it resulting in MPs in Westminster; perhaps there is hope that in the not too distant future, a Conservative Leader will find himself negotiating with UKIP in order to form a Government!

    • backofanenvelope
      Posted May 10, 2010 at 7:56 am | Permalink

      But what is the point of all this discussion, if no one is listening?

      Mr Cameron promised a referendum on the Lisbon treaty. If he had kept that promise, then he would have been home and dry. It would have been inconvenient for the EU no doubt. Please don't tell us the treaty being signed is a problem. Treaties are signed and can be abrogated. Especially if you state in advance that there will be a referendum.

      You could be home and dry now if you had kept your promise.

    • Clive
      Posted May 10, 2010 at 10:04 am | Permalink

      Er, last time I looked, it was still permissible (despite 13 years of Orwellian rule) for people to have a personal opinion, and to express it. Who the blazes are you to tell me I'm not allowed my opinion? You may not agree, but get over it.

      As for UKIP, putting their candidates up against even fervently eurosceptic Conservative candidates is, at best, wrong-headed. It's called, 'cutting off your nose to spite your face'. John Redwood is right (and perfectly within his rights) to challenge it.

      • Posted May 10, 2010 at 5:23 pm | Permalink

        Ukip did not stand against mp's who were prepared to put their county ahead of their career. If there was a ukip candidate standing it was because the sitting mp can not be trusted on the eu question

        • Clive
          Posted May 11, 2010 at 11:24 am | Permalink

          Pete Reeve:

          You are seriously misinformed if you believe that. UKIP stood against even fervent eurosceptic Conservatives. And look at the result: the very real possibility that the two must euro-friendly parties will now form an alliance to keep the Eurosceptics out of office forever.

          Well done, UKIP!

  35. Al
    Posted May 9, 2010 at 9:11 pm | Permalink

    My grandad voted UKIP. Over a decade ago he was a Labour supporter. Why would he ever vote Conservative? To say that all UKIP voters should have tactically voted Conservative ignores the fact that some of them originally come from backgrounds where Conservatives are the enemy, or that they may believe in the integrity of their vote rather than base tactics.

    At the end of the day, if UKIP cost the Conservatives the majority, it is because they aren't all Conservatives. At least the way they played things, people can see in their numbers people who want out, even if they are less likely to get it. If they'd thrown their lot in with the Tories, they would have appeared to be voting for things they may not believe in just to help a party with a slightly weaker stance on the EU, even if it is a step in their direction.

    I applaud them for sticking to their guns and voting for who they believe in. Even though the result of their actions might disappoint you, you should too. Or are you more concerned with getting your way than letting people have an actual say?

    Disclaimer: I wasn't one of the UKIP voters.

  36. Duyfken
    Posted May 9, 2010 at 9:30 pm | Permalink

    The implication of this question is that a UKIP suppporter has betrayed the Tories. Possibly they betrayed the Cameron leadership, but not the (large?) element within the Conservative Party which wants a more active resistance to a federal Europe – it is they perhaps who might rightly feel betrayed.

    It can be said that those who voted for UKIP, did so in conformity with their principles. Why should it be for the electorate to indulge in "tactics" as the question implies? The responsibility of any political Party is to provide an acceptable policy worthy of support and clearly for so many Conservative-minded voters, this was not done by Cameron.

    The question also seems to add weight to the adoption of an AV voting system, because with that, a vote for UKIP would devolve into a vote for the Tories as the second preferences were counted – and there could then be no suggestion of betrayal!

  37. Rich
    Posted May 9, 2010 at 9:57 pm | Permalink

    John,

    Are there any Eurosceptic Conservatives? What does 'in Europe but not run by Europe' actually mean? Isn't that like being a little bit pregnant?

    Since the 1970s the Tories have pretended to be Eurosceptic but, in practice, have signed up for everything going.

    The Tories are no more Eurosceptic than Labour are.

    The public know this, hence the pathetic result for the Tories at the election. As a lifelong conservative, I was hoping to see the Tories wiped out. Maybe then we'd get a party that true conservatives could actually support!

    Can you guys just stop treating the electorate like morons?

    Thank you

  38. Posted May 9, 2010 at 10:25 pm | Permalink

    The notion that UKIP lost the election for the Conservatives is erroneous. UKIP cater for a niche of voters who would otherwise (mostly) vote Conservative. However, a mainsteam party cannot cater for all tastes. If the Tories became more euro-sceptic to squeeze the UKIP vote, they would most probably have lost more votes to the Lib-Dems and Labour. Any main-stream political party must be a broad church. The problem with our current political opinion is that we had two left-of-centre parties that got over 50% of the vote, a mainstream right-of-centre party that got 36% of the vote and UKIP that got 3%.
    The conclusion for the Conservatives is not to try to appeal to a very broad church by reflecting many different opinions. Rather, they must capture a vision that people can empathise with, as did New Labour and Thatherism. The time to introduce this was not with the launch of the manifesto, but two or three years before an election.

  39. tony k
    Posted May 9, 2010 at 10:31 pm | Permalink

    All's been said above and requires no further explanation.

    Vote (Thatcher) Cameron get Heath.

    Don't forget the "Cameron cuties " and other "A" listers forced on unwilling constituencies in the name of"PC". I believe 80% or so lost -and maybe deservedly so, eg. hissy fits from a spiteful woman describing her supporters as "dinosaurs", that's the way to do it.

    Surely a few seats lost, enough to tip the balance, in the name of naive fluff and flummery.

    BNP voters – not all racist by any means- but not mentioned in polite company without the, now boring, ritual disclaimers also held the balance in some seats.

    Next time Get Real.

  40. Monty
    Posted May 9, 2010 at 10:38 pm | Permalink

    What is the point of Eurosceptic voters giving their support to the Conservatives, who then are prepared to engage in negotiations with a bunch of Europhiles in the Lib Dems and throw Eurosceptic principles under the bus?

    I don't give my vote to your party for what they are not exactly committed to, but might deliver if I'm lucky.

  41. john east
    Posted May 9, 2010 at 11:13 pm | Permalink

    UKIP members are (wrong headed-ed). I should know because I am one. I was happy to fund the effort, but when it became apparent that they weren't on a roll, I switched my vote back to Conservative.

    It was very frustrating watching result after result coming in with the Tory losing by under 1000 votes, whilst the pathetic no hope UKIP candidate polled 1000-2000 votes.

    20 to 40 Tory seats were lost thanks to UKIP.

    Needless to say, my UKIP membership will now be allowed to lapse.

  42. JohnRS
    Posted May 9, 2010 at 11:36 pm | Permalink

    John

    Having read all the comments about why so many loyal Tories in key seats moved to support UKIP, will you be speaking to Cameron about what he intends to do in the next election in a few months time?

    He should be aware that if he thought he'd lost a lot of votes and seats this time by refusing an EU referendum then a repeated refusal in the next election will make his eyes water. A promise is a promise, his word is no longer to be trusted.

    If he really believes in

    Reply: I regularly give advice to the Conservative leadership on what I would like to see to restore democracy in the UK.

  43. Posted May 9, 2010 at 11:45 pm | Permalink

    I've just spent months campaigning (and we got a GREAT victory) for the Conservatives for whom I am a councillor, activist, branch chairman and donator.

    I wanted a Conservative win as much as anyone.

    But we brought this UKIP problem on ourselves. There is no point blaming UKIP.

    I like David Cameron and I support him (though not fanatically) as leader. But Lisbon was, by far, his worst decision.

    The party is split in half though; you'll get the half who will immediately shout: "But you can't have a referendum on a ratified treaty" until their throats hurt. And a half which says: "A promise is a promise – and a successful 'no' vote would have been negotiation gold in any attempt to pull back powers."

    We COULD have had a referendum; on the premise of finding out how the public actually feel – instead of all this supposition. Such a referendum would have been honest and had integrity. Instead, we did what we did and gave our opponents and potential friends a stick to beat us with.

    As I said – we brought it on ourselves.

    Reply: I have not blamed UKIP , merely asked a sensible question. UKIP reply that there are questions for the Conservatives. Yes there are, and I often discuss those questions. Sometimes it is wise to answer questions or to think again rather than refusing to do so or always blaming someone else.The UKIP candidate in Wokingham came to the count in a cowboy hat – does that help get across a major issue and get people to take these matters seriously?

  44. Mike Paterson
    Posted May 9, 2010 at 11:46 pm | Permalink

    I hope you don't mind me commenting twice. Certainly it is true to say that you frequently allow many small-c conseratives to give your party and its leadership a thorough kicking on your blog, I think we all respect you for that.

    But getting back to the strategy/tactics thing, had Cameron "reached out" to UKIP (who appear to have been more than willing – enthusiastic even – to be accommodating) in good time, he would not now have to be grovelling to EU-enthusiasts in order to get his feet under the desk at Number 10. More than this, he may even have pulled in more floaters than he did. THAT would have been smart tactics! Ah well, too late now.

  45. JimF
    Posted May 9, 2010 at 11:54 pm | Permalink

    "So why can’t UKIP examine its own strategy and accept the invitation of some space to explain it to other EU sceptics who read this site?"

    I think it is you who need to explain why the Conservative strategy didn't work. Do you accept the possibility that if Cameron had kept his guarantee of a referendum on Lisbon and had a 5-year no new permanent residencies guarantee then the election result would have been more favourable?

    Either you do accept this, in which case Cameron was wrong not to say these things, or you don't, in which case you are asking Eurosceptic voters to cave in on their principles to vote for a government which would allow 80 million Turks free access to work in the UK after 2 years' transitional arrangement .

    The other broad-brush defence I would make is that had UKIP been given the chance of speaking at the third TV debate, I think you will agree that there would have been more clear blue water between UKIP and the 3 main parties on the budget, immigration and EU matters, than there was between any two of the 3 main parties themselves.

    Rome wasn't built in a day, but it wouldn't have been built at all if somebody hadn't laid the first few bricks.

    Reply: I have made no secret of the advice I gave to the Conservative leadership to offer a referendum about getting powers back, following the government's treacherous decision to ratify without a referendum. I find it extraordinary that UKIP are so touchy and so unwilling to explain their strategy, when we Eurosceptics are now once again faced with a narrow federalist majority in the Commons which does not reflect opinion in the country.

  46. Paul from MK UK
    Posted May 10, 2010 at 12:14 am | Permalink

    Back in December when the campaign was effectively begun UKIP’s existence was known but did not trouble the conservative party which was showing some 43% or more in the opinion polls.

    But come the election, the conservatives accounted for only 36.1% of the votes and UKIP a mere 3.1%
    (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/shared/election2010/results/)

    I find it odd then, that you wish UKIP to explain why it captured 3.1% of the vote instead of demanding your party leaders explain why the conservative campaign actually cost it 7%.

  47. Jamess
    Posted May 10, 2010 at 12:21 am | Permalink

    John: how do you, as a Euro-sceptic MP within the conservative party, hope to challenge the growing power of the EU? What would you want the readers of your blog (who, I guess, are mostly Euro-sceptic and frustrated with what we see Cameron doing/not doing) to do?

    I felt able to vote Conservative on Thursday because I trusted my candidate – not because I supported Camerony and the way he's leading the part. If it weren't for my local candidate I would have voted UKIP (and advised others to do so) as it was the only way to express my desire to get out of Europe.

    What would you have me do?

  48. Posted May 10, 2010 at 12:22 am | Permalink

    Lord Pearson's stated goal was to force a hung parliament. He seems to have achieved that!

    UKIP's share of the vote increased by a staggering amount. It does not have the funds or the number of activists that the larger parties have, it wasn't allowed a place in the debates and it wasn't given much media coverage.

    Hardly surprising, then, that it didn't win seats.

  49. Posted May 10, 2010 at 12:39 am | Permalink

    I find it slightly depressing reading, looking at the majority of the comments and the sanctimonious talk of Cameron lying over the Lisbon referendum.

    I truly believe that Cameron fully intended to hold a referendum on the Lisbon Treaty and was hoping that the Poles and Czechs would hold up ratification long enough for the general election here to take place before it could be ratified. A referendum here after it has been ratified would be pointless and would set a precedent – ie, why stop at Lisbon? Why not have a referendum on Nice, or Maastricht etc etc…

    For all the talk of principle, all UKIP have successfully managed to do is to ensure that the most pro EU of political parties – the Lib Dems, now have a chance of a foothold on the ladder of real political power in Britain. Like it not people, but that is the net result of your "principles".

    I do not necessarily agree with one of the previous respondants, that UKIP should disband. However, I think there is an argument for suggesting that they would be better placed in working as a pressure group on government and the political establishment, rather than as a political party.

    • Eotvos
      Posted May 10, 2010 at 12:02 pm | Permalink

      Nick,

      I think your criticism is unjustified. The fact that Mr Cameron is talking to the Liberals has nothing to do with UKIP so I do not see, as a result of circumstances beyond their control, how you can call UKIP unprincipled.

      My understanding is that the leader of the Conservatives believes in Conservative principals that precluded collusion with the political enemies of the party. We need to wait for the outcome of their discussions before drawing any conclusions.

      We will never know if Mr Cameron was being genuine re his "cast iron guarantee". You have more faith in politicians than I do. I do not believe a word any of them say. I'm only interested in what they do.

      • Posted May 12, 2010 at 3:20 pm | Permalink

        Eotvos,

        I didn't mean to implay that UKIP are unprincipled. Quite the contrary, but the net result of being bloody minded with their principles is that we now have a government which includes the most europhile of political parties – the Lib Dems.

        In their desire to make a statement about their dissatisfaction with Cameron, UKIP votrers have cut off their noses to spite their face.

    • simon
      Posted May 11, 2010 at 1:32 am | Permalink

      Would not surprise me if the powers that be wanted Labour to drag it out for a full term just to prevent a referendum on Lisbon .

      Looks like the only referendum would be an in/out .

      • Citizen Responsible
        Posted May 11, 2010 at 12:10 pm | Permalink

        I think the EU elite wanted Brown to stay in power till Lisbon was signed to prevent a UK referendum on the treaty. I suspect Mandelson came back to Britain to keep Brown as PM for this very purpose. It remains to be seen whether they will be rewarded for their efforts with EU positions in the future.

      • Posted May 12, 2010 at 4:15 pm | Permalink

        The EU elite may have preferred Brown to stay in Downing Street, but that's not why Mandelson came back into government. Brown summoned his back simply in order to shore up his own position. There had been a couple of attempted coups to unseat him and him needed Mandelson to help him stay in office – not because he wanted to pusy the Lisbon Treaty thorugh, but because he wanted to remain Prime Minister.

  50. John C
    Posted May 10, 2010 at 1:03 am | Permalink

    I'm convinced more than ever that we should have an in/out referendum for the EU.

    It's a festering sore that is just going to get worse.

    I'm undecided as to how I would vote in such a referendum but I do think we should have a national debate about it and vote either way and live with the consequences.

    UKIP see no distinction between Tories and Labour and you can understand why: neither of you had a referendum when ceding greater powers to the EU after the 1975 referendum.

    • Y Rhyfelwr Dewr
      Posted May 10, 2010 at 11:52 am | Permalink

      I agree 100 percent.

      This measure was forced through using a clause in the Lisbon Treaty designed for natural and unforeseeable disasters. The state of the Euro is neither natural nor unforeseen. In fact, in was widely forecast when the Euro was a mere glint in a Eurocrat's eye!

      But the EU keeps on with these abuses of power! It's only a few months since they all conspired to ram through the Lisbon Treaty in open and clear defiance of public opinion. At the time, they were promising no new treaties for at least a decade, then last month, Chancellor Merkel was calling for — wait for it — a new treaty! That decade passed awfully quickly — doesn't time fly!

      These abuses of power are endless, it seems, and serious. Now, at a time when our deficit is already massive, we're being required to fork out £13 billion to shore up a currency we never wanted anything to do with in the first place! And has anybody asked us if we were willing to do this? Was it in Labour's manifesto? Was it mentioned during the campaign?

      No, but I'll tell you what Labour DID promise us — a referendum on the Lisbon Treaty, which has enabled this appalling stitch-up.

      I understand that a massive proportion of our trade is with the EU. I also understand the immense burdens the EU imposes upon our economy, both financial and bureaucratic. I understand when Cameron says it's not in our interests to leave — but I think that rather depends on how you define our interests. These constant, increasing abuses of power, indulgences of the EU elite, drip-drip erosion of sovereignty and subjection to foreign rulers who have no interest in British democracy; this all needs to stop, and it's clear that the Eurocrats are having far too grand a time at our expense to reign in their ambitions.

      Therefore, I think we must have an in/out referendum.

      Will anybody in power give us one, though? Will they hell! But Daniel Hannan pointed out one interesting factoid: http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/danielhannan/10… Those Tory candidates who led decidedly anti-EU campaigns enjoyed far stronger-than-average swings that would have given Cameron a thumping great majority had they been represented nationally. I can only hope that the CCHQ analysts will have noticed this one before the next election (probably within two years). Who knows? David Cameron might even decide to offer the public what it actually wants.

  51. Dave
    Posted May 10, 2010 at 1:03 am | Permalink

    UKIP didn't stand against Philip Hollobone in Kettering, because he's made it quite clear that he wants the UK out of the EU.

    UKIP didn't prevent Cameron from gaining a majority. He did that to himself by refusing to back a referendum.

    In an effort to be all things to all men Cameron has become nothing to everyone.

  52. Freeborn John
    Posted May 10, 2010 at 1:05 am | Permalink

    The November speech from cast-iron Dave sealed the deal for me voting UKIP for the first time in a general election. The Conservative policy is to accept everything in Lisbon, Nice and Amsterdam and only seek to renegotiate part of the Maastricht opt-out on employment and social policy surrendered by Blair. It is a TOTALLY inadequate policy.

    Cameron thinks people do not care enough about the EU to change their votes but 3.1% have and it has been enough to cost him 21 seats and a majority. He will not have won 1 vote with his November speech from the people who don't care about the EU. That was a serious miscalculation. The Conservative party need to learn that they cannot win a majority with a lame EU policy.

  53. John T
    Posted May 10, 2010 at 1:23 am | Permalink

    John,
    Very simple – we don't believe your so-called Euroscepticism any more and see it for what it is, a ploy to get votes.
    Now perhaps you'll explain why the Tories since Heath onwards have taken us further and further into this socialist superstate culminating in Dave's broken promise.

    Reply: If you do not believe my Euroscepticism the heaven help us!

  54. mhayworth
    Posted May 10, 2010 at 2:01 am | Permalink

    John – your party ran the most pathetic election campaign in living memory and you dare to blame UKIP for your failure to win a majority?

    From the sheer arrogance of the comments here, it is obvious that none of you are even remotely capable of taking responsibility. It certainly explains your current predicament.

  55. Karl
    Posted May 10, 2010 at 2:01 am | Permalink

    Don't blame UKIP if Cameron kept his promise on the Lisbon treaty,there would be no need for UKIP to exist and Lord Pearson himself told Cameron that UKIP would disband if he agreed on one,and before your cleaver people say it's to late because the treaty has been ratified,the Queen still has her Royal prerogative so if the government wished so she could repeal the 1972 act that got us into Europe in the first place.

  56. Ian B
    Posted May 10, 2010 at 2:38 am | Permalink

    Mr Redwood, after voting I sent this email to the UKIP candidate I voted for. I reproduce it here in answer to your question-

    ****

    "I have just returned from the polling station having cast my vote for you, and felt I should write and thank you for standing.

    I was something of an "undecided" vote; part of me felt that voting Conservative would bloody the nose of the hateful Labour Party we have suffered. But politics is about more than taking revenge. So I stood there at the booth, remembering Mr Brown's cowardly creeping off to sign the Lisbon Treaty- apparently even he knew it was such a betrayal that he could not do it publicly. And I stood there in the awareness that, had it been Mr Cameron, he would have done just the same thing.

    I do not know who will win [my constituency] today, but we must honestly recognise that the probability of a UKIP win is remote. But I wish to express my gratitude to you for standing, because by doing so you gave this voter- and every voter- the opportunity to vote against a tyranny, which the other parties would not offer us. My vote will not change the outcome of today's election. But at least I can feel proud of how I used it, instead of ashamed.

    Thank you."

    ****

    We aren't a hive mind, Mr Redwood. Whatever pundits may say, we do not act in concert. There isn't a conspiracy. All we can do is pick the candidate who closest represents our views. I voted UKIP because I do not wish to be the subject of a pan-continental, undemocratic tyranny, and some nudge-nudge "we're not so EUphile as the others", from a party which will not give me the chance to vote to leave this tyranny, is not good enough.

    If Cameron had offered a referendum on leaving I would have, regardless of my concerns about stalinist nonsense like teenager conscription and the "Big Society", voted for him. You cannot blame EUphobes such as myself for not voting for you, because you are a member of what is consistently an EUphile party. We get one paltry vote every five years. Don't expect us to throw that little that we have away.

  57. Jack Enright
    Posted May 10, 2010 at 4:20 am | Permalink

    Mr Redwood:- as long as this Britain has any claim to being a democracy, no political party has to explain anything to you.

    And, Clive, (on 9 May 2010 at 5:47 pm); may I ask who or what gives you the right to even suggest to another party that they should wind themselves up? Who do you think you are? They have as much right as any other group of citizens to form a political party – and if their policies attract the support of some voters, those voters have every right to vote for them. Whether or not you agree with either their policies or their tactics is neither here nor there.

    Mr Redwood; I think your questions should be directed to David Cameron, and might include the following;

    How did he manage to lose the 20% advantage which the party held in a series of opinion polls, over a period of months, against the most incompetent and unprincipled government, and PM, that I have known since I started following politics in the late 1950s?

    Secondly, he must be aware of the concerns of many people in Britain about our relationship with the EU. The endemic corruption; the power of the EU Commissioners and their staff, who wield great power, but who are not subject to election; and the loss of legal rights which we take for granted, such as the presumption of innocence, and habeas corpus. He must also be aware that NO government has ever obtained the formal consent of the electorate to yield sovereignty, in a self-amending treaty such as Lisbon, to any foreign power or organisation. Yet, when people such as myself, or members of his own party, so much as ask for the right to have our say, his response is sheer abuse – "closet racists, fruitcakes, loonies, Turnip Taliban" and the like.

    So – who does he think he is, to tell me that I have no right to a say in the running of my country, and that I must allow him to make those decisions on my behalf, whether I like them or not?

    And if you or he says that I have a say in the decisions of the EU by voting for an MEP, I will treat that as a direct insult to my intelligence. Since when did the European Parliament ever dictate terms on anything to the EU Commissioners.

    I apologise for my lengthy response, but I have repeatedly asked these questions of David Cameron, and the Party's Central Office, without avail. The first e-mail I received was an obvious stock template, which did not even address any of my questions; after that I had no response at all.

    So can you or David Cameron explain why I should give my vote to anyone who treats my legitimate concerns with such blatant contempt?

    • Ian B
      Posted May 10, 2010 at 11:49 am | Permalink

      For my money, this is the comment that nails it. Particularly Jack's reminding us that we who dislike the EU are dismissed with such appalling insults.

      What has occurred is seismic in constitutional terms- as Gaitskell said half a century ago, "the end of a thousand years of history". We have given something away- our national freedom- which soon we will be unable to ever claim back again. If the Tory Party cannot treat those of us who disagree with that with a modicum of respect, it can hardly expect us to vote for it.

  58. Norman
    Posted May 10, 2010 at 7:51 am | Permalink

    It will be interesting to watch what happens with this 650bn Euro bailout fund. If an unholy alliance is formed between the Conservatives & Lib Dems will the British taxpayer pay into the fund or will our new government stand up to the machinations of what this unelected Politburo of unelected officials dreamt up at the weekend.

    Bearing in mind 306 MP's will belong to a 'Eurosceptic Party', as well as repeated assurances from politicians that we won't be forced to bailout Euro zone countries, I hope we won't be putting our hands in our pockets.

    I actually believe that we won't actually have a choice and will have to pay up – such is the state of affairs that exist between the EU and member states post-Lisbon, they simply tell member governments what is to be done and we go along and do it.

    I think this illustrates why people voted UKIP. I wasn't one of them but I have every sympathy with those who did.

  59. Norman
    Posted May 10, 2010 at 7:54 am | Permalink

    Will the British people be forced to pay into the 650bn Euro fund that some unelected Politburo dreamt up over the weekend? If we are (and I strongly suspect we will be) then this answers your question why people voted for UKIP.

    It's one thing to say 'no more powers to the EU', unless Lisbon is repealed it's simply rhetoric as the EU constitution now in place allows Brussels to do whatever it pleases and we simply have to go along with it.

    I didn't vote UKIP but I have every sympathy for those who did.

    (Apologies if this is a double comment, something seemed to go awry the first time I submitted one).

  60. Paul
    Posted May 10, 2010 at 7:56 am | Permalink

    You blame the electorate? What nerve! Blame Cameron!

  61. Robert K, Oxford
    Posted May 10, 2010 at 9:33 am | Permalink

    JR’s post today has touched the rawest of raw nerves I have seen on this site. The problem with today’s Conservative party, if I dare say it, is that it has allowed itself to fall into the trap of dancing around NuLab spin and accepting the centre-left consensus rather than fighting for its core principles through thick and thin. My first vote was in 1979, when I ticked the box for free markets, a small state and self-reliance. If that’s what the Tory party still stands for, and if really does want to be separate from a European super-state, then I’m afraid this message did not come across during the election campaign.
    I can put this no better than JR does in a separate post in reference to the BBC:
    “During the interviews on and off air I could see them struggling to understand the fact that I simply do not see the world through the eyes of 13 years of Labour spin as many of their broadcasters have done. The problem is, as readers of this site know, I disagree with so many of the conventional mistakes in analysis it takes time to explain the alternative view.”
    Personally, party politics is of much less interest than are notions of liberty, justice and economic freedom.

  62. Sue
    Posted May 10, 2010 at 9:46 am | Permalink

    Could the Conservatives explain what has happened to their policies? I would like to know why I was put in the position of having to vote UKIP when I am a Conservative.

    You let us down and you have suffered as a consequence.

    Stuff your "progressive conservative" policies.

    We don't want them, if we wanted to be progressives, we would have voted for Labour or LibDem.

    You have betrayed your long-term, grassroots supporters.

    You didn't listen. You are still not listening.

    • John Campbell
      Posted May 10, 2010 at 9:52 pm | Permalink

      Well said Sue
      I couldn't have put it better myself.

  63. Winston Smith
    Posted May 10, 2010 at 9:53 am | Permalink

    I am a conservative.

    The Conservative Party isn't any more. It does not do what it says on the tin: it is indistinguishable (save for colour of rosette) from Lib or Lab. And your leadership lies.

    I campaign, stand and vote for UKIP, for freedom, democracy and the rule of law (distinct from statute).

    Simples.

    WS

  64. MartinW
    Posted May 10, 2010 at 9:59 am | Permalink

    Don't blame UKIP. Like many previous contributors, I have been shocked by the sharp move to the left of the Party, and the trashing of the Conservative brand. There have been many occasions during the past few years when I have have seriously considered to abandon my like-long (40 year) support, but I held my nose and voted Conservative, seeing the alternative as much worse.
    One key policy change, that of abandoning any promise of the referendum on the Lisbon treaty, was nearly the killer blow. Dave had placed well known, former-Cabinet EUrophiles in positions of influence, and it can hardly be a surprise that any 'cast-iron' promise was abandoned. Even though the promise applied only pre-ratification, promising a post-ratification referendum would have been indicative, and would doubtless have prevented many votes leaking to UKIP. But I believe the likes of Heseltine, Yeo, Maude, and perhaps Clarke had Dave in an arm-lock.

  65. Kevin Peat
    Posted May 10, 2010 at 10:04 am | Permalink

    I went in to the booth to vote UKIP and came out having voted Conservative.

    We ended up with a hung parliament anyway. Even with an oversized goal and not an opposition player in sight Cameron failed.

    I bet there are more like me who wished they'd stuck to their guns and voted UKIP as planned. I feel quite ashamed that I took the cowardly option.

    Believe me, Mr Redwood. If the right-wing tabloids hadn't terrified us into submission in the lead up your losses would have been far more severe than they already are.

    EU legislation and our own welfarist state are a deadly combination: one promotes behaviour that runs counter to common sense and prosperity, the other enshrines it in law.

    • Mike N
      Posted May 10, 2010 at 4:20 pm | Permalink

      I agree with that totally, I felt the same way.

  66. alan jutson
    Posted May 10, 2010 at 10:06 am | Permalink

    John whilst I understand the reason you ask the question, you seem to assume that all UKIP voters would have voted Conservative if UKIP had not stood.

    Whilst I accept that many were perhaps frustrated Conservatives, not all would have been.

    Think the majority of comment here (and you simply asked for comment, nothing more) suggests that Mr Cameron lost these people, but I guess you knew that anyway.

    If all three Parties had operated in a more honest way, then perhaps those who voted Monster Raving Looney, or Independent as a protest would have come into the main Political fold and made a difference.

  67. Posted May 10, 2010 at 10:44 am | Permalink

    I voted for UKIP in the highly marginal (between Lib Dem and Con) seat of Oxford West and Abingdon. Why?
    1. John Redwood was not in the Shadow Cabinet so why should I trust David Cameron to be a Conservative.
    2. The photogenic Conservative candidette gushed pro-public spending policies that irritated me and made me suspect she was either stupid or dishonest.
    3. I decided that my one vote would not affect the constituency result (I was right, it didn't; the Conservative won by 176 votes) but it would be counted in the aggregate of those assumed to be Tory but disaffected by Mr. Cameron's leadership.
    4. I feared that, in a hung Parliament, Mr. Cameron might make concessions to the Lib Dems that would seem a betrayal to those who had voted Conservative. It is difficult to vote for a party when one suspects one is about to be duped.

    Why anyone fortunate enough to live in Wokingham did not vote Conservative, for Mr. Redwood, is beyond me.

  68. Lindsay McDougall
    Posted May 10, 2010 at 10:49 am | Permalink

    I don't think that UKIP's conduct in the last election can be rationally explained. Since we seem to be about to enter a coalition with the LibDems, it will be important to maintain our own policy on the EU and the Euro, otherwise UKIP will be much more of a threat next time round.

  69. Eotvos
    Posted May 10, 2010 at 10:56 am | Permalink

    Mr Redwood,

    Why did Mr Cameron not pick up the phone and talk to UKIP weeks ago? This situation should have been avoided.

    Talking to UKIP then would surely have been preferable to dealing with the Liberals now – which I am against.

    21 seats were lost as a result of this lack of foresight (BBC figures).

    Also, political plurality is the essence of democracy and I do not think complaining about other parties putting up candidates is appropriate. We only know Mr Farage came third because he actually was a candidate.

  70. backofanenvelope
    Posted May 10, 2010 at 11:03 am | Permalink

    In the end it all comes down to – do you believe in keeping your promises?

  71. Robert Eve
    Posted May 10, 2010 at 11:21 am | Permalink

    Cameron's remarks about UKIP did him no favours.

  72. Peejos
    Posted May 10, 2010 at 11:35 am | Permalink

    I have watched with increasing worry the party that I have supported for over fifty decades drift aimlessly, with not a vestage of conviction about anything, into a Blairite clone. it is "All heart and no head", lead by a cabal of utterly inexperienced playboys. Montgomery used to have a criterion about whether he would go into the jungle with somebody, well I'd run a mile to avoid any of them.
    I voted very deliberately UKIP, because though I knew it would have no impact on a very safe seat, there would forever be a statistic, from which deductions could be made. How otherwise can anybody evaluate the true level of Europhobia?

  73. Posted May 10, 2010 at 12:10 pm | Permalink

    Because they were offered no alternative. It is a matter of record that UKIP offered to stand down in the Conservative interest if they got a referendum, as had previously been promised. Cameron rejected the offer & the responsibility for the Conservatives having lost 30 odd seats by less than the UKIP vote is his.

    I do not think you can ethicly object to this inevitable result of the FPTP system while insisting it must be maintained. If the Conservatives now refuse another referendum, this time on PR, they will haemorrage another group of voters – deservedly so.

    And yes Farage did come 3rd – elections are like that sometimes & that was an uncharacteristically cheap shot John.

  74. Bill
    Posted May 10, 2010 at 12:38 pm | Permalink

    What does not seem to be appreciated by the UKIPers is that Hague tried a eurosceptic agenda and was soundly beaten in the election at the time he led.

    No one questions UKIP's rights to field candidates and garner votes, but what seems so odd about their attitudes is that they think it more important to go through the motions than to achieve an objective. The Tories may not be at eurosceptic as they were in the heyday of Mrs T but there are other traditions in the party in addition to those which delight in bashing the eurocrats. One of these traditions is associated with trade and another with 'One Nation' policies.

    • Nick
      Posted May 12, 2010 at 11:54 am | Permalink

      I campaigned for UKIP in the 2001 election. What baffled (and delighted) us was that Hague DID NOT try a eurosceptic agenda. The truth is that the Conservatives have strenuously avoided talking about the EU for the last 3 elections at least, presumably because of previous Tory party splits on the issue.

      In addition the population is more eurosceptic than the Conservative hierarchy. Hence there is a permanent unease felt by natural Tory supporters. The breaking of the Lisbon 'cast iron guarantee' was so damaging because it confirmed the distrust already felt.

  75. nigel jones
    Posted May 10, 2010 at 12:59 pm | Permalink

    The right leaning Eurowithdrawlist can either vote for UKIP, they'll probably get nowhere and may lead to an avowedly Euro-integrationist winning, or they can vote Conservative and vote for a member of a party which makes Eurosceptic noises from time to time as as it suits them, but is clearly integrationist.

    The main parties are a choice between two which are clearly integrationist and the Tories who pretend not to be integrationist, but who obviously are, for all their waffle about repatriating powers and a 'Europe of Nations States'.

    As for Buckingham, it just shows the tendency toward mindless tribal voting, or are you trying to argue that the appointment of Bercow as Speaker was not a cynical manipulation which reasonable people should have objected to and registered their protest by voting for any other candidate or spoiling the paper?

  76. A.Sedgwick
    Posted May 10, 2010 at 2:14 pm | Permalink

    For someone against PR the current situation is indefensible. At least with full PR the horse trading reflects the will of the people, which would have given UKIP 20+ seats. The honest approach is a minority government or quick second election – forget the campagning we have had enough of that.

    I have repeatedly passed the opinion that Cameron has hijacked the Conservative Party and he is clueless over tactics and strategy. He should have done a deal with SNP and forget Scotland – no candidates. His foray into N.Ireland politics was mystifying given the complexities there already.

    If we end up with a referendum on STV add at least two more questions – elected Lords/Senate and of course in/out EU.

  77. Alan Wheatley
    Posted May 10, 2010 at 2:53 pm | Permalink

    The primary UKIP policy, and the raison d'être for the formation of the party, is that the UK should leave the EU.

    The Conservative Party policy is that the UK should remain in the EU.

    These two positions are fundamentally incompatible. If you believe that this is the most important issue as to the future of the country, and you believe in voting for your principles, then then the choice of for whom to vote is simple.

    Perhaps, John, you would care to comment on the saving to the UK of leaving the EU and the part this would play in reducing the deficit?

  78. Sue Doughty
    Posted May 10, 2010 at 2:58 pm | Permalink

    UKIP was set up by three people who worked in the Foreign Office in a culture that believed they were to work for foreigners. One died and when the other two retired they came out and saw the light, confessed to their old colleague Norman Tebbitt. They had set up the Referendum Party, now UKIP, to prevent anyone not wholly in favour of deeper European integration from getting elected to positions of influence by taking votes from them. Lord Pearson was reported as saying they still intend to target Tory Eurosceptic seats above all others.
    Voting UKIP is a vote FOR deeper European integration, not against, or why would they always stand a candidate against John Redwood?
    And that is why Gordon Brown, arch europhile, is still PM and the Conservative party must now sup with the devil to get rid of him.
    For your country please, UKIP, disband. But they will not, they do it to be awkward, to mess things up for everyone else.

  79. A T
    Posted May 10, 2010 at 3:15 pm | Permalink

    I would have very happily voted for Mr. Redwood, but I didn't have that option. So,

    – Lisbon

    – AGW

    – female candidate in her 20s. Zero real life experience.

    The reason that I should have voted Conservative is ?

  80. pipesmoker
    Posted May 10, 2010 at 3:16 pm | Permalink

    Your leader and party should reflect on the question. Had they done so before and done the right thing I have no doubt that you would now have an overall majority.

    I don't support the UKIP, I supported the Referendum Party in 1997 and have voted Tory all my life but on the 6th of May I abstained which truly represented my point of view. None of you are worth a vote now we are governed from Brussels!

  81. Jonathan Miller
    Posted May 10, 2010 at 3:32 pm | Permalink

    Mr Redwood, I agree with many UKIP supporters who have commented here; you should be putting harsh questions to Mr Cameron as to why he lost his commanding lead from some months ago, rather than attempting to blame UKIP voters for the Conservatives' failure.

    I offer no apologies to you or Mr Cameron because I have nothing to apologise for. UKIP is a separate party, not merely a protest vote against the Tories. There are many good policies in favour of liberty and self determination in the UKIP manifesto, and these are reason enough for me vote for them.

    What I do not understand is why you are still a member of the Conservatives; in your heart you know that Cameron will never take his party or this country out of the EU. Other 'skeptical' Conservative voters may wish to put their minds to this reality too, and perhaps vote with their convictions, rather than out of fear.

    As to your 'more important' question, again it should be turned back upon you. Why do the Conservatives, Labour and Liberal Democrats support the disenfranchisement of the electorate in Buckingham? Mr Farage had the courage to stand and offer an alternative, and the electorate passed their verdict.

  82. Posted May 10, 2010 at 4:52 pm | Permalink

    Ukip offered to stand down it's candidates if cameron promised to give the people of the uk an in/out referenda on the eu. Cameron refused. As such the only person stopping torys winning their seats is David cameron. Isn't it time you got yourself a new leader because if you don't real conservatives will keep voting ukip. Cameron promised he would lead the Tories to a gloriouse victory and has failed.

  83. mhayworth
    Posted May 10, 2010 at 6:14 pm | Permalink

    No repsonse to all of these comments from Mr. Redwood?

  84. Lulu
    Posted May 10, 2010 at 8:41 pm | Permalink

    Many of us who wanted to support UKIP listened to people like Lord Tebbit and decided to vote Conservative for the sake of the country in its current dire straits despite having been described by David Cameron as fruitcakes, loonies and closet racists. At least four London marginals were lost by A-list candidates entirely by their own efforts, and I expect the same happened in every other region of the country. I do not think we are the ones who should be doing the explaining.

  85. Posted May 10, 2010 at 10:19 pm | Permalink

    UKIP would have disbanded, had the Conservative party chosen to offer us a referendum on Europe. The Conservatives chose not to, and must now suffer the consequences of their spinelessness.

    Here's hoping for a Liblab pact that will destroy itself in a few months leaving PR in its wake. With a free choice for voters to vote how they wish UKIP will take easily 15 to 20% of the votes and be the natural bedfellow with whom the Conservatives will have to form a coalition at the next election.

    We will pull you lilly livered, wetty, lefty Tories kicking and screaming back to the right and divorce ourselves from your socialist friends in the EU and make Britain great again.

    Buckingham was sadly lost by tribal Tories perceiving Bercow as one of their own together with a well placed Tory stooge candidate to split the opposition vote.

  86. Socrates
    Posted May 10, 2010 at 10:51 pm | Permalink

    After David Cameron's radio interview in April 2006 when he suggested that UKIP members were "fruitcakes, loonies and closet racists, mostly". That's a bit thick for someone who now wants us to believe he's really eurosceptic. It's not surprising that they didn't vote Tory. Still at least he didn't call them bigoted – that would have been really offensive.

  87. Andrew Thwaites
    Posted May 11, 2010 at 12:56 am | Permalink

    Oh Dear John, I like you, you are one of the few good MP' there but you got this one wrong. I was going to vote conservative but then the referendum for lisbon was dropped. So I voted UKIP instead.

    Had Cameron done a deal, you would have found that UKIP would have been the conservatives best friends, who would have campained for more conservatives than they did this time round.

    Also the conservative manifesto was pretty woeful, few people really knew what the conservatives were going to do in office, and it seems the conservatives have been on one long holiday for more than 5 years. Your party could not even effectively lay the blame for all the woes we are to suffer on the labour party – be honest the conservatives don't deserve to be in office.

    P.s I was also concerned at policy been launches by DEMOS and the big society, both of the these things have a tinge of communism to them.

  88. Freeborn John
    Posted May 11, 2010 at 1:54 am | Permalink

    BTW; If you run into William Hague can you tell him to stop saying “we have taken a strategic decision not to seek an immediate confrontation with the EU”. His intention with that phreaseolgy is leave the impression hanging in the air that some such confrontation might occur at a later date. But this is simply the same verbal chicanery he used when promising he ‘would not let matters rest’ should the Lisbon Treaty be ratified before the last election. These latest hints at delayed confrontation will produce the same result as ‘not letting matters rest’; nothing of policy substance, a belief that the Tories are not to be trusted on Europe, and sufficient lost votes to deny you a majority a next election. 

  89. APL
    Posted May 11, 2010 at 9:02 am | Permalink

    David Cameron has lost the election. Yes the Tories got more seats, but with the most discredited Labour government in history – which takes some doing – he lost on the basis of his own policies.

    David Cameron should resign as leader of the Tory party like Howard, Hague and Duncan Smith before him.

  90. P W WATSON
    Posted May 11, 2010 at 1:37 pm | Permalink

    Dear John, You asked "why did we vote UKIP?". Do you not understand that being treated as mad people by Cameron, and by his refusal to countenance the defense of our nation from the clear rape by the EU (vide the £14 billion Darling threw away last week to keep the Projekt aloive) and his socialist credentials, we could not look ourself in the mirror were we to have voted conservative. More apt would be the question how can persons such as yourself and Lord Tebbit continue to put Party above country and expect to retain respect from us? You are all out for your damned party and I hope you remove Dave and his pro EU minders such as Francis Maude, and his idiot advisors and the part then apologizes to the real conservative members who have left, or been sidelined (Lindsay Jenkins for one) by the new socialist order. Personally I find the sight of politicians squirming and slithering like a ball of snakes to be the best cold vengeance for the betrayal of England in particular, which I have ever seen.

  91. Jonathan Oakton
    Posted May 11, 2010 at 5:19 pm | Permalink

    Dear Mr Redwood,

    Here , if there was any need , is the reason that I am proud to have stood for UKIP in the North Herefordshire constituency and almost doubled the UKIP vote.

    Cameron says that he wants to stay "In the european Union" and William Hague says that should there be a referendum he "would fight to stay in ".

    Why would UKIP stand aside to let this bunch of traitors take power in Great Britain ?
    I was a Conservative, I was briefly in the Central Committee of the Conservative party , infact during your days of glory but I'm not going to stand by and watch my country vanish into the european superstate.

    The UKIP party came second in the European Elections last June, there is formidable support for our policies but that has yet to translate into votes for Westminster elections- Had Chancellor Alistair Darling sent £9 billion last week to support euroland instead of yesturday then perhaps the vote would have been different. I notice that YOU have not mentioned it. £9 billion is ALL the money that the Conservatives think that they can save through CUTS in the Public Services !… but then the Conservatives don't question Britains support for Europe do they ?

    If the Conservative Party and its membership do not want to be part of Britain's withdrawal from the United States of Europe, then that is up to them. join us or fight us I don't care either way. Better still take our flag and do the job yourselves and win the credit, but in the meantime we will be taking no prisoners.

    UKIP has just learned some very valuble lessons about how we will prosecute the next General Election .

    Maybe you should have selected David Davis as your leader.
    "Call me Dave" , just lost you a government. After 13 years of the most disasterous Labour government you had nothing to offer-except more of the "center ground" same.

    Could UKIP explain ?- We should not need to spell it out. You should know.

    Reply: I warned against letting Darling/Brown go to Brussels and pledge more of our money which we cannot afford before they went.

  92. mhayworth
    Posted May 11, 2010 at 6:45 pm | Permalink

    Odd how you Tories see UKIP as the ones missing the big picture.

    Cameron's Labour-style smear campaign, calling us 'closet racists' for daring to mention immigration fell right into the hands of the left wing media who then only mentioned UKIP when in the same sentence as the BNP. I can tell you from canvassing voters that those words did more damage to UKIP than any other event leading up to the election. Then you send out a pre-election message telling UKIP to vote Tory tactically in order to keep Labour out – which many supporters did.

    So – you smear us, damage our campaign, scare supporters into jumping ship, blame us for your own forseeable failure, and I'd be willing to bet that in the next election under AV or PR you'll be expecting our undying loyalty. Talk about biting the hand…

  93. Gabriel
    Posted May 12, 2010 at 11:11 am | Permalink

    I voted UKIP (as it happens in a Lab-Lib marginal) and find your question rather silly.

    -Lord Pearson offered on more than one occasion to pull out of the election and campaign on behalf of the Conservatives, on the condition that he gave the public a referendum in with Lisbon/out of the EU altogether. Cameron refused.
    -In marginals where real, as opposed to nominal, eurosceptics were running, UKIP did in fact campaign for them, but the candidates in question were forbidden from having anything to do with them (which was not the case with the one Labour candidate they did the same for).
    -After repeatedly refusing to do a deal with UKIP, Cameron has now done a formed a government with the most fantically pro-EU, pro-immigration, pro criminal party that exists in Britain, literally.

    So the real question is why you choose to remain in a party led by leftwingers, which ran on a manifesto containing leftwing policies and which is now in a coalition with leftwingers? Have you no honour at all? Is there no insult that Cameron will not hurl in your direction that you will not meekly accept?

    What was actually necessary at this election was for UKIP to have done better and for Cameron to have decisively lost, in which case the Conservative party might have been saved. We were trying to do you a favour; in the event we failed and the only decent option for conservatives in the Conservative party is to leave. You might join us, or you might form another party, but you absolutely have to leave. One day, should the almighty so will it, there will be UKIP government in this country. Or perhaps not, but there is a greater chance of that than a Conservative party governing in accordance with conservative principles.

  94. Uri
    Posted May 13, 2010 at 2:30 pm | Permalink

    John,

    You and a few of the other last remaining real tories left in the conservative party are going to be looking rather isolated and divorced from the reality of your party. There is no point in having real eurosceptic views or real right wing policies in such a party and as such, you can either join a party with real conservative policies or you can answer lots of questions as to how you can remain in a party that stands for very little and retain any credibility.

    Ukippers are true tories, your lot are a disgrace and you know it.

    Reply: Once again the public have voted for a federalist Parliament in a Eurosceptic country. We all need to ask ourselves how and why that has happened, and then to understand once again the logic of the arithmetic in the Commons. Anyone who wants to be more Eurosceptic than the Conservatives is going to find it dfficult, as the Opposition is federalist.

  95. Stuart Fairney
    Posted May 13, 2010 at 7:38 pm | Permalink

    Wow, 159 comments as I write this. It's getting into Guido territory but without the abuse or profanity and for the most part with reasoned argument. Quite an impressive blog readership all in all.

  96. Posted May 20, 2010 at 2:10 am | Permalink

    In reply to "could UKIP supporters explain…."

    Simple really, Conservatives supported the ERM despite my advice, this should mean they are not allowed back into proper power for evermore!

    1992 was the defining moment.

    Let it not be forgotten. NEVER TRUST A CONSERVATIVE with the economy (or Europe) !!

    John R, its time to give up on Boy Dave – he has learnt nothing from the ERM disaster. Face reality. people are punishing the tories ever since 1992, and that is their own fault. And Long may it continue. There is absolutely no excuse for what they did.

  • About John Redwood


    John Redwood won a free place at Kent College, Canterbury, He graduated from Magdalen College Oxford, has a DPhil and is a fellow of All Souls College. A businessman by background, he has been a director of NM Rothschild merchant bank and chairman of a quoted industrial PLC.

    Promoted by Fraser McFarland on behalf of John Redwood, both of 30 Rose Street Wokingham RG40 1XU

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