Wither UKIP?

 

Today I will write about UKIP, as they like attention. I will offer the talkative UKIP contributors to this site the chance to answer two simple questions. Which seat or seats do they think they will have most chance of winning in May 2015 as they set about a further quest for their first seat in Parliament after 20 years of campaigning? Which seat will Mr Farage fight, or will he conclude he has an important job as an  MEP? The polls continue to indicate no UKIP seats after May 2015.

The failure of UKIP to win either Eastleigh or Newark in more favourable by election conditions for the challenger poses them a problem. The fact that Mr Farage has not chosen a seat to contest for 2015 yet shows he himself is unsure of where he would have the best chance or indeed any chance at all.

Those of us serious about winning and holding Westminster seats live and work in the area we want to represent before standing for election. I bought my home in the constituency.  I spent more than two  years living in the Wokingham constituency, visiting many organisations, companies and community leaders, and playing a part in local political life before fighting my first election there. It enabled me to learn many of the things I needed to know to be able to represent people well, and it showed the electors my seriousness about wanting the job. It helps to know all the local leaders and people involved in local and national government in your prospective constituency so you can do the job properly from day one after being elected. Some of my colleagues who have managed to win more difficult seats have spent more than one Parliament offering free help and service to their local communities before being chosen by the electors.

The worry for many of us Eurosceptics is the way a modest UKIP vote in May 2015 could still  thwart us from the renegotiation and referendum we need to settle the EU issue. UKIP say they could resolve many of the country’s problems by taking us out of the EU. I agree we would be better off out of the current EU, but UKIP will break their key promise next time as they have in every other election they have fought. The simple truth is UKIP have no power to take us out of the EU, and are very unlikely to gain  the power in May 2015 to do so.

UKIP after 20 years of trying have to still to win  control of a single council or to win a single Parliamentary seat. Their result in  Newark came in almost 20% of the vote behind the Conservatives after a strong challenge with many leaflets. Newark,  the last local elections and the opinion polls show that the choice  on May 7th 2015 will be between Labour and Conservatives. The choice about  the EU is do you want a party in government that likes the current degree of federal control and may add to it, or do you want a negotiation to see if we can cut the power of the EU followed by a popular vote on whether to stay in. I know which of those two I prefer. I want to be part of making that historic choice. Come the day many UKIP inclined people may decide they wish to help make that choice, by voting for the referendum we need.

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150 Comments

  1. Old Albion
    Posted June 7, 2014 at 5:27 am | Permalink

    UKIP are growing and are becoming more popular every day. They are the third force in (dis)UK politics.
    Every vote they take from the Lib/Lab/Con increases the pressure on the leaders of those parties.
    Cameron has only talked of renegotiation and a referendum because of UKIP’s increasing popularity.
    Cameron won’t get any renegotiation. Mrs Merkel told him so during her recent visit, and few believe he will ever offer an in/out referendum.

    • Timaction
      Posted June 7, 2014 at 11:26 am | Permalink

      Whilst UKIP is 20 years old, it has actually taken off in the last 3 years following the disappointment and then despair with the Tory led Coalition, its actions and behaviour. A realisation that there isn’t a fag packet between the LibLabCon Legacy Parties policies. This has been spelt out by UKIP and reinforced at every opportunity despite the attacks by the legacy media who can’t argue policy. In the age of the internet and political blogs the truth is finally out.
      With over 70% of our laws being made by unelected foreign bureaucrats in the EU what is the point of Westminster? We celebrated the D Day landings yesterday and most thinking people will realise we lost the peace due to the quisling behaviour of our political class over the last 40 years who sold us out by lies and stealthy incremental treaty change.
      As a former lifetime Tory voter I will never vote for them again whilst you have Liberal Conservatives Messrs Cameron and Osborne in charge. Both have proven to be unreliable and untrustworthy and that’s being generous.
      There will be no renegotiation as it doesn’t fit with existing treaties, the other 27 have no wish for it and the timeframe can’t be achieved. Our leaders Barroso and Merkel have also stated this. Mr Hague even yesterday said the Tories won’t tell the electorate what they hope to achieve in the renegotiation!
      As for the number of seats UKIP will gain, who knows. I know I’ll be out there actively supporting and canvassing for the only patriotic party and giving them money. It’s our patriotic duty now to enlighten and inform the electorate what has been done to them and continues to be done to them. Taxed to pay for foreign infrastructure, farmers, food subsidies, empire building (Ukraine) and open door immigration to 485 million Europeans and free access to our health, education and other public services. Minimum wage workers subsidised by British taxpayers with tax credits, benefits and all the other perks at no cost to them. £12 billion net contribution for a £43 billion EU trade deficit!
      I think the question should be why on earth would any thinking person vote LibLabCon? As this means voting for their own destruction as a sovereign and democratic nation.

      • Chris
        Posted June 7, 2014 at 5:33 pm | Permalink

        In complete agreement with what you have written, Timaction. I see Albania is set to get approval to join the EU on 23 June, and then of course there are Macedonia, Serbia, Montenegro, Moldova, Ukraine?, Turkey, and on and on. All are poorer than we are so the pull factors to this country will be immensely strong, quite apart from the push factors back in the home country. Why are politicians not honest about these future waves of mass immigration that we are going to experience, and cannot escape while members of the EU. It is naïve to think that Cameron et al can put in place restrictions – we have already been taken to court by the EC for our existing “controls”, the outcome of which has not yet been announced.

        • bigneil
          Posted June 7, 2014 at 8:59 pm | Permalink

          All tese countries will then be allowed to pile here, claim their houses, benefits and NHS, plus schooling for their kids. As I have told you before john – I get NOTHING after 45 years of paying taxes yet (some ed) Europeans are getting thousands a month for having got here. And I know I am not the only one in this situation. You still want and hope that people will vote for you? – — Gobsmacked – -totally gobsmacked. And soon all these other countries will join, all pile here and want the same. PLEASE PLEASE explain where the space, houses, facilities etc etc will come from??? – -totally unsustainable – -renegotiation is not a question, we will only be pushed quicker to third world status – -which is where we are heading already. we already have 100,000s of freeloaders, benefits cheats and criminals bleeding our finances – -is it only a concern when it intrudes on MPs expenses, the very people who clearly have no connection with the world they are creating, with schools and councils already run by (people ed) who are here to do one thing – -and that is NOT wash the car on a sunday morning and trim the rose bushes.

          Reply The Conservatives have reduced immigration and wish to reduce it further. Controlling EU immigration requires a renegotiation of our relationship with the EU which the Lib Dems and Labour do not allow, so it awaits a possible Conservative government after May 2015

          • Denis Cooper
            Posted June 8, 2014 at 10:29 am | Permalink

            Well, the excuse that this is a coalition government and the LibDems won’t allow the Tories to do something that they want to do holds water in some cases but not in others.

            The problems with EU immigration have arisen primarily because the EU has been enlarged to include new countries with very much lower standards of living than the existing members, and far from being opponents of EU enlargement the Tories have always been among its most enthusiastic supporters whether they were in government on their own or in opposition or in the present coalition government.

            Likewise they have always been opposed to allowing the British people any direct say on whether a new country should be admitted, right back to 1981 when having campaigned to keep us in the EEC with eight identified neighbouring countries Margaret Thatcher then agreed to the contract approved by the British people in the referendum in 1975 being extended to include Greece, without thinking that we should be asked whether we agreed to that change.

            And the Tories have consistently maintained the position that the British people should never be asked whether they agreed to a further enlargement of the EU; we know that this is not something which has been forced upon them by their present coalition partners not only because of what they did in government under Thatcher and Major but because back in 2009 when Hague was talking about passing a “referendum lock” law it quickly became clear from a careful reading of his words that he intended to provide a blanket exemption for accession treaties.

            And that is what he did, Section 4(4)(c) of the Act, which he has already invoked once to block a referendum on whether we wanted Croatia to be allowed into the EU:

            https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/35465/eu-act-croatia-statement.pdf

            “All of the provisions of the Croatia Accession Treaty relate to the accession of a new member State to the European Union and thus the Croatia Accession Treaty as a whole is subject to the exemption provided for in section 4(4)(c) of the Act.”

            And which he and his successors would no doubt invoke in all future cases, including that of Turkey.

          • Hope
            Posted June 8, 2014 at 1:33 pm | Permalink

            The things fairy stories are made of JR? Child benefits being sent abroad while UK citizens denied child benefit. Old age pensioners suffering, having to sell their homes to pay for elderly care. Tories have failed the savers, pensioners and aspirational working class. Utter disgrace, when Cameron readily allows billions to be wasted abroad on benefits, overseas aid and EU contribution. Now we have to suffer Boles building on every piece of green land to accommodate mass immigration. Fly in get your free health care and fly out while old people do not have their water jugs filled! All in it together my foot. Do you wish us to cite all the failed promises and U turns to show why you cannot believe a word Cameron says?

          • Anonymous
            Posted June 8, 2014 at 1:59 pm | Permalink

            Reply to reply: Reduced immigration from ‘outside’ the EU. But even that’s doubtful as there are so many loopholes. This amounted to 500,000 gross last year and Big Neil is seeing what I’m seeing – especially now that the great dispersal has started and we are being told our towns must be massively expanded.

            So expect even more regional constituencies to fall to Ukip while this continues to 2015- especially if the economy dips before.

            Some real commitment NOW would do a lot to bring voters back into the fold.

            As it is it is still very difficult to broach the subject. The other day we had an MP saying that “With the rise of UKIP we see that the shortage of housing is causing a rise in racial tensions.”

            A lie. The anger is actually with the main party politicians.

            The miracle is that there are no racial tensions but then, perhaps, we shouldn’t be surprised given the tolerance of the English people.

            We are never given credit for this but are slapped down as ‘racists’ whenever we dare step out of line.

            (Peter Hitchens is worth a read today)

      • JoeSoap
        Posted June 7, 2014 at 8:39 pm | Permalink

        Well said!

      • Richard
        Posted June 8, 2014 at 9:41 pm | Permalink

        I, too, am in complete agreement with Timaction.

    • Caroline Cook
      Posted June 7, 2014 at 6:23 pm | Permalink

      Mr Redwood, you are omitting to tell everyone about the Lisbon Treaty and QMV. Cameron can promise a referendum until he is blue in the face as he knows that it will not happen. For those that don’t know here is the link -http://www.ukcolumn.org/forum/european-union/lisbon-treaty-force-nov-13-must-read.

  2. Lifelogic
    Posted June 7, 2014 at 6:28 am | Permalink

    Cameron’s Tories would indeed be slightly better than Ed’s Labour (with the barmy rent act and doubtless more daft employment legislation and anti business lunacy). But the difference is so slim I would rather have Ed. At least he admits that the Iraq was was a disaster and has half decent science A levels. Then we might finally get a proper Tory party and restore some real democracy again.

    Cameron is just heir to Blair, he does not even want to negotiate over free movement of people in the EU. He would clearly either rat on a referendum, or worse find some fig leafs and get a yes to stay in. Even if he were genuine his parties pro EU wing (more the half) would no let him.

    We know where Cameron’s heart and soul lie he told us and showed us, we know he does not want to become a Greater Switzerland on Sea and become twice as rich as we currently are. We know he Rats on promises on the EU and IHT, we know he introduced 299+ tax increases while claiming to be a instinctively a low tax tory, we know he likes pissing money down the drain on green crap, more endless regulations, HS2, the pigis loans, the EU, much overseas aid, benefit tourism, payments to the feckless, bloated government, a dysfunctional NHS & BBC and the rest ……..

    He simply cannot win a majority (if you look at the numbers) without a UKIP deal. He has not even managed to get a level playing field thank to his duff Libdem deal. Even a small majority would stop him as he has so many pro EU MPs who would block him over the EU. Not that he would even try.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted June 7, 2014 at 6:34 am | Permalink

      The result have been spun to suggest the problem is for Labour and the Libdems. Clearly the Libdems are dead as all their policies are wrong. But Dave is clearly a Libdem too he just pretends not to be some times.

      Still some good news Lawyers to be banned from offering Ipads etc. to recruit injury claim victims. Far more is needed – the legal cost risk/reward system encourages endless bogus claims against insurers. It makes everyone poorer but lawyers and some criminals.

      • Colin
        Posted June 7, 2014 at 12:01 pm | Permalink

        Speaking as a lawyer and a member of the Bar Council, I’ve never heard of any lawyers giving away freebies to “recruit” clients. That would certainly be contrary to our rules of professional conduct. I suspect this is one of those fictitious problems governments like to be seen “solving”.

        According to the BBC, one (one!) claims firm offers a free iPad to clients if their claim is successful, and one (one!) offers a cash advance of £2,000 if the Defendant admits liability.

        In any case it’s not lawyers doing this, it’s “claims firms”, i.e. insurance companies who sell the policy to cover costs if you lose your case. They’re the people who advertise on TV calling themselves things like “injurylawyers4u” when they’re nothing of the kind. I can certainly tell you from my own experience that actual lawyers are not making a fortune from these kinds of claims – the fees I get are the same now as they were ten years ago, except where the Government has forced them to be cut even further. Small high street law firms are going bust all over the country. We get pretty sick of hearing what “fat cats” we are as we struggle to pay our bills and our tuition fee debts.

        Incidentally, all these “no win no fee” claims firms only exist in the first place because of a government decision to abolish legal aid for personal injury claims in 1999.

        I see Grayling is also rolling out the old chestnut about fake whiplash injuries (which has about as much scientific basis as an IPCC report), and this is all to “bring down the cost of car insurance” – never mind the poor sod who can”t afford a car but gets run over by one…

        • Lifelogic
          Posted June 7, 2014 at 5:55 pm | Permalink

          There were adverts on daytime TV offering such “inducements”, I assume by intermediaries for lawyers.

          The main problem however is the risk reward balance in the courts that encourages even dubious cases. This as the risk reward and cost system is not structured sensibly. Or rather is it structure sensibly in for the interest of Lawyers and the Court system. They need a constant stream of plaintiffs to keep the money machine on the road.

          A sensible system would deter litigation in far more cases. It is wealth creation we need, not people suing each other, this just makes everyone poorer (on average) (other than the legal profession that is).

          Why on earth should the tax payers pay legal aid to lawyers and plaintiffs for bringing personal injury claims it is bonkers? If people want legal cover should have bought insurance! I do not want to provide it for them.

          The best method for things like the NHS is a no blame compensation scale that patients agree to when they go in for treatment. Or they take extra insurance if they wish too. This also saves the years of stress full and damaging litigation. It also means the hospital does not need to cover up what happened which saves future repetitions.

          • Alan Wheatley
            Posted June 8, 2014 at 8:23 am | Permalink

            In this context I think the “intermediaries for lawyers” are usually known as solicitors, who are not administered by the Bar Council.

            I popular speak, both barristers and solicitors are known as “lawyers”, but they are not the same animal.

          • Bazman
            Posted June 15, 2014 at 2:24 pm | Permalink

            If you get injured through no fault of your own you have no right to claim as you did not buy insurance to cover such an event? Not real are you?

        • Lifelogic
          Posted June 7, 2014 at 6:06 pm | Permalink

          France has about 5 times the number of lawyers (per head) as Japan, the UK about 3 times as many as France, and the USA 3 times the UK.

          Let get down to Japan levels please and get rid of 14 out of every 15 lawyers, we would all be better off as a result and all those clever lawyers could easily get far more productive and useful jobs.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted June 7, 2014 at 6:15 pm | Permalink

      The huge problem Cameron has is that he simply cannot discuss uncontrolled EU immigration which he likes, nor the EU issue in general as he has no valid arguments to put. He would just look idiotic, as Clegg did.

    • Boudicca
      Posted June 8, 2014 at 5:15 pm | Permalink

      Cameron’s told us what he will do to avoid a Referendum: he’ll resign as PM.

      If he resigns (or is sacked) his promise becomes null and void. The new PM will not need to call a GE and will not be bound by Cameron’s promise.

      Manifesto promises aren’t binding …. so the Party will simply delay the Referendum “until the new PM has settled in” … probably after the NEXT General Election.

      In 2017, Cameron will have been Party Leader for 12 years and will cheerfully step down … as Iain Martin said in his DT column last week.

  3. Mike Stallard
    Posted June 7, 2014 at 6:32 am | Permalink

    “The choice about the EU is do you want a party in government that likes the current degree of federal control and may add to it, or do you want a negotiation to see if we can cut the power of the EU followed by a popular vote on whether to stay in. ”

    As I read it, every single person in the EU with power wants “More Europe”. As Guy Verhofstadt put it so very clearly:”Our fatherland is now Europe. Our national anthem is Ode to Joy. And our flag is that of the twelve yellow stars on an azure background.”

    “A clear victory for the pro-Europeans at the 2014 elections must herald the creation of a real constituent assembly, with the aim of establishing a truly federal Europe.”

    We are facing the making of the EUSSR, we really are. (I was speaking with a Lithuanian this week who referred to his President as a Komisar!)

    If, however we just walk out, then we are breaking all sorts of treaties and it will take decades for the Europeans to agree. Lots of lawyers will get very, very rich. Those in control of our destiny will have some outstanding dinners and a smirk on their faces.

    The solution? We all seem to want a Common Market. We all seem to fear the EUSSR. Has nobody thought of joining the EFTA (and the EEC)? If not, why not?

    Only asking. (PS “Fax” is about as out of date as Telegrams, so please let nobody use that argument.)

    • Peter Davies
      Posted June 9, 2014 at 12:24 pm | Permalink

      @Mike

      You are correct. Richard North talks touches on EFTA being elevated to becoming the prime trade organisation on a level higher than the EU.

      This surely has to be the answer. legally protect trade and manage FTAs withe other trading blocks but only regulate goods and service whilst keeping ones noses out of national domestic matters.

      It seems quite a simple solution to me and would pave the way for any country who wants out of the EU to do so without the consequence of trade and/or tariff sanctions

  4. Cliff. Wokingham.
    Posted June 7, 2014 at 6:43 am | Permalink

    You make a sensible argument with your thoughts however, two things you need to take into account;

    1) I fear few people actually believe anything Mr Cameron says.

    2) A couple of decades ago, politicians were making similar arguments about The Scottish Nationalists and yet, today it looks more likely than not, the SNP are going to take Scotland out of The United Kingdom come their referendum.

    Regarding number (2); The Scots really can’t loose can they? Mr Cameron, that “great” negotiator, has already promised them more and more powers if they vote no.

    He has already told the world that he is heart and soul in favour of staying in Europe, so why should the EU give him anything?
    Sadly for us, Mr Cameron is not the EU’s chief negotiator, if he were, I am sure we’d get everything both you and I want.

    • alan jutson,
      Posted June 7, 2014 at 11:23 am | Permalink

      Cliff

      Totally agree with regard to your comments about some Politicians negotiations skills.
      All Mr Cameron ever seems to do is give things away, be it tax payers money on foreign aid or anything else.

      Mr Salmond has won, even if he loses the referendum vote.
      Like him or loath him, he has played his cards well.

      Power back from the EU, not with the Conservatives, Labour or LibDems leaders representing us in talks.

      If only the population were informed better of the real facts, we may get an out vote in any future Referendum (far from certain about that happening), but as with so may things, so may IF’s.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted June 7, 2014 at 3:19 pm | Permalink

      “few people actually believe anything Mr Cameron says”

      Indeed and why on earth would they?

      He has ratted on the Cast Iron Promise, they must surely have agreed to Darling’s silly EU bailouts after the election, they ratted on IHT (even after 2015), he claims to be a low tax Tory but has increased 299+ taxes and mugged yet again private sector pensions.

      He claims to want to reduce regulation but had done the complete opposite in huge measure. Even fixing gender neutral insurance and pension laws and now wanting to control zero hours contracts.

      He threw away the last election through incompetence. He made a duff deal with the Libdems and could not even get a fair playing field for the election in 2015.

      Anyone who thinks he will do any other than tinkering, and tiny fig leafs on the EU is totally deluded. Anyway the 70% of his party that is pro EU and the 95% that is full of green crap will not let him anyway.

      He stupidly promised “vote blue get green”. He has sensibly backtracked on that a little, but he is still pissing billions down the drain on idiotic offshore and onshore wind and PV subsidies.

      He rammed through gay marriage (of which I approve) but against the will of voters in a hugely damaging manner.

      Conservative membership has nearly halved under Cameron, the grass roots have virtually gone. The man is patently a Libdem. I think I dislike him even more than Heath and even John Major. At least he was prevented from going to disastrous wars like Bliar did no a blatant lie.

      It is perhaps not his fault. Arts graduates with little grasp of science, engineering or numeracy, and born with rich daddies so often seem to turn out this way. They become like Clegg and Cameron. Greencrap, pro EU, magic government money tree, bloated government, over regulation, dopes. They usually study History of Art, PPE or if a bit dim something like Archaeology and Anthropology or Land Economy.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted June 7, 2014 at 3:24 pm | Permalink

        For me to dislike someone more that I do (still no ERM apology) John Major takes some doing. But the pointless war on a lie Blair and now (the say one thing do the complete opposite) Cameron have both achieved it.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted June 7, 2014 at 3:31 pm | Permalink

        Was his priority not “in three letters” the N H S – hardly a mention of this dysfunctional health care, rationed at the point of need, disaster now.

      • Bazman
        Posted June 15, 2014 at 2:26 pm | Permalink

        A person such as yourself who sees ignorance as a virtue has little wriggle room.

  5. tommym
    Posted June 7, 2014 at 6:43 am | Permalink

    Surely Mr Redwood your party know exactly where UKIP are likely to gain seats,if not they certainly should know.
    Just incase they are a bit slow at HQ I’m not going to inadvertently give them any help in where to prioritise your forces.
    By the way when are any of you socalled eurosceptics going to show some guts and leave the conservatives.

  6. JimS
    Posted June 7, 2014 at 6:50 am | Permalink

    Do you want to thrash your wife within an inch of her life or ‘just rough her up a bit’?

    You give us a false choice. We have been lied to right from the start by OUR politicians. The EEC/EU has always known where it is heading but this is still being denied by our politicians.

    Why on earth would the people want ‘pooled sovereignty’ and ‘qualified majority voting’? But we get a seat ‘on the top table’ our weasels say. A seat where we always will be in the minority. Meanwhile the likes of Norway sit at the real ‘top tables’ at UN/world level, our empty seats being filled by an EU lackey. In what way does that possibly benefit we, the people of the UK?

    The point of UKIP is not to run government, it is to send a single-issue message to the mainstream politicians that the EU is a real issue. We don’t like it, we don’t want it in any shape or form.

    Stop ‘beating your wife’. It is that simple.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted June 7, 2014 at 2:49 pm | Permalink

      Indeed what is the point of “a seat at a table” we are always outvoted by people voting clearly against the UK interests.

      • bigneil
        Posted June 7, 2014 at 9:06 pm | Permalink

        And a lot of those people are from our own politicians, wanting nothing but to get on the Brussels gravy train themselves, even if they see this country sink under millions of foreigners turning this into a fourth world country, where we will be needing handouts.

  7. Anonymous
    Posted June 7, 2014 at 6:58 am | Permalink

    In a couple of words, mass immigration, John.

    For most of us that means we are going to get poor whichever way the economy goes or who’s in power. The three main parties dance around the head of a pin. Under the Blairist Conservative we even have talk of discrimination against grammar school kids for university places.

    Despite your big guns being out in the ‘stronghold’ of Newark (including the PM and Bojo) your party’s support was decimated. Let’s not forget the massive anti Farage campaign by the whole politico-media establishment. We can imagine what will happen in the run-up to a 2017 referendum organised by a pro EU ‘Conservative’ government.

    ‘Talkative’

    Still no praise then for us being talkative and using due democratic process. It is intensely frustrating that minorities are held in much more respect because they kick off when they don’t get their way.

    You don’t get it.

    Otherwise you wouldn’t be snearing at UKIP.

  8. alan jutson,
    Posted June 7, 2014 at 7:04 am | Permalink

    Yes the Conservatives won in Newark on a reduced majority with UKiP second.

    At the last General election what were the results for this seat ?

    Ask Yourself who has moved forwards.

    Given your reasoning why should Labour, the Lidems or any other Party contest any seats for the next General Election, simply because they did not win in Newark.

    No I will not be voting UKIP at the next General Election, simply because you are my MP John, and I am very happy with you representing me.

    But I do have a real problem when I vote for you, because I really do not want Mr Cameron thinking that because I vote for you, that I am also voting for him, and also agree with his policies and performance.

    You have given very good reasons why people who live locally should stand for their local area, but all Party’s are guilty of parachuting in the odd outsider (who is often a Party hack or personal favourite) and who knows next to nothing of local business, so why try to belittle UKIP or anyone else for doing what the Conservative Party do with some of their own candidates.

    Such a shame that Politics has got so tribal, it seems that I am in the minority because I vote for the candidate rather than the Party.
    But then given that many Mp’s appear to be simply sheep who seem to vote as requested, and who never seem to have a mind of their own, is it any wonder real debate seems to be rather thin on the ground, and thus choice limited.

    Reply Occasionally a candidate has to come from outside as with Newark where an election with a new Conservative candidates was not anticipated. Most candidates capable of winning these days do as I did and spend time before the election moving in, getting to know the area etc. Mr Farage has tried parachutes in two previous GEs and has failed.

    • Cliff. Wokingham
      Posted June 7, 2014 at 11:57 am | Permalink

      Alan,

      John too is my MP and I am happy with what he does. I have spoken with John (via Email) many times about the dilemma you mention, which we all face namely, how can we support our great, local MP without Mr Cameron et al thinking we endorse his leadership and the daft direction he has taken the party.

      I feel it has become tribal because, since Mr Blair, the party leader has adopted an almost presidential position and thus, all our would be politicians have to rely on the benevolence of their party leader, to get up the greasy pole; it is my belief that the concept of public service, is alien to many of our current crop of politicians and they merely do it for whatever they can get out of it; John, in my opinion, is one of a handful who appear to do it out of a sense of duty and public service.

      I feel the party system, in it’s current guise, is destroying what little democracy we still have in this country.

      Reply Thanks for the contribution. As you know I seek to do the right thing as I see it on each vote.

      • alan jutson,
        Posted June 7, 2014 at 4:54 pm | Permalink

        Cliff

        Agree with much of what you say.

        Perhaps that we can only hope that with the internet openly available to most people the wool cannot be pulled so easily over the electorates eyes.

        The problem remains that the majority of the population seem not to be interested in politics at all, and do not even bother to vote.
        What a legacy for those who fought to not only get the vote, but those who gave their lives in wars to protect it.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted June 7, 2014 at 3:36 pm | Permalink

      Indeed I tend to think UKIP should not stand in the 100 seats that have real Tory MPs and just concentrate on the rest (perhaps also in the tiny handful of Labour seats where they have a sound MP on the EU issue). That way everyone would know if there was a UKIP candidate the sitting Tory MP was simply not sound. Voters I think would respect UKIPs position.

  9. Ex-expat Colin
    Posted June 7, 2014 at 7:12 am | Permalink

    Where UKIP…indeed!

    Looking at turnout numbers…no seats at all. Appears that about 70% of the nation don’t care a fig about whats happening in the world and the impact on the UK (+/- Scotland). How did <50% suddenly turn out at Newark?

    Farage will fight in Kent as far as I understand it…Thanet somewhere? He has said its daft to stand far away from home. They have to perform a risk analysis obviously and that takes them away from your 'home in the constituency' model. Nice if you can get it.

    By voting tory for the most of my life I have recently discovered that the tories I vote along with are the wrong tories. And that is not likely to change.

    The biggest danger is Labour again, followed by more EU and USA.

    UKIP gets a wider playing field at the GE. Their fights so far are on ad hoc stands in places where the place holder was deceitful to say the very least.

    The tory party have power right now. Go tell the EU now that we will leave very soon if they don't radically change to the EEC we first voted for. Oh, I forgot…most of the electorate in UK don't care either way? Ignore Clegg et al.

    • Brian Tomkinson
      Posted June 7, 2014 at 12:40 pm | Permalink

      Colin,
      They can’t ignore Clegg, he is their excuse for not doing most of what they promised in their 2010 manifesto.

    • A different Simon
      Posted June 7, 2014 at 5:15 pm | Permalink

      “Looking at turnout numbers…no seats at all. Appears that about 70% of the nation don’t care a fig about whats happening in the world and the impact on the UK (+/- Scotland).”

      Sounds like the education system and state controlled media are working exactly as planned .

  10. Alan
    Posted June 7, 2014 at 7:17 am | Permalink

    What does it say about our democracy if a party like UKIP, that about a quarter of the electorate seem to support, cannot expect to get more than a few seats – quite possibly no seats – in the coming general election?

    The vast majority of MPs are selected either by a small group in their local party or by their party’s central leadership. They are then given a “safe” seat (Wokingham, for example, has always elected a Conservative MP, and I imagine always will), which is a job for life, unless they annoy the party leadership or their local party excessively. Most electors have no say in the matter. Only if you live in one of the few marginal constituencies are your views as an elector of any importance.

    The selection of MPs is undemocratic and the voting system does not result in a parliament that properly represents the people.

    Reply UKIP has never scored 25% and nothing like it in a General Election. When they polled 27% in an EU election they did win 24 seats (on a different system) but polls still say they are unlikely to come anywhere near 25% in a GE.

    • JoolsB
      Posted June 7, 2014 at 12:17 pm | Permalink

      Reply to reply: well UKIP managed to come second in Eastleigh coming ahead of the Tories with 27% of the vote and they managed to get 26% in Newark reducing the Tories majority by nearly half coming second as opposed to coming fourth at the last GE with something like 3-4% of the vote. Unlike the Con/Lab/Lib parties, UKIP is on the up and momentum is building. The size of swing needed in Newark for UKIP to have won has only been achieved 6 times since 1945 so the Tories shouldn’t feel too smug at holding onto Newark. Judging by what has happened so far in Eastleigh where hopefully the Lib Dums will be annihilated in the GE and in Newark this week, the Tories should very, very worried in seats where they have much smaller majorities.

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted June 7, 2014 at 6:22 pm | Permalink

        I doubt the LibDems will be “annihilated” in Eastleigh in 2015, because most of the great collapse in support for the LibDems across the country had already occurred long before that by-election in 2013 and yet they still got 32% of the votes in that particular place.

        You can see here:

        http://www.electoralcalculus.co.uk/polls.html

        that nationally the LibDem had already lost about 60% of the support they got in May 2010 by early 2011, and since then there has only been a much slower downwards drift.

    • James Matthews
      Posted June 7, 2014 at 6:36 pm | Permalink

      Further reply to reply. As you know perfectly well Mr Redwood, FPTP discourages people from voting for smaller parties at general elections (indeed at any election in which that system is used) so the turnout in the past is not a guide to real support. You obviously (rightly) believe that people are swayed by the “wasted vote” argument as you deploy ir on this blog at regular intervals with a view to persuading readers not to vote UKIP.

      Nevertheless I shall be voting UKIP in May 2015, not tactically. Many others will now do the same because we do not trust Cameroonian promises. It will be interesting to see how many votes the party gets and compare it with the number of seats. I wonder what, if any, scale of discrepancy between the two would shame the established parties into introducing a fairer voting system. Sadly, I suspect that there isn’t one.

      • Anonymous
        Posted June 7, 2014 at 10:30 pm | Permalink

        In 2010 those of us intending to vote Ukip switched to the Conservatives because the press told us how vital it was to get Labour out.

        With just 23% of the vote the Lib Dems managed to put the kybosh on many Tory policies.

        The problem is that now we’ve had four years to see the Nu Cons in action (inaction ???) we’re not going to be swayed this time.

        The vast majority of people I know who voted Ukip recently now count themselves as permanent Ukip supporters. I think that the Tories are actually underestimating the damage.

        • Anonymous
          Posted June 7, 2014 at 10:31 pm | Permalink

          “With just 23% of the vote the Lib Dems managed to put the kybosh on many Tory policies.”

          Or were they just using the Lib Dems as cover ?

          • Anonymous
            Posted June 7, 2014 at 10:34 pm | Permalink

            Would 23% of Ukip vote be given anything like the respect 23% of Lib Dem vote was ?

            Is it perhaps the case that we can any sort of politics we like, so long as it is blue with yellow stars on it ?

    • Boudicca
      Posted June 8, 2014 at 5:26 pm | Permalink

      Mr Cameron promised that appointments to the Lords would reflect the votes the Party got in 2010.

      We got 3.1% of the vote then . So why hasn’t he appointed ANY UKIP Peers?

      Because he breaks his word and can’t be trusted.

  11. Posted June 7, 2014 at 7:24 am | Permalink

    Mr Redwood I think you know full well that the only way to have a referendum on eu membership is to forge an electoral pact between the Conservative Party and UKIP.

    Yet, instead of lobbying for this obvious solution you continue to harangue potential voters.

    You are asking UKIP voters to switch their vote to a party whose leader has already stated his intention that the UK should stay a member of the eu.

    It is you and your colleagues that are jeopardizing the referendum for failing to provide voters with a clear route to this goal.

    The longer you allow this to fester the more cynical an electoral pact with UKIP will look to voters, especially those switching from other parties like Labour.

    Instead of complaining about the electorate’s choice of political party; instead of asking UKIP voters to support the PM’s goal of staying in the eu, you should be lobbying within your own party and in public for the electoral pact that is required to achieve our collective aims.

    You are wasting time attacking UKIP voters when you should be working for the common good of your constituents and the country.

  12. Roger Farmer
    Posted June 7, 2014 at 7:39 am | Permalink

    In answer to your first question, I would say many marginal conservative seats where labour do not fit naturally into the electors mind set. Nigel Farage will choose a suitable seat at his leisure. I do not see him being goaded by your first paragraph which suggests a degree of panic.
    Eastleigh is now a possibility with the Lib Dems staring at oblivion. In Newark a previous bastion of Conservative support, UKIP destroyed your previous margin in spades and pushed Labour into third place.
    I think you will find that UKIP believe in the local connection. Irrespective of your correct views on representation, there has been too much parachuting in of acceptable to the executive, career politicians. Frequently their career path has been school, university, Westminster gofer and then a seat. Labour are just as guilty.
    There is more than one way of achieving power, witness your Lib Dem partners. Do not write off a possible Conservative UKIP coalition after 2015. You might find this easier to live with than the present lot. You would have to ditch “Call me Dave”, but leadership execution has never been a Conservative problem. Remember what you did to Margaret Thatcher. A grubby episode if ever there was one.
    Your last paragraph overlooks the reality, “Call me Dave” is a Europhile. He will keep you in come what may. Brussels is not ready to give us back our country and Cameron knows this and will try to sell us the curates egg. In UKIP there is an unequivocal attitude to the EU and those unelected who run it. Seventy years ago we and many other free nations gave back Europe to it’s peoples. Now an unelected cabal in Brussels have all but succeeded in taking our country away from us. We do not like it and only UKIP offer a route out. No maybes, people like clear positive leadership and UKIP give it.
    My MP believes in out. he is a Conservative and will get my vote. So would you were I one of your constituents. Two hundred of your fellow Conservatives are sat on the wall and will go with whatever Cameron suggests and no one knows what that might be. You have every reason to worry about UKIP.

    Reply I supported Margaret Thatcher right up to the end.

  13. Lesley
    Posted June 7, 2014 at 7:44 am | Permalink

    If the result of a referendum were to be ‘ Stay In’ , the politicos then have to renegotiate the terms of the E U club if it were a close run result, then it’s about the same as the Scottish thing and the UK has to give a bit more on the DevoMax. I don’t think that anyone would be happy with either of these senarios.

  14. MickN
    Posted June 7, 2014 at 7:45 am | Permalink

    John,
    I have voted at every opportunity since passing the age where I could. That is now 40 years. In that time there have been two occasions where I have regretted the way that I voted. Firstly I voted to stay in the Common Market as it was then and secondly as a member of the Conservative party to elect David Cameron as leader. The first I put down to the ignorance of youth but I am not sure about the latter.

    I have voted Conservative at every election bar the last two.

    In the last General Election I voted Conservative. I understand the “all in it together” bit, but I am appalled at the ring fencing of billions of pounds in foreign aid some of which goes to countries that have space programs and the like whilst we are all having to tighten our belts here. I also object to being insulted and called a fruitcake or a closet racist because my views on the issue of Europe are more akin to those being espoused by UKIP and dare I say yourself. The redefining of the word “marriage” was the final straw for me and I hold David Cameron responsible for all of these issues.

    I actually think that rather than me having left the Tories they have left me. I know the arguments that we should vote Tory or Milliband will be the next PM and my head says you are correct, but I am of an age now where I think I shall vote with my heart instead.

    My heart tells me that if I vote for UKIP next year we may well get a Labour government, but that could be a price worth paying if we then get a new leader and a Conservative party back that I feel I can support once more. I am sure I am not alone.

    • JoolsB
      Posted June 7, 2014 at 12:19 pm | Permalink

      Well said, I think your eloquent words speak for many of us!

    • Eddie Hill
      Posted June 7, 2014 at 2:26 pm | Permalink

      “I actually think that rather than me having left the Tories they have left me. ”

      Exactly right – the Conservative Party no longer conserves anything that I recognise as my country and has a liberal outlook on everything.

      Cameron is not to be trusted on a referendum and also demonstrably wants to stay in the EU, so isn’t going to have his heart and soul behind a fair test of the country’s feeling on the matter. He will ignore any sentiment he doesn’t agree with.

      ” ……….. if I vote for UKIP next year we may well get a Labour government, but that could be a price worth paying if we then get a new leader and a Conservative party back that I feel I can support once more.”

      Exactly – MickN, well said; you are not alone.

    • M Davis
      Posted June 7, 2014 at 2:31 pm | Permalink

      You most certainly are not alone, MickN, I am an ex Tory too, along with many others, I’m sure. I cannot see anything at all on the horizon, that will change my mind between now and the next Election.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted June 7, 2014 at 7:57 pm | Permalink

        A deal with UKIP is the only sensible plan, otherwise Miliband it is. It cannot be that much worse than Cameron and is surely better than being kicked in the teeth by Cameron a second time.

      • Chris
        Posted June 7, 2014 at 9:16 pm | Permalink

        I am an ex Tory too, and will not return to the “Conservative” party which Cameron has now moulded/engineered. It bears little resemblance to what grassroots feel is true conservatism, and there is no sound ideological basis. Cameron’s policies seemed to be focus group led. As there is only contempt displayed by Cameron for those grassroots, there is no hope or realistic prospect of grassroots returning and UKIP will continue to beckon.

        With regards to some comments above about the power of the EU, it is worth reading the eureferendum blog article today (EU regulation: crossing the line) which focuses on another loss of power to the EU, which Richard North regards as of huge significance. It however gets no attention in the media, nor do politicians dare, I suspect, highlight this fundamental takeover of power from the UK.

        • Denis Cooper
          Posted June 8, 2014 at 11:31 am | Permalink

          Looking at the Commission document I note this:

          “In order to further improve workers’ health and safety as requested by the Treaty (Articles 153 and 156), the Commission should take sustained policy action in cooperation with the Member States.”

          Like the EU’s Court of Justice the EU Commission will place its own interpretation on what is “requested by the Treaty”, that is to say what is requested by the sovereign member states who made that treaty, and those EU institutions created by the member states will always make their interpretation in the light of the solemn commitment to “ever closer union” which the original six countries put into the very first line of their 1957 Treaty of Rome, which is still there and was reiterated in the Maastricht Treaty.

          To the extent that these EU institutions are only doing what the governments of the EU member states have “requested” them to do they cannot be accused of power-grabbing or otherwise faulted; as I said recently when the Commission produced a report on the UK economy it was not in fact unilaterally poking its nose in, instead it was dutifully performing a task assigned to it by the UK and the other EU member states through their Maastricht Treaty.

  15. acorn
    Posted June 7, 2014 at 7:51 am | Permalink

    A first past the post, (plurality) voting system, eventually ends up with a two dominant party election system. Newark I would say, shows how in such a system, with so little voter choice, you don’t vote for people to change an outcome, but you have to vote against people.

    “My lifelong Labour mum is voting Tory today to keep Ukip out of Newark” [...] “A lot of our voters had transferred to vote against Ukip to make sure Ukip didn’t get elected,” David Watts, the Lib Dem candidate, (Guardian 6/6/14).

    It is not in the interest of the dominant parties politicians to change this system. It is much more difficult to be a career politician in other electoral systems.

    “Incumbent MPs may take heart from the fact that in 12 of the last 17 elections, 90% or more seats stayed with the party defending them. Even in Labour’s massive 1997 victory more than 70% of seats remained with the incumbent party” (BBC News). The BBC has picked out 49 constituencies from the top hundred marginals, they reckon will swing the 2015 election. Is it likely the Newark affect will show up again? If it does, could we forecast the 2015 election result now. ;-) .

  16. Freeborn John
    Posted June 7, 2014 at 7:54 am | Permalink

    The objective for eurosceptics is not an eu referendum but rather EU exit, with the former only a means to that end. If Cameron wins next year he plans to set back that end by possibly decades by leading a yes campaign to stay in a largely unreformed EU with so little cosmetic change that even Nick Clegg feels comfortable about the plan.

    I can say with 100% certainty I will vote UKIP in 2015 to get rid of Cameron as a clear message that either you conservatives demand massive powers back from the EU or continue on as you have done since Maastrict 1992 losing election after election. You are steadily and deservedly being replaced as a party of power as UKIP rises to fill the void left by LibLabCon passivity on the EU issue. The key issue for Conservatives in 2015 is not the election but who to elect as a new leader in the aftermath who might be credible enough on the EU issue to have any chance of winning in 2020.

    • Anonymous
      Posted June 7, 2014 at 10:43 pm | Permalink

      …or bring about a catastrophic ending rather than this never ending catastrophe.

      If we’re going to be EU let’s do it now and let’s do it properly. Turn Westminster into a museum.

    • Boudicca
      Posted June 8, 2014 at 5:34 pm | Permalink

      Well said.

  17. Denis Cooper
    Posted June 7, 2014 at 8:03 am | Permalink

    Since you expressly ask for views on this party political matter, JR, I will offer mine:

    a) It is rather unlikely that UKIP will actually win any seats in 2015, and far more likely that they will only come second in a number of constituencies; but

    b) This would not be a good outcome in what is supposed to be a democracy.

    My reasoning is that although general support for UKIP has now increased to the point where it should be able to win a number of carefully targeted seats the other parties will collude to prevent that happening by encouraging tactical voting of the kind which has clearly happened in Newark, where it seems that about a third of those who were initially minded to vote Labour were induced to vote Tory instead in order to ensure that UKIP was blocked.

    My evidence for that is not merely the anecdotal evidence reported in the media but the evolution of the levels of support for the various parties during the campaign as evinced by two opinion polls and the final vote; despite everything that was thrown at UKIP in the constituency and in the national mass media its support was only slightly eroded from 28% to 26%, but on the other hand support for Labour fell by 9% from 27% to 18% while support for the Tories rose by 9% from 36% to 45%.

    If UKIP is to ever do better than coming second in UK parliamentary elections it is going to have to find ways to defeat the collusive efforts of the other parties to make sure that it is always blocked.

    Here are the data:

    First Survation poll, fieldwork May 27-28:

    http://survation.com/newark-by-election-poll-survation-the-sun/

    Tories 36%
    UKIP 28%
    Labour 27%
    LibDem 5%

    Second Survation poll, fieldwork June 2-3:

    http://survation.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/Newark-poll-2.pdf

    Tories 42%
    UKIP 27%
    Labour 22%
    LibDem 4%

    Actual results of election June 5:

    Tories 45%
    UKIP 26%
    Labour 18%
    LibDem 3%

    • Anonymous
      Posted June 7, 2014 at 10:53 pm | Permalink

      Denis

      I see it as my duty NOT to vote Tory. It’s the only part of the establishment which I can kick as it is the only party I’d supported up until now.

      Having a UKIP candidate to vote for during my revolt is a bonus.

      It’s game over for Britain really. There is no way UKIP can save us so your excellent analysis is as academic as it looks.

      • Anonymous
        Posted June 8, 2014 at 8:58 am | Permalink

        Lo and behold…

        A few hours after I write this Peter Hitchens reports on the vast numbers of refugees making their way to Spain (our unguarded southern border) from Africa. They’ve all heard about England. It is the promised land.

        “We will have to wait for immigration reform until after the next election…”

        So we are being bribed to vote Conservative with a jam-tomorrow promise to discuss sealing our borders. Since when did such a basic function as border control become an election gimmick ?

        Why aren’t our borders being sealed as an emergency NOW ?

        Here is all the proof you need that David Cameron will do nothing now so will do nothing then and will drag us kicking and screaming into the EUSSR.

        Rather like Labour it suits to replace the old constituency with a new one. Hence we have vast levels of ‘European’ mass immigration.

        Dr Redwood. I have read all of your commenters on this thread and it seems that 99% are against your party.

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted June 8, 2014 at 12:07 pm | Permalink

        It will indeed be very difficult for UKIP to save us when almost all of the mass media are only too happy to collaborate with UKIP’s enemies in a systematic relentless campaign to vilify UKIP in general and Nigel Farage in particular. By my rough calculation about 3500 of the Newark electors decided that they would not vote Labour as they had originally intended, instead on this occasion they would vote Tory “to stop UKIP”. It would be interesting to know how many of them were finally swayed by the Daily Mirror running a front page story on polling day to insinuate that Nigel Farage had been cheating on his wife in Malta, when any decent editor would have known this was a fabrication and refused to print it.

    • Boudicca
      Posted June 8, 2014 at 5:37 pm | Permalink

      And in so doing, LibLabCON demonstrated very clearly what we have been saying for a long time:

      they are effectively 3 branches of the same party: the Party of The British Establishment. They are determined to maintain the status quo, using the electoral process to ensure that our “Democracy” denies any but the approved parties from gaining power.

      I consider it my duty to vote against that.

  18. Antisthenes
    Posted June 7, 2014 at 8:04 am | Permalink

    The rise of UKIP indicates a number of unsettling things.

    1) Voters are not happy with the current political system(UKIP is really only a protest party); representative democracy is no longer fit for service. A system that involves much more direct representation is now needed to curb the excesses of many of the politicians that the current system allows(absolutism taken away from monarchs is now becoming embedded in governments especially left wing ones .
    2) UKIP is splitting the vote that seriously undermines the ability of the Conservatives and therefore the right to form the next government that the UK so desperately needs to continue the good work that the coalition despite the Lib-Dims have started. Another Labour government will be disastrous for the country and voting for UKIP may well ensure that happens.

    To UKIP’s credit Farage’s plain speaking is exposing the deceit and obfuscation of spin. Also the EU question is more to the forefront of voters minds and it is tackling the establishments especially of the lefts taboos on debating issues that they rather would not be.

    • Anonymous
      Posted June 7, 2014 at 11:00 pm | Permalink

      Antithsenes

      And continuing mass immigration under the Tories is not disasterous for our country ?

      Are you confusing our new housing bubble with economic recovery ?

      In one or two decades just how peaceful and unified do you think this nation is going to be ? As minority interest group after interest group take to the streets to redress ‘iniquities’ (as has happened in the past) ?

  19. Peter van Leeuwen
    Posted June 7, 2014 at 8:11 am | Permalink

    As a foreigner, this blog reads: “you (UKIP) make no chance in our democratic system, so leave it to us”. But why is the system itself not put into question or put up for reform? The Mother of Parliaments, comprising one unelected and one unrepresentative House, has of course its attractions in the local contacts between MPs and some of their voters. But why does it only take one election in the Netherlands for minority opinions to be represented in parliament and does it take 20 years or more in the case of UKIP? Is this what you want? Would a system like in Scotland not help you to make your democracy more representative?

    • JoeSoap
      Posted June 7, 2014 at 11:08 am | Permalink

      Absolutely correct, and it can be argued that strong UKIP support in 2015 without significant seats will show up our system as being undemocratic, which in itself is one step towards a UKIP aim of improving democracy viz direct democracy in the UK.
      If the price to pay is a year or two of Miliband E while the Tory party re groups so be it – another benefit compared to rumbling on in this way.

    • Uri
      Posted June 7, 2014 at 11:20 am | Permalink

      Peter,

      Witnessing the undemocratic results of coalition government here where all manifesto commitment bets are off when a coalition is formed and what comes out the other end is a travesty of commitments made to voters for their votes, first past the post has something to offer.

      Ukip will not compromise on its aims and our potential coalition partners are either solidly europhile or plastic eurosceptics whose apparent scepticism fools no one so proportional representation buys us the ability to work with parties we are diametrically opposed to, how does that work?

      To JR: In general, respect. In this matter, you are supporting your leader’s worthless pledges and making it harder to achieve the real change this sorry country needs.

      • Peter van Leeuwen
        Posted June 7, 2014 at 5:01 pm | Permalink

        @Uri: You make it sound as if without (the need of) coalitions, election manifestos are always fulfilled. Not from my observation through the decades of UK politics.

        • Uri
          Posted June 8, 2014 at 9:58 pm | Permalink

          @Peter You are correct but the last thing we should be giving our politicians are reasons/excuses to break their promises. It destroys trust.

    • libertarian
      Posted June 7, 2014 at 2:03 pm | Permalink

      Peter,

      For once I totally agree with you 100%. The laughable “mother of parliaments” is one of the most undemocratic systems on the planet. Our government is entirely chosen. One house made up of donors, celebrities and ex politicians and the government is chosen by the monarch. We get to vote for a constituency apparatchik mostly with no local connection put there by party head office.

      Mr Redwood like most of his colleagues in Westminster still can’t see the wood for the trees. In the age of social media, freedom of communication and access to facts the majority of the people of the UK are sick and tired of the rubbish tribal politics, delusional politicians and the media circus that attends it.

      UKIP are a protest vote, the only way we can tell you that you need to change. The trouble is non of you listen. Tory party membership has collapsed, the Lib Dems have been wiped out as a party and labour are sliding in the same direction yet STILL none of you have even ONE idea to reengage with a disenfranchised electorate.

      Tell you what John you keep playing the old 20th century tribal politics and we a large number of the voters will keep voting for disruptive parties until you HAVE to change

    • Bill
      Posted June 7, 2014 at 2:32 pm | Permalink

      I guess you have already heard the answer to this. The current Westminster system does mean that governments tend to be formed by the largest party without having to do invisible deals with other parties. The notion that lots of small parties are elected and then in various ways combine together to form a government leaves additional power in the hands of politicians and takes power away from the people. The people do not know which combination of parties will eventually emerge with a majority.

      Proportional representation therefore increases the power of party bosses and reduces the power of the people.

      • Peter van Leeuwen
        Posted June 7, 2014 at 4:58 pm | Permalink

        @Bill: such a “largest party” may have less than 30% of the popular vote, ignoring the 70%. Is that democratic? Coalitions (>50% of popular vote) have clearly visible government programs subject to parliament (the people’s representatives) approval, much more democratic. I believe that in the Netherlands voters do have more power than in the UK.

        • Bill
          Posted June 7, 2014 at 8:33 pm | Permalink

          You may be right. I can foresee a day when digital technology will be harnessed to allow public opinion to be consulted accurately and frequently at the press of a button. The problem would be, if this happened, that we would be at the mercy of the (mis)information swirling around in the media. In the end most people want to trust their representatives to make decisions on their behalf and so what matters is the integrity and intelligence of the MPs.

          So would you get a better quality of MP with proportional representation? I am not convinced.

          The old Greek idea of a place where representatives of the people tested their policies in argument and public debate seems to me to be best, and this is what our Parliaments are meant to give us.

          • Peter van Leeuwen
            Posted June 8, 2014 at 6:08 am | Permalink

            It’s difficult to make claims about the quality of MPs, for one, our public debates (with more minority viewpoints expressed) are not in English but Dutch. Most visible differences are female representation (42% versus 22% in H.o.C) and seniority (as an example 16 years versus 48 years in UK for the father of the house). We like new faces every 10 years or so.

    • Boudicca
      Posted June 8, 2014 at 5:43 pm | Permalink

      Peter: they don’t want it more representative. They use the electoral system to retain control and deny democracy.

  20. Brian Tomkinson
    Posted June 7, 2014 at 8:13 am | Permalink

    JR: “Those of us serious about winning and holding Westminster seats live and work in the area we want to represent before standing for election.”

    How does your new MP in Newark match up to those requirements? According to Wikipedia : ” A solicitor by profession, immediately before being elected to parliament in 2014 Jenrick was a director of Christie’s, the fine art auctioneers. ..In November 2013, Jenrick was selected as his party’s prospective parliamentary candidate for Newark. The Jenricks bought the Grade I listed Eye Manor in Eye, Herefordshire, for £1.1  million in 2009.[6] They also own a £2.8 million house in Vincent Square, Westminster, and a £2.1 million flat in Marylebone, as well as renting a property in Southwell, Newark.”

    I suppose you, along with all your Parliamentary colleagues, made the mandatory 3 visits to Newark during the campaign. I think the election expenses will require specific scrutiny when they are submitted. You may want to take an army into one of your safest seats and have the Prime Minister visit 4 times in order to prevent the embarrassment of defeat but in 11 months time you won’t be able to do that across all the constituencies and you know it, hence your concern about where UKIP thinks there will be a chance of them winning.

    • JoeSoap
      Posted June 7, 2014 at 11:12 am | Permalink

      Yes classic Tory PPC material, which is why the Tories will continue to be dead and buried in most constituencies north of Potters Bar. How many of his Newark constituents have a Grade 1 manor and a flat in Westminster? It isn’t envy, it’s just not representative of the populace!

  21. Brian Tomkinson
    Posted June 7, 2014 at 8:23 am | Permalink

    JR: “UKIP will break their key promise next time as they have in every other election they have fought.”
    How can they have broken a promise if they were never in a position to implement it? Now, contrast that with your party which has broken too many promises to list here from a position of government.
    When you write: “The worry for many of us Eurosceptics is the way a modest UKIP vote in May 2015 could still thwart us from the renegotiation and referendum we need to settle the EU issue.” What you really mean is that your party might be removed from office. Peddling the old Wilson technique of “renegotiation and referendum” might have worked in 1975 but it didn’t foool me then and your duplicitous leader doesn’t fool me now. Your party has no intention of taking us out of the EU and you know it.

    Reply The Conservatives have not won a General Election since 1992!

    • Duyfken
      Posted June 7, 2014 at 11:11 am | Permalink

      JR: “The Conservatives have not won a General Election since 1992!” With the exclamation, you seem almost to say that proudly, but what a miserable record to which to confess.

      Rather than reading of your contempt for UKIP, I would far prefer to learn what in practical terms you and your self-styled “Eurosceptic” Tory colleagues are doing (and not just saying) to convince defectors such as myself that you can provide full restitution of this country’s sovereignty. So far, your efforts appear to have had minimal effect.

    • Brian Tomkinson
      Posted June 7, 2014 at 12:30 pm | Permalink

      Reply to reply,
      There you go again pretending that your party is not leading the current coalition government. What’s the problem are you ashamed of their performance?

  22. Hope
    Posted June 7, 2014 at 8:29 am | Permalink

    What a load of tosh. First you have broken your new rules on this site by your emotional reaction. Take your frustration out on the failed inept leadership of your party.

    2010 was the most easiest election to win, yet Cameron and the Tory party resoundingly failed against the most loathed politician in living memory, although the polls state Clegg has taken over from him. If he does not know what he stands for after leading your party for about 9 years when will he? It should be no surprise the public feel the same. The Tories will not win the next election whatever the number of MPs they might have. So they will have no voice. Their efforts will be on the swing seats, but this will not help with UKIP growing throughout the country. Your party/cartel is in panic. We saw this from the smear campaign.

    Tories have not been in power for 21 years, during the last four have blamed the LibDems for everything they have failed to do. Cameron is still unable to let us know what he is renegotiating, he could not tell us what he stood for four years ago. This was about party change more than any national interest. Who would negotiate giving the LibDems 50 percent of control in government for 9 percent of seats, what a negotiator.

    Steve Harper went alone and formed a reformed Conservative party. That Tories will have to go through the same.

    There is no significant difference between the LibLabCon cartel. Have seen this over the last 4 years, borrow and waste continues, the deficit is still adding to the debt, a housing bubble created to help, more EU and more money sent to the EU, bailing out EU countries, giving the EU more of our taxes to spend on overseas aid, allowing our citizens to be arrested and taken anywhere under any judicial system, mass immigration continues with no control over the quality off quantity of people coming here, (words left out ed), gay marriage, anti Christian actions, state press regulation, raiding of personal bank accounts without warrant or legal challenge, listening to our phone calls and computer traffic without legal process. The list of failings is endless for a Tory supporter.

    You really need to concentrate using all your energy to change your party or make a break away reform party like Steve Harper did. Cameron and his Euro fanatics have wrecked your party’s credibility in what they stand for- no one knows what it is. Time for change.

    Reply I have not broken my own rules. I said I will not post VOTE for X messages and party slogans which come from party site. This post is very different from Vote Conservative leaflets.

  23. Sarah wood
    Posted June 7, 2014 at 8:33 am | Permalink

    I feel sure that Nigel Farage will go for a seat in Kent. He is from Kent and in most of the county UKIP came out top of the polls, so he is spoilt for choice really. He will want to go for a marginal seat which didn’t apply in Newark, and I don’t think he had high expectations of winning there. One of the problems with the G.E. is that the electorate tend to vote for the person and not the party. If they have a good constituency MP they will keep on voting for him without considering what the party really stands for. I think that has happened a lot in the past with the Lib Dems. The Conservatives in Newark got their man in early so that the people got to know him before the election there was called and so he had an advantage. I think the people no longer trust the three main parties as they are all the same and make promises they do not keep. The Conservatives would have been better to have chosen David Davis as their leader. I think Cameron is completely untrustworthy and will find every excuse not to call a referendum. Look what happened to the Lisbon Treaty. Say no more.

  24. Posted June 7, 2014 at 8:39 am | Permalink

    Do you really mean wither as in to dry up or to shrivel? Or do you mean whither as in ‘to what place’? Or where is UKIP going?

    PS You don’t need to publish this. I’m just asking!

    • JoeSoap
      Posted June 7, 2014 at 11:15 am | Permalink

      I think it was supposed to be a faux double entendre, which in itself breaks the host’s rule of a week ago of not slagging off other parties!

    • Jeremy Hummerstone
      Posted June 13, 2014 at 10:27 pm | Permalink

      Wishful thinking, perhaps.

  25. Denis Cooper
    Posted June 7, 2014 at 8:40 am | Permalink

    In case anyone thinks I am fantasising about the extent of tactical voting in Newark, despite the numerical evidence given above, I offer some additional thoughts.

    Firstly, I recall Diane Abbott saying on TV that the first thing she learnt in the Labour party was the paramount need to always KEEP THE TORY OUT.

    Secondly, it is notorious that in 1997 there was widespread collusion between Labour and the LibDems, as a local example with Labour agreeing not to campaign hard in Newbury and instead leave that for the LibDems to win while the LibDems would go easy in Reading and instead leave those two seats for Labour to win, in all three cases to KEEP THE TORY OUT which is in fact what happened.

    Thirdly, there have been and still are repeated suggestions that UKIP and the Tories should collude in different ways, the proposal usually being that UKIP should just stand aside to allow a favoured Tory get elected, or to allow the Tories to take out a particular Labour or LibDem MP, but sometimes with UKIP being offered a quid pro quo in other constituencies where the Tories would allow UKIP a free run.

    So such collusive arrangements between parties, either tacit or explicit, covert or overt, are not only conceivable but actually happen; what has changed recently is that as UKIP has started to eat into the support of the two “left wing” parties as well the support for the “right wing” Tory party all three of the old pro-EU parties now see a strong common interest in stopping its progress and so all three are now much more willing to help each other out in doing that.

    Reply There was no evidence of Labour helping out the Conservatives in Newark!

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted June 7, 2014 at 1:35 pm | Permalink

      I’ve seen no evidence that Labour actively helped the Tories in Newark, or that there was any kind of agreement between them. But then with Tories swarming over the constituency telling all and sundry that they should vote Tory if they wanted to stop UKIP winning there was little need for Labour to do anything more than passively accept that some of their supporters were being seduced by another party and do nothing to try to counter that, and then quietly take one for the team when their own share of the votes was cut back. Of course that passive approach in the constituency itself was not replicated on the national level, where Labour is part of the cross-party effort to vilify UKIP in the mass media, and as I understand Labour did put out their own leaflets with lies about UKIP.

    • Posted June 8, 2014 at 6:52 am | Permalink

      ” There was no evidence of Labour helping out the Conservatives in Newark!”

      Maybe not from the party organisation but Labour, and Lib Dem, voters would have helped out on their own initiative.

      In a first past the post system, the contest, if there is one, is nearly always between the two leading candidates. In the early days of the election campaign it may not be obvious to everyone just who those two candidates are. Voting intentions, as measured by pollsters then, will better reflect the first choice of voters.

      As the campaign gets underway it does become much more obvious. Therefore the votes of the other candidates become squeezed as voters increasingly discard their initial choice and vote for either of these first two.

      That is bound to happen in the GE too, as voters become more sophisticated.

      My worry is that the Eurosceptic campaign is tarnished by the toxic nature of UKIP’s other policies. There’s plenty of support for a referendum amongst Labour Party supporters, many of whom could be persuaded to tactically vote Tory, maybe just this once, if the arguments for the referendum are based on the economic failure of the EU and Eurozone and not just on levels of immigration.

  26. Bryan
    Posted June 7, 2014 at 9:06 am | Permalink

    Given that the Conservatives threw the kitchen sink at Newark it was hardly a surprise that UKIP did not win it.

    With regards to Mr Farage he may or not stand in either Folkestone or Thanet. He has a half decent chance in either.

    My strong inclination is that UKIP have a good chance in Dover which switched to Labour with Mr Blair and back to Conservative in 2010.

    The local Conservative Council is poor, the area suffers more than most from illegal immigrants, and the MP is less than dynamic – in my eyes anyway.

    Mr Cameron says ‘I get it’ but unfortunately he is unsure of what it is he is supposed to ‘get’. If UKIP wakes him up to the English dilemma which confronts him and which he has yet to embrace then Mr Farage will have served a useful purpose and can henceforth be ignored.

    • Boudicca
      Posted June 8, 2014 at 5:51 pm | Permalink

      I very much doubt that it will be possible to ignore Mr Farage – unless he chooses to be ignored by leaving UKIP/politics.

      But we have some very good people coming along to replace him if he decides it is time to hang up the megaphone.

  27. Posted June 7, 2014 at 9:27 am | Permalink

    Mr. Redwood,

    If you intend to write about another political party than your own, it would be good to take a more dispassionate line than you have managed here.

    For a start, political parties which are withering tend to be the old tired parties, like the old leaves on a tree, where the sap has long dried up and nothing fresh or new is possible.

    Is it true that UKIP crave attention? It is a party certainly seeking support from the electorate, just as does your own, but I would suggest that it is the other parties which focus attention on UKIP, either because they wish to denigrate its success because they feel threatened by it, or by spreading individual foibles, true and untrue about its leadership, hope to halt its advance.

    Let us be truthful, by all means. Has UKIP been fighting Parliamentary seats at Westminster for twenty years? I do not think so.

    Were the seats at Eastleigh and Newark really favourable to the challenger? Eastleigh was won by the massive input of postal votes organised by the LibDems before the campaign began. Newark was won by the Conservative Party with the help of Labour and LibDem voters voting Conservative and a massive input of money and personal support from government ministers on an unprecedented scale in a so-called ‘safe’ seat. Even so, the Conservative majority halved.

    Do you maintain that the successful candidate has spent time and effort over a long period in Newark? Your claim is laughable.

    The worry for so-called Eurosceptics in your party is that UKIP will continue to expose the deceitfulness of those saying one thing and doing another. The real choice is between those who want a return to the rule of law and our historic constitution and those who are content with rule by foreign bureaucrats. False referenda have no part to play.

    John Wrake.

    Reply Of course Newark is an exception to the usual practice of an individual moving in and learning about an area for years before an election, because we were not expecting the loss of the incumbent MP and therefore did not have an understudy ready.

    • Brian Tomkinson
      Posted June 7, 2014 at 12:57 pm | Permalink

      Reply to reply,
      More obfuscation. The selection was made on 1 November 2013 and as ConservativeHome publishedabout the selection process: “A local businessman, Cllr Lloyd sits on the Town and District councils and leads the Conservative group on Newark Town Council. Of the four, he is the only clearly local candidate.”
      You could have chosen a local candidate but preferred to parachute in Mr Jenrick.

    • libertarian
      Posted June 7, 2014 at 2:17 pm | Permalink

      Dear John

      After a rough piece of research I’ve found that more than 65% of current Tory MP’s had NO connection to the constituency they represent prior to being appointed as the candidate. Of the the others quite often I wasn’t able to determine so have then given them the benefit of the doubt. I live and work in Kent. I live in one constituency and own businesses in 3 others of the 4 NONE of the current Tory MP’s has ANY connection prior to election.

    • Ray Veysey
      Posted June 8, 2014 at 11:46 am | Permalink

      As is usual for you, and all MP’s your responses are always specific about one little point in the comment choosing to ignore the real questions posed.

  28. JoolsB
    Posted June 7, 2014 at 9:34 am | Permalink

    John,
    As someone who has been a lifelong Conservative voter/activist and spent months knocking on doors for them in 2010, I suppose I can now call myself a UKIP contributor. The First past the post system is always going to favour Labour and the Conservatives which is why they so vehemently want to keep it but as much as I loathe and despise Labour and dread the thought of them forming a government in 2015, there is no way I can vote for the present pro-Europe, anti-English Conservative party, two things which UKIP are not.

    After all, if the Tories really want to enhance their chances of forming a majority in 2015, they could always address the English Question which would finally give England parity with the rest of the UK and the government of their choosing just as the Scots, Welsh & NI are allowed the government of their choosing after they have already voted (England only gets one vote) to decide who governs England. England gave the Tories a 63 seat majority in 2010 yet England, and it is mostly England, is stuck with this pathetic, useless coalition and the most duplicitous and petulant party ever, the Lib Dums, interfering and over-riding Tory manifesto promises which only affect England.

    The present bunch of ‘Tories’ are a spineless bunch. Yes, England could end up with a Labour Government again in 2015 even if it doesn’t vote for them and no doubt if that happens the Tories will stand by and say and do absolutely nothing just as they did in 2010, 2005 when they won the popular vote in England and 2004 when tuition fees were forced on England alone thanks to Scottish MPs (and Welsh) voting for them. Brown, the unelected, unaccountable and self annointed destructor of England, who had already signed the Scottish Claim of Rights swearing to put Scotland before all others, was allow to legislate on all matters affecting England when bizarrely he had absolutely no say on devolved matters for his own constituents or anyone in Scotland and not a word of protest, not a whimper, from the Tory opposition. After all, to them, it’s better to lose the election and hand England over to a party it didn’t vote for and continue with a union which discriminates against the biggest part of it and treats the majority of their constituents as fourth class citizens than no union at all isn’t it? No difference there to Labour and the Lib Dums then. Only difference is without England, the Tories would cease to exist so why they have this death wish and hatred of England is the biggest mystery of all.

    Before you start blaming UKIP for losing the next election, why don’t you persuade your ‘there’s Scottish blood coursing through these veins’ PM who thinks we are all sour little Englanders and your Tory colleagues who have trouble even saying the word England let alone stand up for it that a good start would be to address the rotten deal his and their English constituents are getting constitutionally and financially from their beloved union and then and only then might people like me start voting for you again.

    • Mark B
      Posted June 7, 2014 at 7:23 pm | Permalink

      Its no mystery.

      When you have tribal voters who will always turn out for their parties in a GE, you can afford to be both complacent and, arrogant.

      If these tribal voters knew how much those in power despise them, I wounder if they would still hold their noses and vote for them, or do the decent thing, and send them packing.

  29. Posted June 7, 2014 at 9:37 am | Permalink

    Along with “Wither UKIP”, another question to be asked is “Wither the Conservative Party”.
    I’m a pessimist but nevertheless regard Newark as a good result for UKIP.
    This was the 44th safest seat held by the Tories, and as they have 305 MPs, this means that there are 261 seats which are presumably less safe. UKIP more than halved the Tory majority at Newark in spite of the Tories pouring in resources with most of their MPs, prospective MPs and local councillors all canvassing.
    Clearly they won’t be able to do this at a General Election and one wonders what might have happened without all those resources. What is going to happen in the genuine Tory marginals rather than in a relatively safe seat?
    One problem that the Tories have is that their argument “Vote UKIP, get Miliband” doesn’t work with most UKIP supporters. So many voters find it difficult to distinguish between Tory and Labour policies except for various trivial matters. Certainly on the issue of the EU, both leaders want to remain in the EU, Cameron will try to renegotiate on some of the issues of concern, but regardless of the outcome he has made it clear that he will support a “stay in” vote in a referendum.
    But the best news for me from Newark was that the LibDems came bottom of the poll, below both an independent and the Greens, losing their deposit!

    Reply The Conservative majority fell partly because turnout fell. There was a Con-UKIP and a Con-Labour swing, but despite both these features the Conservative majority was 20% of those voting.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted June 7, 2014 at 1:23 pm | Permalink

      The Con-UKIP and Con-Labour swings were in opposite directions, and the latter partly cancelled out the former! Take away all the Labour, and to a lesser extent now LibDem, supporters holding their noses and voting Tory just to stop UKIP, and the Tory majority would have been half what it was.

  30. Mark B
    Posted June 7, 2014 at 9:41 am | Permalink

    I am not a UKIPer. So I’ll pass on the questions.

    Thanks.

    Nice to know that you were someone who was part of the constituency, rather than just parachuted in, as so often is the case. Or that you were on a ‘preferred’ list, due to your gender and/or creed.

    There are those that want a referendum, almost at any price, even when, by there own admission, they cannot have a hope in hell of winning it. They are far clever than me but, because its something that they really want and desire, they naturally, and quite understandably, will buy whatever promises are made to them. Irrespective or not, whether those that are making said promises can be relied upon to keep them once re-elected. Which is a big ask for some !

    Then you have those, like myself, who simply feel that no matter what, you cannot trust people who have been, shall we say, economical with the actualité. Best rid of them, I say !

    And then you have some, who will believe what they are told, because they have been largely ignorant, due to lack of information, or completely misinformed.

    There is no Constitutional need for a referendum. You cannot get back powers from the EU. Not ever. Not never. The only way, and it is the only way, is to leave.

    So, to my mind, this is all a bluff. People will vote, not because they want a referendum but, on the things that actually affect their lives and, the EU is seen, quite wrongly in my opinion, as remote and unconnected to their lives. I would argue therefore, that this is a ruse to take votes from UKIP and try to get a majority Conservative Government which, will campaign, even by their own admission, to remain IN the EU, whatever.

    If you, Mr. Redwood MP sir, seriously think that I will lend my vote to the LibLabCon and even UKIP, who do not have an exit plan, you have really made the wrong calculation.

    Back to the drawing board with you. I am no fool !

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted June 7, 2014 at 2:26 pm | Permalink

      There is no legal or constitutional requirement for a referendum before we leave the EU, and nor in my view is there any moral or ethical requirement.

      I would have a different attitude about the latter if we were still under the same terms as in 1975; then I would say that what has been directly approved by the people in a referendum should not be altered except with their direct approval in another referendum.

      But where we are now with the EU is far removed from where we were with the EEC at the time of the previous referendum, and that principle has already been broken by those responsible for making such major changes to the contract that was approved in 1975.

  31. Posted June 7, 2014 at 10:02 am | Permalink

    First of all, I write this as a Conservative supporter, albeit one from the Daniel Hannan wing of the party.

    With respect, John, the question “Which seat or seats do they think they (UKIP) will have most chance of winning in May 2015″ is not the one we should be asking.

    The right question we should be considering is ” Which seats might UKIP win that the Conservatives cannot”

    There are many seats such as Eastleigh which the Conservatives are unlikely to win because, like it or not, the Conservative brand is tainted in many parts of the country.

    However, at the Eastleigh by-election we should remember that the EU-supporting Libdem won yet the combined Conservative and UKIP vote totalled more than 50% of the total votes cast. In my book, UKIP and the Conservatives scored a massively important own goal.

    Had there been an understanding between the two parties, there would now be a UKIP MP who, crucially, would be likely to win again in 2015 and could support a Conservative government and ensure the referendum takes place.

    Even if the Lib dem vote collapses in such seats in 2015, we can be sure that the lost votes are not going to come to the Conservatives : after all, it’s the association with the Cameron-led Government that has cost the LibDems so much support.

    David Cameron botched the boundary change bill and allowed the Lib Dems to veto it (I would have held the vote and warned all Libdem ministers voting against it, including Clegg that they would be sacked. )

    As a result of that debacle, we face an uphill struggle to win next year and there is a strong likelyhood that Miliband will scrape in with a majority of less than the 20 seats the boundary change bill would have given us.

    Rather than UKIP and the Conservatives taking it in turns to shoot each other in the foot in 2015, there should be an understanding in those seats which we are unlikely to win but UKIP would have a chance.

    We might then end up with a House of Commons in which a Conservative government, possibly in coalition with UKIP would have a majority and we would get our referendum
    ( and, hopefully, some more Grammar Schools ).

    The presence of MPs such as yourself and a few from UKIP will also ensure that we will have a renegotiation with real backbone and an outcome which cannot be fudged. That alone makes the proposition worthwhile, in my view.

    We might, just, get a majority without an understanding but it’s a risk that doesn’t seem worth taking.

    Regrettably, Cameron has alienated many Conservative voters and they have gone over to UKIP and, like it or not, enough of them are going to vote for the party come what may to do us real damage in a few crucial seats.

    So giving UKIP a clear run in a few key constituencies that we cannot win with a reciprocal agreement in some others just makes so much sense.

  32. Alan Wheatley
    Posted June 7, 2014 at 10:04 am | Permalink

    The more we hear the standard Conservative Party line being spun by all and sundry the more boring it becomes. It completely misses the point.

    The point of UKIP is to get the UK out of the EU. A referendum is not THE issue. It is not even necessary in some circumstance; it is certainly not a mandatory prerequisite to leaving. If you want out of the EU it would be very stupid to vote for a party with the policy that the UK should remain in the EU, and you can be sure would arrange, to the extent they could get away with it, any referendum on the matter to deliver the result consistent with policy.

    Those who believe that the EU is a fundamentally flawed concept view renegotiating “improved” terms of membership as pointless. It looks far more likely a political diversionary tactic.

    Further, irrespective of the merits of the EU itself, for the UK the better long-term prospects are linked to the Commonwealth and a World-wide vision, not a narrow EU one.

    The Conservative Party, with a few notable exceptions, have a long term track record of selling this Country short with respect to the EU and do not see any sign of a change for the better.

  33. Nick
    Posted June 7, 2014 at 10:05 am | Permalink

    Wrong questions.

    The better question is how they will screw up the voting for the established parties.

    We have three parties that have consistently lied to us.

    1. Referenda on Europe.
    2. The amount of pensions debts [Will you get around to answering that at the hustings John as you promised?]
    3. Recall
    ….

    Reply I have4 answered this issue several times as you well know.

  34. Bert Young
    Posted June 7, 2014 at 10:07 am | Permalink

    Dr. JR ., your analysis of Newark is , understandably , misleading . The simple truth is UKIP – who were 2nd in the result , improved their %age of the votes cast substantially , the Conservative win – in one of their “safest” seats , was reduced by the amount of UKIP’s gain . The inference of this result is simple : UKIP made a vast inroad into Conservative support , so , extrapolated to the situation in May – even allowing for some reduction in UKIP ‘s popularity , an overall Conservative win is unlikely . Every staunch Conservative supporter I know – including many in the Wokingham constituency , are worried and talk about the wisdom and need to accomodate UKIP ; most agree that Cameron is the drawback to the initiative on 2 main grounds : a) he has stated he will vote to stay in the EU and b) he has failed to keep his promises on a referendum with the EU in the past . Overall , Cameron is seen as weak , inexperienced and untrustworthy coming from an elite political establishment background . Farage – with all his drawbacks , is seen as a breath of fresh air with a basic capability to speak the obvious with a charisma more akin to ordinary folk ; his blatant regret at our relationship with the EU strikes the right note with the electorate and offers the sort of change everyone – including the eurosceptic politicians want . Obviously this atmosphere must be acknowledged by the Conservative Party and not tucked under the pillow of loyal support ; the solution is an agreed deal with UKIP .

  35. Neil Craig
    Posted June 7, 2014 at 10:08 am | Permalink

    I’m afraid Nigel hasn’t rung me up to say which seat he will be standing in. If I knew, or if I knew which were our target seats I’m afraid I would have to keep silent, just as I would not expect you to say what seats the Tories are going to put their strongest efforts into (a matter of some importance since it will show if they are primarily aiming at taking LD seats or not losing them to Labour or to UKIP.

    However it is a terminological inexactitude to say UKIP have broken our promise on quitting the EU. All manifesto promises are dependent on being in power. Whatever one thinks of the Tories it would be improper saying they “broke their manifesto promises” after 1997 when Blair was PM. That remark is unworthy of you John. I look forward to the time when you are in a position to hold us to account & I hope we will aquit ourselves well.

    Reply Conservatives will stand in all the seats – what’s the secret about UKIP?

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted June 7, 2014 at 1:17 pm | Permalink

      Will each Tory candidate be required to make at least three trips to every other constituency to help the Tory candidate there with his campaign?

      And will Cameron make four visits to every constituency, and will paid staff be told that they are going off campaigning all around the country?

      You’re all going to be very busy in that case!

    • Boudicca
      Posted June 8, 2014 at 6:02 pm | Permalink

      UKIP will stand in as many seats as it possibly can.

      Some will be targets; others won’t be, but we will still affect the outcome.

  36. JoeSoap
    Posted June 7, 2014 at 10:57 am | Permalink

    “I agree we would be better off out of the current EU, but UKIP will break their key promise next time as they have in every other election they have fought.”

    Unbelievable chutzpah!
    Facts totally turned on their head. UKIP have never broken a referendum promise unlike the Conservatives and LibDems.

    As to other promises – have we seen the deficit halved?
    Have we seen tax decreases?
    Has the 80/20 spending cuts to taxes promise been kept? Have there been ANY spending reductions?
    Have you government continued QE, robbed savers and pensioners and stoked a housing boom?

    There are still many many reasons to consign Lib Lab Con to history.

  37. Posted June 7, 2014 at 10:57 am | Permalink

    I want to leave the EU as much as any UKIP supporter but the comments above from UKIP supporters show that they are not living in the real world.

    The reality is that there has been not a single opinion poll, not one, that has ever shown there to be anywhere near a majority that would vote in favour of Brixit.

    If there were to be a referendum without a failed renegotiation, the electorate will vote to remain in, especially as the BBC and the leadership of three out of our four National parties will all be lined up to put the case to support the status quo.

    A vote to remain in the EU without significant concessions will be an utter disaster as it will leave us at the mercy of everything Brussels, Blair, Miliband and Clegg wish to have thrown at us.

    The ONLY way of getting a majority to vote to leave the EU is to carry out a renegotiation first and, only when that fails to achieve anything of substance, will there be a chance of getting the electorate to vote to leave.

    FIRST : we have to win the 2015 election.
    SECOND : we have to see that the renegotiation has demonstrably failed
    THIRD : when it does, we then have to ensure that David Cameron is honest enough to
    join the campaign to leave.

    In my view, the last will be the most difficult of the three to achieve !

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted June 7, 2014 at 6:02 pm | Permalink

      “The reality is that there has been not a single opinion poll, not one, that has ever shown there to be anywhere near a majority that would vote in favour of Brixit.”

      Well, that’s not exactly true, as you can see from this chart going back to 1977:

      http://www1.politicalbetting.com/index.php/archives/2014/05/16/ipsos-mori-finds-support-for-staying-in-the-eu-at-its-highest-level-since-before-the-1992-erm-crisis/

      and also recollecting that about a year before the 1975 referendum there was a 2:1 majority in favour of leaving the EEC.

      But that is the point: the 2:1 majority in favour of leaving was turned round to a 2:1 majority in favour of staying in when the votes were cast.

      • Posted June 7, 2014 at 11:49 pm | Permalink

        OK Denis, but you’re being a bit pedantic here :

        I, of course, meant since the Lisbon Treaty when “Ever Closer Union” started to become a worrying prospect.

        I hardly think an opinion poll taken more than 30 years ago is relevant, do you ?

        • Denis Cooper
          Posted June 8, 2014 at 12:30 pm | Permalink

          Well, you could have said “since the Lisbon Treaty”, but you didn’t, and restricting attention to just the last three and half years does not give the broader picture; nor is it the case that “ever closer union” has only become a worrying prospect with that treaty as it has been there from the start, the very first line of the 1957 Treaty of Rome, and in my experience people start to worry about it once they find out about it and understand the implications.

  38. BobE
    Posted June 7, 2014 at 11:14 am | Permalink

    The three line whip to vote against a referendum was organised to support Camerons pro Europe agenda. The Tories are only reacting because they, are scared of Ukip. Anyway even if 2015 is not enough time for Ukip then there is always 2020.
    I want my country to NOT become a region of the EUSSR. However long it takes.
    Bob

  39. Max Dunbar
    Posted June 7, 2014 at 11:36 am | Permalink

    UKIP achieved a remarkable victory in Scotland on the proportional system despite the fact that their election campaign was virtually non-existent, there was a melt-down in the Scottish ‘leadership’ last autumn and they have virtually no members here.
    I know that people who would normally have voted Conservative were turned off by Cameron and attempts to smear UKIP shortly before the Euro Election. Even some SNP supporters from the right-wing voted UKIP so broad is the appeal of Farage’s party on the matter of mass immigration.
    You mention how important it is to live and work in a constituency in order to stand a chance of being elected. That no doubt helps but ultimately voters will go for the big names and the bigger parties no matter how much you may try to convince yourself that personal effort will bring success. With the exception of showmen like Galloway, independents and small parties don’t stand a chance in hell of being elected. And with a system like first-past-the-post it’s no wonder that many people do not bother to vote. My vote counts for absolutely nothing at a Westminster election in Glasgow so there is no point in voting at all.

  40. oldtimer
    Posted June 7, 2014 at 11:46 am | Permalink

    Wither UKIP?

    In his Andrew Marr interview a week ago Mr Farage said they would put their main effort into 2 to 3 dozen constituencies where that have been succeesful in local elections and have polled well in the MEP elections. He explicitly aims to copy the Ashcroft/LibDem electoral strategy that won them seats in Parliament. In those seats UKIP I expect UKIP will cause problems for the incumbents whether Conservative, Labour or LibDem. No doubt there will be much tactical voting. Who knows what will happen?

    Elsewhere much will depend on whether UKIP stand in all constituencies or stay away, eg in constituencies with Eurosceptic Conservative candidates. Either way there will, I expect, be tactical voting. It makes the 2015 election all the more interesting and unpredictable except for one thing. UKIPs increasing presence will surely influence the policy of the three established parties towards the EU. At this stage there is not much more they can do to further the cause at the heart of the UKIP movement.

  41. Max Dunbar
    Posted June 7, 2014 at 11:47 am | Permalink

    I would be interested to hear your views on EU nationals who vote here and, using the internet, vote in France and other European countries as well. Also, it appears that foreigners from anywhere can vote here within months of arriving on these shores provided that their names are added to the voters’ roll, and this includes the forthcoming referendum on the partition of the British mainland.

  42. Phil Pritchard
    Posted June 7, 2014 at 12:44 pm | Permalink

    I do not believe Mr Redwood has written this today but if he has, could he tell us where Boris will be standing and will he go straight in or get to know the area for a couple of years?

    • Brian Tomkinson
      Posted June 7, 2014 at 5:04 pm | Permalink

      Phil,
      “I do not believe Mr Redwood has written this today”
      I thought that too, particularly when in reply to my earlier comment which said “contrast that with your party which has broken too many promises to list here from a position of government”, he replied: “The Conservatives have not won a General Election since 1992!”
      I am sure that Boris thinks he knows every constituency well enough to be parachuted in.

  43. Bill
    Posted June 7, 2014 at 2:37 pm | Permalink

    I am one of those who think that it would be best if the Conservatives and UKIP formed an alliance. That cannot surely be worse that the current Coalition.

    At the moment the prospect of a future government comprising Labour topped up by Clegg and his diminishing number acolytes fills me with alarm.

  44. Atlas
    Posted June 7, 2014 at 2:41 pm | Permalink

    John,

    … persuasive as your arguments are, unfortunately I do not trust your present leader to honour his promise… (Once bitten, twice shy)

    I’m not sure how the next general election will turn out, since the Scottish Referendum has yet to happen.

  45. Brigham
    Posted June 7, 2014 at 4:24 pm | Permalink

    If we have a referendum and vote to leave the EU, it wouldn’t surprise me if the government at that time just ignored it. We need a pledge that the referendum would be followed, and not just be an opinion poll.

  46. Stephen Berry
    Posted June 7, 2014 at 6:23 pm | Permalink

    Some 2 years ago I told both Tory and socialist friends that the Conservatives were going to win the next election. They did not believe me, but things are shaping up nicely and frankly, there is nothing much that UKIP can do about it. Consider the facts:

    i) The economy is growing and likely to grow further by the time of the next election. This is important and will favour the Conservatives in particular.
    ii) The voters may not be in love with Mr Cameron, but they much prefer him to Mr Miliband. Many voters are reluctant to support a man whom they do not feel comfortable with when he appears on the TV in their front room,. Political animals, who think mainly in term of policies, can forget how important this is.
    iii) As the general election approaches, a number of voters tend to leave mid-term speculations behind and move towards the governing party.
    iv) Since 1945 with one exception, an opposition party which took power has also been elected second time round. This reason may seem a little obscure to some, but when something has been going on for 70 years, it’s beginning to look like a trend.

    The overwhelming majority of anti-EU voters can put two and two together. They will realise that it’s the Conservative Party which offers them the best chance for diminishing EU power or even a complete exit of the EU. Will UKIP even get one seat at the 2015 election? That is the question.

  47. Rods
    Posted June 7, 2014 at 6:28 pm | Permalink

    Your questions are irrelevant as the very nature of UKIP gaining political market share means they have crashed the Con/Lab/Lib cozy little club. Up until the rise of UKIP all of the political parties have produced their manifesto at an election, to convince the electorate into giving them their vote and they then disregard most that they have said and promised once in power to rule how they like. This has turned-off voters which has resulted in the lower and lower turnouts at General Elections. This deceit of the electorate has been done with impunity with both Labour and the Conservatives knowing when they are in opposition it will be their turn, like Buggins, at some point. The majority of each parties MPs are in safe seats so they don’t even have to worry about losing them, where it is only a small number of marginal seats that normally change at election. Now with the widespread popular support of UKIP this cozy political relationship has ended. With increased competition for the electorates votes, which is a very good healthy thing for our democracy, all of the incumbent political parties and their MPs are going to have to up their game, work much harder to keep their seats or accept that their political party will over time become a spent force.

    To me this increased competition is what all the parties, especially the Conservatives are not happy with. It is commendable trying to defend your poor product, when you are an employee of a company, as long as it is done in an honest way and also very frustrating when you are also up against the forces within, with very poor, entrenched, senior management which is unlikely to change. The best your senior management can come up with, rather than accepting the new competition and working out how you must improve your product and its marketing, is to insult and to tell the customers who consume your rivals products how stupid and morally flawed their personalities are! To date, I’ve yet to see a business where this marketing approach has not been a disaster in terms of what happens to their market share.

    As UKIP is a right wing party then this new competition will matter more to the Conservative party than Labour, but it will affect both. So far the Conservative reaction has been to play the bully on the block, by insulting those that support UKIP and running smear campaigns to discredit UKIP through the MSM, quite despicable behaviour in my opinion and also treating those voters that don’t support the Conservative party’s view of the world, with total contempt. Safe seats are no longer safe, when a fourth party can get over 20% of the vote. To decry that UKIP exists or that they matter as they currently have no MPs is missing the point. The fact that they can and will get a significant number of votes in 2015 may well change the elections outcome. The fact that politics is a long game also matters as we can see with what has happened in Canada and what happened with the emergence of the Labour party as a political force in the early 20th century.

    Your marketplace has changed with the arrival of the new competition from UKIP, how the Conservative party prospers, or not, is down to your senior management accepting and dealing with this accordingly in a positive way. To think that you will get UKIPs votes for tactical reasons in 2015 is also missing the point, where UKIP voters know, by the very nature of creating this competition that all of the major parties are going to have to change and represent not them only much better, but also with much more honesty than they have in the past. The only way to keep this competition in the marketplace is by voting UKIP. UKIP in my opinion will continue to grow and prosper, until they do have a significant presence in Westminster. This might not be in 2015, but all the while they continue to address the electorate with a better product, more in tune with their customers aspirations, so their market share will continue to grow.

    Reply I neither decry nor belittle UKIP. I just seek to explain the options and consequences for us Eurosceptics of this additional “competition” in the political marketplace. There are not that many “safe seats”. Last time around 150 new Conservative MPs were elected for the first time, many of them in swing seats. Many MPs do seek to understand the wishes of their electors and to do things that their electors want. You need to understand just how varied electors’ views and priorities are. In the last GE only 3% thought the UKIP offer compelling enough to give it their vote, rather than helping decide whether to have a Conservative or a Labour government.

    • Anonymous
      Posted June 8, 2014 at 9:25 am | Permalink

      Reply to reply

      Then why write the article ‘ Wither UKIP ?’ When in fact UKIP took over half of your party’s votes in love-bombed Newark ?

      That achievement deserves massive respect.

      Competition in the political market place is what we’ve been missing for decades ! Since when has a Tory thought that competition is a bad thing ? The only problem is that I think it’s come too late.

      Reply UKIP did not take half the previous Conservative vote. I wish to write about what happens next, as it is important for the future of our country. As you like political competition why complain when people express a different view to yours?

      • Anonymous
        Posted June 8, 2014 at 9:36 am | Permalink

        That politicians must cater for ‘varied elector’s views’ is part of the political stultification in this country too.

        A representative should stand or fall on a clear ticket.

        The electorate are only going to become more varied and complex as the cultural demographic is allowed to change. In fact I think the point of this is to achieve political paralysis somewhere in the Blairist ‘middle’ ground.

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted June 8, 2014 at 12:47 pm | Permalink

        In this by-election UKIP took away something like a quarter of the Tories’ share of the votes in 2010.

        That estimate is based on the pie chart in the first Survation opinion poll, showing that about half of those who intended to vote UKIP this time had voted Tory in 2010:

        http://survation.com/newark-by-election-poll-survation-the-sun/

        Half of 26% is 13%, which is about a quarter of the 54% share of the votes that the Tory candidate got in 2010.

        Countering that, this time the Tory candidate got support from people who would otherwise have voted Labour but were moved to vote Tory instead in order to make sure that UKIP wouldn’t win.

        Of course the numbers don’t add up exactly, they rarely do.

      • Anonymous
        Posted June 8, 2014 at 2:15 pm | Permalink

        Reply to reply 9.25:

        I don’t complain when people take a different view to mine.

        My views are very common and yet they are virtually unrepresented. This is what I complain about.

        So, in order to help achieve a referendum, I have to vote into office a pro EU party ? What choice is that !

    • Boudicca
      Posted June 8, 2014 at 6:11 pm | Permalink

      Mr Redwood. You and a handful of others in your Party are Eurosceptics.
      We in UKIP are EU-refusniks. There’s a considerable difference.

      40 years of Conservative Euroscepticsm has resulted in us being dragged further and further into the EU trap which is intended to result in a United States of Europe.

      UKIP wants to get out now …. whilst we still can.

  48. Posted June 7, 2014 at 6:59 pm | Permalink

    I will answer your questions:-

    1.Which seat or seats do they think they will have most chance of winning in May 2015 as they set about a further quest for their first seat in Parliament after 20 years of campaigning?

    None. Absolutely none.

    2. Which seat will Mr Farage fight, or will he conclude he has an important job as an MEP?

    I don’t care. It’s irrelevant.

    You’re missing the point of what people are doing.

    We know that David Cameron really doesn’t want a referendum, views UKIP voters as fruitcakes, lunatics and closet racists and is only offering it to try to win back voters. We also know that David Cameron will make cast iron promises and not deliver on them. So, while he’s making a promise of a referendum, we know that deep down, he is against it personally, and against exiting Europe personally. Which means that if he can find a way to wriggle out of delivering it, that he might do so.

    We’re not scared of Labour. Keep trying to sell that line, it won’t work. Your leader has nannied WHSmith about chocolate oranges, nannied Starbucks and and Amazon because they pay the tax they legally have to pay, and complained that supermarkets have been able to deliver cheap beer to people (and then bizarrely dropped the duty on it later). Spending is still rising. If there’s a difference, I’m struggling to see it as being particularly large.

    So, you’ve got about 11 months to vote him out and put in a leader of the party that UKIP voters can trust. Or we’ll vote UKIP, you can lose, fire Cameron and get someone that we might vote for. Keep ignoring us and being Blue Labour and you might find yourself replaced.

  49. ian
    Posted June 7, 2014 at 7:59 pm | Permalink

    Hi john, cannot see mr farage standing for parliament because they will slaughter him were ever he go”s. The conservative party is going all elite and wets, I for one am fed up with this football match with whips getting there mp”s to vote against the wishes of there constituency. It about time good mp stood on there own two feet and stop hiding under the table> If you cannot do that you should stand as independent with a pledge to vote how your constituency wishes.You can set up your own computer system. A collective with policy which i have sitting in my table,would you like to see it.

  50. David Hope
    Posted June 7, 2014 at 8:43 pm | Permalink

    I’m traditionally a conservative voter but currently supporting UKIP. Were I in a seat with a strong eurosceptic Conservative standing vs Labour I might consider voting for them but generally I vote for whose policies match my views, rather than calculations about Labour getting in, so whilst I take your point, I won’t vote just conservative just because the conservatives have the best chance of power as you rightly imply.

    The trouble is, as a voter, if you always vote Tory to keep out Labour you deserve all you get when the Conservatives don’t do what you expect. You need to play the long game and accept that you might get a worse result in one election. I support the policies of Gove and the referendum pledge. But….. we are still running a huge deficit, the top rate of tax is higher than it was under most of Labour (not that I am in danger of paying it!), we have secret trials, all sorts justified under terror still, regulation has actually got worse (e.g. pension requirements on small firms), green policy has lead to Drax importing wood chip, interest rates are still near 0 and the asset rich have got richer giving capitalism a bad name, taxes are more complicated than even brown could manage and HMRC are taking new draconian powers.

    I could go on, but anyway, my point is that when the Conservatives just seem to continue the Blair years I don’t see any reason to encourage it by voting for them.

    That said, I appreciate the issues of coalition and would back a local Tory MP whose views matched mine – but I can’t back the party as a whole with UKIP around.

  51. Merlin
    Posted June 7, 2014 at 9:51 pm | Permalink

    1) There is a ruling political elite in the UK and the EU

    2) the majority of citizens take no part in the political process

    My analysis is that revolution is on it’s way, I cannot predict how, when or where it will happen, I can only say that there is a serious possibility that it will, in a sense it has already started in Greece, I just hope it is not bloody.

  52. bluedog
    Posted June 7, 2014 at 11:25 pm | Permalink

    Mr JR, at Newark the voter turn-out fell by 28% from May 2010 and the Conservative vote declined 44% from 2010.

    Thus there was a swing against the Conservatives of 16%.

    If this level of disobedience is repeated across the entire UK, are you sure that Ukip will still be without representation at Westminster?

    Reply I do not expect a similar swing in the General Election. More importantly n or do the polls.

  53. sm
    Posted June 8, 2014 at 12:17 am | Permalink

    Interesting maybe we are approaching a tipping point where first past the post FPTP works against the LibLabCon!

    I would in the past consider voting tactically but no more .. the die is cast. Actions need to happen before i even listen to the words. Just ask the Frog after he was stung by a Scorpion. This Frog aint taking a ride with a Scorpion.

    • Ray Veysey
      Posted June 8, 2014 at 5:52 pm | Permalink

      Fox, it was a fox not a frog

  54. Ray Veysey
    Posted June 8, 2014 at 12:07 pm | Permalink

    MR Cameron is desperately trying to stop Juncker becoming the next European commission president, he knows that 1 year out from the GE, Juncker will be the best recruiting sergeant you can give the UKIP supporters. When he fails as I hope he does, he is going to be tarnished even more as our lack of influence in Europe is further highlighted.
    Juncker will complete the destruction of the EU as all the countries in Europe who already have strong anti EU movements and feelings will increase their opposition to the EU.
    I have said this before so many times and it is repeated several times here today, and you continue to not contribute the this discussion, you must get rid of Cameron. It’s not UKIP that’s the problem it’s him, you want to shoot the UKIP fax? shoot Cameron out of the door, and the pro EU cabal will “wither”. In the meantime Mel Stride is not going to get my vote and probably not my wife’s, hopefully it will see him gone, a more annoying piece of whips fodder would be hard to find. your continued support for a man as mistrusted as him reflects on you.

    Reply Having helped persuade Mr Cameron to follow the negotiate and decide policy with a referendum on In/Out I want him to put this to the country as Leader of the Conservatives as our best hope of sorting out the totally unsatisfactory relationship we have with the EU.

    • Ray Veysey
      Posted June 9, 2014 at 10:47 am | Permalink

      You continue to lay claim to policies forced on him by UKIP, but saddest is your undimmed faith in the ……. man (first choice of character description removed in the interests of good taste). If he fails to stop Juncker it is going to be a massive slap in the face for him and a boost to UKIP, an argument he might have been better avoiding, even at the risk of being accused of complicity in his election. Either way, your party continues to fall short with Hague’s latest contribution again displaying either a lack of trust in the population, or casual contempt. Or, more likely both.

  55. Posted June 8, 2014 at 12:46 pm | Permalink

    Again, Stephen Berry is roughly right, especially on the fact that the electorate do not like to only put a party in for one term. David Cameron would have to mess things up badly to undo that trend. Despite the rarer splendid attacks by William Hague, Tony Blair was almost automatically returned for a second time but then Hague showed that he was not really serious after all by resigning. We then got far weaker opposition.

    The UKIP was the one thing to undo this but what has happened in the last three years has altered all that. It has become a protest vote rather than just an anti-EU vote but it has thereby become an anti-Politically Correct vote too, and as such, it today draws on Labourites potential voters as much as on those of Tories, so it is now neutralised rather than just being an anti-tory vote as a result. The gap between the Labour leadership and its voters have always been way wider than that between Gordon Brown and the lady he called a bigot in the last election so it always was a wonder why they ever got their votes from 1900 on, if we count the Labour Representative Committee. But the UKIP is now a more natural home for them. Nigel Farage himself is maybe the only Politically Correct person amongst them.

    John Redwood’s point that a vote gives us a say is not quite realistic for a few big reasons. First, as Robert Michels in Germany and W.H. Mallock in England said about a hundred years ago, we are always ruled by an elite or an oligarchy. Second, a vote soon gets lost in a large electorate. Third, the manifestoes do not seek to serve us but to rule over us, as the state must do. John Locke was confused there, if in a civilising way, as I said on this site earlier.

  56. Lindsay McDougall
    Posted June 8, 2014 at 3:51 pm | Permalink

    You are not addressing the fact that the Conservative Party’s share of the poll has flat lined at around about 32% for a very long time and that UKIP has taken votes from Labour over the last two years.

    The UKIP people are playing it long term. They do not care if they only get 15% in 2015 as long as they get a lot more in 2020. They are optimists. They seem unaware that the Federal Superstate is forming before their very eyes and that the trap will have been sprung long before 2020.

    The older (60+) UKIP voters remember the conduct of Harold Wilson. Then the two Labour manifestos of 1974 promised a thorough renegotiation of our membership terms, leading to an IN/OUT referendum. Sound familiar? In a way he kept his promise but the concessions won by renegotiation turned out to be perfunctory, simply because the EC kept saying ‘No’ to all of Labour’s demands. Even then, Wilson had to state that HM Government would recommend a YES vote in the 1975 referendum before any concessions were offered at all.

    The UKIP voters have been offered no evidence at all that David Cameron would behave differently from Harold Wilson. And that is why the Conservative Party is going down to defeat unless it hardens up its negotiating stance – on immigration, on freedom of movement, on no to ever closer union and on ending the supremacy of EU law. There must be ‘red lines’ and they must be in our manifesto – and cabinet members that don’t accept this have got to go.

  57. Boudicca
    Posted June 8, 2014 at 4:57 pm | Permalink

    Mr Redwood: it takes time to grow a new Party and we’re in it for the long haul.

    Why should we tell you which Constituencies we intend targeting next May: that wouldn’t be sensible now, would it?

    Farage has made our strategy very clear: we are copying the one that Paddy Ashdown developed – getting UKIP councillors and county councillors and using that as a springboard into Westminster. It’s going pretty well so far.

    Will I lend my vote to the Tories in 2015? Not a hope whilst Cameron remains Leader.

    1. I don’t believe he will be able to SUBSTANTIALLY change our relationship with the EU, although he will be given a few token and unimportant successes to wave at us and claim that he’s achieved “peace in our time.”

    2. He will then run a propaganda campaign the like of which this country will never have seen before to try and get a mandate to keep us IN the EU. No Referendum will be FREE and FAIR. We’ve seen in the past couple of months the kind of dirty, underhand, smear and slander campaign the IN faction will run via their tame hacks in the media and the BBC. Once they have their mandate it’s all over: our country will be lost forever.

    3. To get our country back, we need to grow UKIP …. and the electorate needs to be a whole lot angrier about the EU than it is now. That will take a few more years of the EU obviously working to destroy our country.

    4. If you think I will ever vote for a man (Cameron) who has personally insulted me a number of times – or a party with an Elite who think it is appropriate to insult, smear, slander and denigrate ordinary voters because they DARE to disagree with the Elite’s consensus, you don’t know the British character very well. I despise the Conservative Elite as much as they despise me.

    5. UKIP has been proven right on the Euro and the EU. We are better off out. I’m not voting for anyone who wants to stay in.

    Does that answer your question?

    • Uri
      Posted June 8, 2014 at 10:22 pm | Permalink

      Couldn’t have put it better myself

  58. Iain Gill
    Posted June 8, 2014 at 9:17 pm | Permalink

    I’m pretty disappointed in your post here John. I understand you need to show support for your party in the party system we have. I wonder why you and I see things so differently here. You see the Conservative party should be a natural home for me, but I feel ever more disenchanted.
    The three big things UKIP have been saying, as far as I can see are:
    1 The quality of the political class, those selected for safe seats, is not good enough. Far too insular, far too little real world experience, come from far too narrow a section of society, the SPADs that surround them, the way they are lobbied, lack of contact with the real world, and so on.
    2 EU is too dominant in our lives
    3 Immigration is out of control
    Out of these three let’s be honest eh, on 2 you have been open with your own concerns, 1 you have hinted at similar concerns, and 3 you did go through a period of exploring some of the issues but seem to have been nobbled by the party machinery and have gone quiet recently. I wonder if you and I sat down and had an off the record chat how close we would really be.
    The obsession with getting people to buy houses I dunno. Its public knowledge Mrs T was privately trying to do it partly to keep people subservient. Why no thoughts on the rest of society who are often legal, decent, hardworking people who contribute a lot to this country too. Why such a rejection of the model in other countries, especially countries which are more successful than we are?
    The Conservatives cannot flood constituencies with mass attendance by MP’s as they did in this by-election when the general election comes around can they? To see the mass resources poured into what should have been a walk over?
    I think there is massive misreading of the mood of the country, and a lack of listening to the reality of the public’s concerns on these issues. I think the way the political class is reacting to the result of the European election just reinforces point 1 above. Even the little baby toes in the water starting to gently say yes maybe immigration does need more action from the Conservatives and Labour have been so couched in cop outs. It cannot be that Frank Field is the only MP that realises immigration has been a “cock up” by the political class.
    The glossy sales techniques from our politicians, failing to be straightforward, and couching everything in language so deep in politically correct nonsense that nobody in the real world takes any of it seriously any more.
    Something has got to change. If this is the way our country is going to be run it’s very definitely sub optimal and a real shame as we could do a lot better than this.

    Reply By elections are characterised by any party with a will to win putting in extra efforts, as UKIP did as well as the Conservatives in Newark. ON election morning there the Shadow Foreign Secretary was out door knocking in the area I visited. I have always said we need to control our own borders, and have explained the impact of high levels of migration on society and the public accounts.

  59. Richard
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 7:24 am | Permalink

    Mr. Redwood,

    You have more than once on this site argued that because the majority of electors vote for parties (Lib/Lab/Con/Green) who are in favour of our continued membership of the EU it shows that leaving the EU is not an important demand for the electorate.

    You may be correct.

    However, for me, since our exit from the EU is more important that anything else, I can no longer vote for any party who does not wish to leave the EU.

    I somehow need to register this wish with Parliament and I cannot do it by continuing to vote Conservative as I have done in the past.

  60. Peter Davies
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 12:35 pm | Permalink

    John, you talk about candidates from outside “Those of us serious about winning and holding Westminster seats live and work in the area we want to represent before standing for election”

    Is this really true anymore?

    I don’t know for sure but I can think of countless examples of MPs that appear to have been parachuted into a so called “safe seat” due to their connections.

    Did Mr Blair not first try to get elected in High Wycombe then went up North? Mr Milliband who I thought was from North London has a safe seat somewhere up north again – are you really saying he has a home there and spent a few years getting to grips with local issues before getting elected? I also read something about a young Kinnock getting a seat in South Wales, I thought he lived in Denmark (something about his kids being sent to a private school)

  61. Oscar De Ville
    Posted June 10, 2014 at 10:30 am | Permalink

    Your comments on Ukip in the aftermath of Newark no doubt reflect the views of government. If so, there will be concern over complacency and another lost opportunity.

    I guess few Ukip members expected party political power but were simply voicing bitterness and anger over a range of deep issues including :- weakened defence ; failure to support family and marriage ; uncontrolled immigration and, not least empty and untrustworthy promises on EU referendum.

    They were probably unwilling to be disloyal and then simply rallied at being foolishly dismissed as “fruitcakes”. Some were even of the type being rightly lauded last week in Normandy. It is necessary to re-capture their hearts and minds rather than see them as votes or election fodder [ as it is with Scots !].

    Actual power was not the aim, and it could be claimed that Ukip`s purpose has been achieved after the sharp knocks delivered from Eastleigh to Newark – but ONLY IF THEIR VOICE IS NOW HEEDED AND ACTIONS TAKEN RATHER THAN VAGUE PROMISES BEING MADE.

    Failure to see this will be sadly complacent and foolish, a terrible misreading of the public mood. If true heed is taken the Tories could sweep the board in 2015. The message is : embrace the quality within Ukip once it peaks ; not disown it.

    Is there no-one in either House to take up that cause with energy ?

  • About John Redwood

    John Redwood has been the Member of Parliament for Wokingham since 1987. First attending Kent College, Canterbury, he graduated from Magdalen College, and has a DPhil from All Souls, Oxford. A businessman by background, he has been a director of NM Rothschild merchant bank and chairman of a quoted industrial PLC.
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