Some political arithmetic

There are UKIP supporters and other strong Eurosceptics who still do not seem to grasp the voting arithmetic and the reality of the modern House of Commons. It is no good writing to me to say you want out of the EU or want major powers back, because the British people have once again voted for a Parliament that does not want that.

In the General Election the large number of UKIP candidates got less than one million votes, or 3% of the total. It did not win them a single seat. They put up in Buckingham where the three main parties withdrew to allow the Speaker to stand uncontested. Ukip not only failed to beat the Speaker, but were driven into third place by a Euro enthusiast. This was a major blow to their cause. If there are a large number of people in the UK who want immediate withdrawal from the EU they do not turn up and vote for that in elections.

I believe the majority in the Uk wants considerably less costly government from Brussels than we now get. Unfortunately, in the Commons today there are 650 MPs, with a majority for more EU not less. If you take away from the total the four Deputy Speakers and Speaker, and the five Sinn Fein it gives you a possible voting total of 641. The majority needed to carry a proposal is therefore 321.

There are just 306 Conservatives. The party fought the election on getting powers back from the EU and saying No to new transfers of power. There are 258 Labour and 57 Lib Dems, giving them a pro EU total of 315. There are also Nationalists who favour more EU power who could give the pro EU forces the majority.

Now you can rightly point out that the Lib Dems are in coalition with the Eurosceptic Conservatives, so that prevents them creating a pro EU coalition. It also comes at the price of meaning the Conservatives have dropped their plans to bring powers back, as they could not get the agreement of their new allies to such a policy.


  1. david
    August 2, 2010

    So voting Tory would help to return powers back from the EU would it? Tell that to May whose just handed poilce powers to the EU.

    Wait till mid-term John, when this shambolic Coalition is on the rack, who will Dave be supporting then his fried Nick 12% and falling.

    Tories, 'Shackled to a corpse'

  2. Norman
    August 2, 2010

    It's a pity 306 Eurosceptic MP's not only have no say, but their Party is actually introducing changes which shift more powers to Europe.

    Funny that you should denigrate UKIP on the size of their vote, yet in European elections they are the (is it second or third?) largest Party. The 3% is more a reflection on the voting system than how people feel.

    If the Conservatives can't win an election against the one of the worst Prime Ministers this country has seen, in the depths of one it's worst recessions then I guess there is no choice for us believers of freedom and small government (the EU is the antithesis of freedom and liberty) but to vote 'Yes' in the AV referendum and then go UKIP as first choice, Conservative as second in future elections.

  3. waramess
    August 2, 2010

    It's a pretty flawed argument to suggest that the low vote for UKIP indicated the anti-Euro voters had effectively evaporated. Not many voters would vote for a party just on one issue and a vote for UKIP would have been seen as a blocking vote for the "get Brown out" vote which was for many voters a priorty.

    If it is indeed such a sinecure, why not hold an "in or out" referendum at the same time as the new voting proposal and get the whole business out of the way once and for all?
    Resistance to the EU will not be worn down by the inference that because the commons majority is in favour of EU membership then the majority of the electorate must be in favour; that was no more than a fallout of fthe anti Brown vote.

    Where to now? Well I guess we will have to grin and bear it for a while because no credible party offers an alternative, but it will happen. Cameron will not likely be a long term option and post Cameron we might reasonably expect a more right wing administraton that will be rather more robust about EU membership

  4. Alan Jutson
    August 2, 2010

    Nothing wrong with your maths John, it states the situation as it is.
    So I agree that is where we are.

    Problem was/is, no main stream Party put a case for any real eurosceptic policies, had they done so, they may well have increased their vote and number of seats.

    In fact whilst the Liberals are very Euro supportive, at least Clegg said (believe it or not) we need to nail once and for all our continued commitment to Europe, and if that means a referendum on in or out, so be it.

    The priority at the last election was at all costs to get Brown out, and that gave only a marginal result. UKIP were never going to win in this battle at this election as they are simply not up to the job of government.

  5. Andrew Johnson
    August 2, 2010

    If you are not in favour of EU federalism and ever increasing control of day to day affairs, you are effectively disenfranchised by the majority of the political classes (MP's – MEP's) who are. At present, it would appear the EU is not the No 1 concern of the electorate. What can Europsceptics do?

  6. Robert Eve
    August 2, 2010

    Patience – we shall leave the EU in time.

  7. Kevin Peat
    August 2, 2010

    And yet poll after poll show the majority wanting out of the EU. This is why we are not given referendums on the subject – they know the people (of all major countries) will always vote in the negative.

    I voted Conservative (like many others) because I didn't want the British economy to collapse.

    And now you tell me that – because of my vote – I am moderate towards EU hegemony and have given the Tories a pro EU mandate. If this is the licence taken from my support of the Tories then what a distortion of the truth and what a betrayal of the majority of Tory voters.

    When we voted Tory we also wanted powers brought back from Brussels, immigration capped, tough law and order and a repeal of the Human Rights Act – we didn't want the productive classes being shafted to pay for the recklessness of bankers and the failure of Nu Lab socialism. Within months Cameron has reneged on so many of his core pledges and we now see his true colours.

    He won't win the next election. And nor will he deserve to.

    1. SJB
      August 2, 2010

      If the majority do want out of the EU then why don't they vote accordingly? Take last year's European election, for example. First, only about a third of the electorate could be bothered to vote. Second, of those that could manage the generally short journey to the polling station, fewer than a quarter voted for parties campaigning on a EU withdrawal manifesto promise. And if you check the 2004 European election results you will see a similar outcome.

  8. Kevin Peat
    August 2, 2010

    Add to my last comment:

    People vote on a raft of party policies on which the EU is just one.

    On an issue as critical as this we really (I mean REALLY) need a referendum and not for it to be bound up in the middle of tribal politics at general elections.

  9. A.Sedgwick
    August 2, 2010

    I voted UKIP and was disappointed that so many voters are either EU supporters or were swept up in the three party machine or decided to give Cameron's Conservatives a chance. Some in the last category that I know are seriously disaffected with him.
    Our beef with MPs as yourself is let's have this referendum, if people vote as per the election it is no contest and the issue is dead – bring in Turkey. My view is the fifty or more Eurosceptic MPs need to stand up and be counted and realise what is plainly obvious – Cameron is an ardent EU supporter. It is telling that a referendum on the AV sideshow can be quickly organised but not the major issue of a generation.

  10. Mark M
    August 2, 2010

    This is a very poor argument. The biggest problem about the EU is that while it is a big issue, it is not the only issue.

    Voters are given one vote every four or five years to decide which party they want to represent them over a whole rainbow of issues. So most people vote Conservative, Lib Dem or Labour depending on which party most closely matches their views over the whole spectrum. I am conservative, but on single issues I might find myself agreeing with the Labour position. It just happens that I agree more often with the Conservative position, so I vote Conservative.

    So UKIP got fewer than a million votes. That doesn’t mean that fewer than a million people want out of the EU. It just means that other than on the EU, those ‘Out’ers would prefer another party to represent their views.

  11. Mark M
    August 2, 2010

    cont. Your argument is a very naïve look at the way in which elections work. Under FPTP, a voter needs to consider the full consequences of their vote. If I’m a Better Off Out conservative, I may be tempted to vote UKIP. But I also must consider that voting that way runs a big risk of allowing a Labour candidate to win the seat, thus resulting in my view not being represented at all. I suspect strongly (on the back of all polling evidence that points to a majority of the country that wants ‘Out’) that if we were to implement single seat STV, that UKIP would get more than a million first preference votes. I know they would have mine.

    The reason UKIP did so poorly is that under FPTP, a UKIP vote says “I want out of the EU, but if I don’t get that I’ll have a Labour candidate”. Under STV, that vote says “I want out, but if I don’t get that I want a Conservative”.

  12. Simon
    August 2, 2010

    Sufficient UKIPers registered a protest vote with the Tories to ensure you were the biggest party in Parliament .

    Dave's decision to renege on the referendum probably cost him a majority , doesn't looks so clever now .

    As to the future there needs to be a motion for a referendum of the British people to take place at a future date so the electorate know which MP's consider themselves our masters rather than our servants .

    The Conservative party is deluding itself if it thinks it can manage Brussel's federalist ambitions .

  13. FaustiesBlog
    August 2, 2010

    You are so wrong, JR. The British people wanted Brown out. They did not trust Cameron or like his policies enough to give him a mandate. They certainly didn't vote for the Lib Dems.

    No. The results of the election only tell you what the British public did NOT want. In no way do they tell you what they DID want.

    We are stick with Cameron and his policies because he is not the Gorgon.

    What kind of democracy is that? We never get what we want, because what we want is never on offer.

    We need a revolution.

  14. forthurst
    August 2, 2010

    Cameron knew perfectly what he needed to promise in order to inherit the ukip vote, namely to offer the electorate a referendum on our continuing membershiip of the EU. What he offered was an opportunity to endorse the Lisbon treaty which was then withdrawn.

    The problem we have is that many of the most generous backers of the Conservative party are enthusiastically pro-EU and enthusiastically anti-nationalist, apart from, that is, in respect of one country not in the EU.

    The further problem is that a majority of parliamentarians on the left have little if any marketable skill beyond the incestuous little world of politics and the scope for even more disproportionately advantageous salaries and expenses afforded by Brussels is too much for them to resist because the gravy train of Brussels is such, by design,so as to act as an inducement to curruptible politicians to put their back pockets before their countries.

    The commission in Brussels is a secretive junta whose sinister and malevolent agenda is cloaked with anonymity. The Bolshevik USSR died; long live the Bolshevik EUSSR.

  15. Jonathan
    August 2, 2010

    In surveys the majority of the British public are Eurosceptic so the percentage of pro or con EU MPs is really a reflection on the electoral syste. If we want to participate in the system we have a choice of candidates so we need to broadly choose the one that meets our views; as most people cannot vote for a candidate that is sceptical of the EU it's clear our views aren't being addressed.
    We need to have candidates that reflect our local views, open primaries and the right to trigger recalls.

  16. Widget
    August 2, 2010

    Yes, depressing isn't it!

    August 2, 2010

    If only the Conservatives had adopted in their last manifesto the policy that you, and for several years we advocated – the promise of an in/out referendum at the start of a SECOND term having re-negotiated during the first.
    As the Lib/Dems have long supported an in/out referendum surely they could not have opposed that manifesto promise in the coalition agreement.

  18. Cliff.
    August 2, 2010

    The last election was fought on the economy, not the EUSSR.
    Jobs, health and security appear to be the things most people take most seriously and, because the polls political parties conduct tell them that, that is what they fight the election on.
    People tend to be selfish; they tend to look at how things affect them personally in the short term and not how it affects them and the country in the long term.
    I am sure that if any government was brave enough to call a referendum on our membership of the EUSSR, they would be told in no uncertain terms we don't want to be part of a USSR style European superstate.
    As I said before, the last election was a disaster for our party; we need to be asking why, given the state of the country at the time and unpopularity of the then PM and his government, we were unable to wipe the floor with the other parties.
    Until we can show we are serious about politics, rather than marketing and presentation, and we return to core Conservative ideology, we will remain in the center of the mess that is modern British politics and the parties will flip flop with each other at each election.

  19. Michael St George
    August 2, 2010

    "It is no good writing to me to say you want out of the EU or want major powers back, because the British people have once again voted for a Parliament that does not want that."

    This is surely a disingenuous, almost circular, argument.

    Since 1975 the British people have never been asked – the three main parties conspire to keep the EU question firmly under the carpet at election time, and both you and Labour have resilded from committments to consult the people. You will be only too well aware of the very substantial proportion of respondents in opinion polls who state that they want a very much less politically-integrated relationship, if not outright withdrawal.

    You mention the comparatively poor showing of UKIP at the election. Yet with approx 970,000 votes, it attracted the fourth largest share of the vote. Moreover, various studies have shown that, spread across the marginal constituencies which you should have captured but didn't, those votes for UKIP arguably deprived you of an outright majority – which many commentators suspect you would have achieved had Dave's "cast-iron" guarantee not turned out to be a cynical deception

    1. FaustiesBlog
      August 2, 2010


      And when we have AV, which I'm certain we will have, watch the UKIP vote grow. The Conservative party will have itself to blame for that.

  20. Javelin
    August 2, 2010

    I'll repeat what I said yesterday. I want to stay in the EU, but I fear when economic harmony is left to become political harmony – then the onesness of power that creates is more likely to create disharmony for the minority because of the political distance from the people. If you thought New Labour created social problems wait until you get a New Europe.

  21. Chris W
    August 2, 2010

    Sorry, I don't think the UK public voted that way at all.
    Many of us voters realised that the urgent and over-riding priority was to get Brown out at any cost, and that happened. But even against the most hated government ever David Cameron didn't get a majority.
    Nobody can actually know whether he would have done better or worse had the he been more eurosceptic, although I have my suspicions. We can however say that parliament cannot point to any real support in the country for their present EU policy, because voter opinion still remains untested in the ballot box.
    Consequently the EU issue will continue to plague the government and be a thorn in their side day in and day out until there is a straight referendum unencumbered by other issues. And when it happens, which eventually it must, I hope it will recognise that voters are fully capable of taking a sensible nuanced position, it does not have to be fully in or totally out. – although lets have less of this nonsense about 'can't' leave – of course we could in the event that were the country's wish.

  22. Vanessa
    August 2, 2010

    I think your analysis of the voting result is unfair. You seem to be saying that there is no stomach for withdrawal from the EU and its tentacles by the majority. The trouble is with the public is that most do not realise how entangled we are in EU legislation, neither the media nor the politicians tell us the truth and most do not have the time to do the research. If you ask people whether they want the EU to control our train timetables, our police, our energy, our transport, our working time hours, our financial system, they will say a resounding "NO". If UKIP was better funded and more able to plaster its message across the country I firmly believe that EVERYONE would vote UKIP because it is unconstitution for any government to have sold control to a foreign power (EU) and none of us wants our freedoms taken away.

  23. John Bracewell
    August 2, 2010

    I do not see how the arithmetic of the currently constituted Parliament has any bearing on the question of EU powers. The General Election voting represents a compromise between many policies and now with a Coalition we have policies that no-one voted for in the election. The only true reflection of thought on the EU can come from an opinion poll or a referendum on the single issue of the EU. Otherwise, other issues cloud the result. Quoting the General Election result as representing the country's opinion on a single issue is a nonsense, whatever the issue.

  24. Rich
    August 2, 2010

    "The [Conservative] party fought the election on getting powers back from the EU and saying No to new transfers of power"

    And once in power the first thing they did was sign up to the European Investigative Order. So as before, they talk tough on the EU and then sign up for everything going next time they have a chance. When are people going to realize that Labour, LibDems, and Tories are all part of the political elite in the UK, and are interchangeable with each other?

  25. Ken Morton
    August 2, 2010

    Your argument regarding the present alignment in Parliament is sound. There is not a majority in the House against the current relationship with the EU. However,I personally believe that this is not the case with the electorate at large.

    Where I am confused is what it will take to have a referendum of any sort on EU matters.

    It was only to be expected that Labour in 2005 would promise a referendum on the EU in their Manifesto that year in order to dispose of the matter until a later date. Gordon Brown's cowardly performance in signing the Lisbon Treaty was so typical of the man!

    I expect more from David Cameron but he has shown, since May, that he is planning a Foreign Policy and an economic/trade policy that is strongly dependent upon membership of the EU. Whatever was promised before last May about the circumstances in which a referendum would take place does seem to be of minor consideration.

    Someday the British people must be given a say on their membership of the EU where all the pros and cons are fairly presented and argued, unlike 1975. Until that time this matter will not be resolved. People like myself will accept the majority verdict, whatever it is,but at present I strongly resent the interference of the EU on every aspect of British life.

  26. Steve Tierney
    August 2, 2010

    Its catch-22 though, John. There is no major party capable of winning who advocates leaving the EU. And there was that massive deficit/debt issue which many people thought more immediately urgent than the EU question. If everybody is so sure the majority don't want to leave the EU – why are they so terrified of giving the referendum all parties promised? It would be easy to bundle it in to next year's AV referendum and would make it affordable…

  27. Adrian
    August 2, 2010

    And, of course, if David Cameron hadn't rigged the Conservative Party candidate selection process in favour of his mates, we might be more certain that the 306 Conservatives were actually conservative.

    However, with the arithmetic put simply as you have made the case, we might be just fifteen votes short. Swap Ken Clarke to the 'against us' category and move Labour's Kate Hoey into the 'for us' category. Same answer.

    But what you're saying, John, is that the national sovereignty argument is so weak, that we would struggle to make fifteen people convinced by the argument that – no matter their party allegience – they ought to give the British people a say.

    If your estimation is that we would not achieve this, then it makes a mockery of a sham – a Parliament full of people who do not want to listen to an argument, who obey the whips, who vote solely on tribal party affiliation lines.

    What does that say about democracy? What does that say about the legitimacy of the House of Commons?

    As for your arguments about UKIP, you fail to mention that they came second in the European Elections under proportional representation.

    Under first past the post, many of those voters who made UKIP the second largest party in the European elections held their noses, voted for 'Call Me Dave' because he was 'anybody but Gordon' and hoped for the best.

    How disappointed and let down many of them will be.

    But fact is, the 'eurosceptic' element of the British public is over it's honeymoon with the new Government.

    And many have concluded that democracy isn't working.

    Did you hear the one about Nick Clegg, the Great Repeal Bill website, the smoking ban, and Cleggy's response to the results of that public consultation exercise? There's your representation of the people, shamed…

    This fight for Britain will not go away. At some point or another, the political class will have to stop struggling and give us our say in a referendum at the very least.

    As far as I am concerned, the Bill of Rights 1689 makes null and void every single European Union treaty anyway. I also contend that every British cabinet minister from 1972 to date should be prosecuted under the Treason Law 1848 which clearly states that it is a high crime to conspire to work with a foreign power to conspire against the Queen, "…or in order to put any force or constraint upon or in order to intimidate or overawe both Houses or either House of Parliament."

    Case proven. Fetch me a policeman with some cahones.

  28. Trev
    August 2, 2010

    Dear Mr Redwood

    thank you for your hefty dose of realism. however it is naive to think that the crazed anti Eu loons will take a breath of notice of it.

    I would be happy to be out of the EU, but firmly in NATO. But supporting a party whose success could only mean a return to pro EU and pro economic lunacy labour is plain bonkers.

    But that what these thick and self serving people are – plain bonkers.

    Major was shackled to a corpse for all his time in power. A loopy right wing bigot anti EU corpse. The disastrous antics of these people (which included you Mr R) gave us 13 years of Blair and Brown, two people who did far more damage than the EU ever could.

    Say no more.

    Meantime the govt got a majority of 90 for its education bill – some corpse.

    Reply: It was Mr Major's love of the EU Exchange Rate mechanism which damaged the UK economy and brought his government crashing down in 1997. My fight to keep the pound and my colleagues fight against Maastricht did not damage the Tory voting position – indeed our stance was the popular one.

  29. doppelganger
    August 2, 2010

    WADR, John, "pathetic" is the word my mother-in-law (mentioned in despatches in WW2) would use to describe the Tories' election campaign and subsequent supine behaviour.

  30. CDR
    August 2, 2010

    I am afraid that the average voter still doesnt grasp the fact that the arithmetical dice, whichever way they are rolled, comes up pro-EU if you vote for any of the main three parties.
    People are like sheep; they are afraid to vote for what is seemingly a "loony" party such as UKIP (which it definitely is not), despite the fact that UKIP policies were well received by many members of the public. This is psychology; people copy their peers (unless they are free-thinkers) and, despite what they say prior to polling day, when the chips are down they vote in exactly the same way that they have always done; Liberal, Labour or Tory. That's what happened in Buckingham and that's why we have a parliament that wants to stay in the EU.

    The use of stealth tactics to gradually shove this country under EU control is the prime reason why few people have really "noticed" anything. By the time they do, it's too late; job done and dusted. The other reason is a six-letter word; "apathy".
    Politicians know how easy it is to manipulate public opinion and they use it to enormous advantage. Look how easily the EU police have now been handed powers to interfere on British soil; and this, after Mr Cameron has said that no more powers would be handed over to Brussels?
    I find the whole British psyche thing utterly exasperating; it will take a major calamity to awaken them to the idea that we would be better off governing ourselves than being run from Brussels.

  31. Mick of Orpington
    August 2, 2010

    Did not one of the Tory Grandees say '… when in opposition we always oppose the EU but when in government we always support if..'

    Whatever the ElitePolitique of the Tory Party say in public they still covertly follow the phylosophy of the Frankfurt School.

    Mick of Orpington

  32. pipesmoker
    August 2, 2010


    I do not doubt your sincerity and know you are onside that is why you remain on the back benches.

    Nick Clegg should be reminded that in the not the constitution/Lisbon Treaty debacle he and his party were in favour of a vote on our continued membership of theEU and would argue there corner to that end. Some hopes of that now of course but it has more relevance to the wishes of the people of this country than the proposed referendum on AV?

    I am 70, heeded Enoch Powell's and others warnings in the mid 1960's and I was against membership then and still am. Had the political classes not lost their bottle after the Suez war a better option would have been to remain in EFTA and develop trade links with rather than turn our backs on the Commonwealth.

    I did not vote in the last general election, the local Conservative candidate did not even answer my posts on the question of where he stood on the EU.

    Parliament is little more than a monkey pen with Brussels pulling the strings and I cannot understand why erudite people like you still bother because on EU membership it is not going to change.

    Had there been the threat of a communist government in the 1960's the force's of the Crown would have marched in there and taken it over and put an end to it? That's what it will now take to get this country out of the EU?

    1. Sean O'Hare
      August 2, 2010

      The Crown would have marched in there and taken it over and put an end to it

      Dream on Mr pipesmoker! that isn't going to happen unfortunately

  33. adam
    August 2, 2010

    What the global elite are planning:

    Phase out the left right system by promoting 'third way' consensus politics – New Labour/Red Tory
    As the left right political system is phased out, democracy is phased out with it.
    We are left with consultation system, which is the EU system, where you are allowed to voice your opinion on something but ultimately have no influence.

    Decisions are made by the UNs world order bureaucracy – the logical positivist social scientist expert class with top university degrees as proof they have absorbed the correct opinions and beliefs.

    Rewilding of mother earth, no human use zones, buffer zones, deindustrialisation, end of private means of transport, everything communally owned, centrally planned, pedestrianised, self sufficient cities, hyrdoponics, Aeon Flux style communities.

    Legal ownership of all the resources of planet earth by one pyramidal system. No sovereign system outside of it.

    Orwellian 'volunteer' society/Big society as the new slavery, force people to earn citizenship and the rights which come with it. No citizenship qualification by birthright. Copy the Starship Trooper Israeli system

  34. Sean O'Hare
    August 2, 2010

    We realize that it isn't any good writing to you to say we want out of the EU because "we" don't exist in sufficient numbers. This is hardly surprising when both your lot and Labour both refused to make this rotting corpse an issue at the general election. The MSM (especially the BBC) collaborated with Labour in preventing the issue from being debated. It Cameron and yourself were genuinely EU sceptic he, and to a lesser extent yourself, could still have made it an issue. But no, you toed the party line, which is why we are where we are today.

    Useless or not, I and many other grass root Conservatives have no choice but to go on voting for LPUK, UKIP or other anti EU party, wherever and whenever I can.

    It is a geat shame that the once natural party of government as become unelectable.

  35. David H
    August 2, 2010

    As David said, its not just about repatriating powers but not cedeing any more. As a Tory voter, I feel betrayed on this as the relentless ebbing of our ability to govern ourselves diminishes.
    Those MPs who favour `more EU' are like turkeys voting for Christmas as they become less and less relevant by the day!
    Bad, bad, bad!

  36. Derek Buxton
    August 2, 2010

    I am sorry to have to disagree, but the odd soundbite from Cameron fooled no one. He is not, and never has been against the EU and he gives it away every time he speaks. But don't listen to me, look at what he has done since becoming PM, given the EU everything they have asked for and there is more coming, fast. They know that they are in the driving seat and will milk it, and us, for everything they can.
    I did not vote conservative this time around simply because, like many more, I did not believe a word Cameron said, and we have been proved correct.

  37. Brigham
    August 2, 2010

    I don't think this is a fair summation. UKIP is a "One trick pony" and the only other party that wants us out is the BNP, for which, I happened to vote. Where else can I vote for capital punishment, abolishing soft prisons, tough law and order, and preservation of our Britishness?

  38. Steve Fowler
    August 2, 2010

    John it is that sort of arrogance that will cost you and other MPs their pay and careers in the future by ignoring parties like UKIP.

    Labour took years to get their first MP and we will do the same in time, so don't get stuck up like most of you career politicians have become!.

  39. Julie
    August 2, 2010

    The BNP is the only party which makes the Conservatives look good. I'll vote for neither.

    JR, I like many others had a good idea what UKIP's chances were, but still chose to vote for them. That should tell you what people like me think of the mainstream parties. People like you on the are not there in sufficient numbers to change our minds and you can do nothing from the backbenches unless many MPs join you. They haven't. At least I registered a protest with my vote and nothing since has made me regret that decision.

  40. Mark
    August 2, 2010

    According to IPSOS/MORI the EU was mentioned by just 2% as an important issue in their key issues poll in June.

  41. Aetius
    August 2, 2010

    I finally left the Conservative Party when David Cameron became leader, as it was clear that there weren't even going to pretend to be a eurosceptic party. Even if all we in UKIP can do in the short term is to damage the Conservative Party, I am content, because at least I am in a party that reflects my views and whose members are sincere in those views including our patriotism.

  42. Lindsay McDougall
    August 3, 2010

    As I wrote before the election, the arithmetic is worse than this. To get a Eurosceptic majority in parliament requires at lease 360 Conservative MPs. This is because there are still approximately 10% of Conservative MPs who are Europhile by inclination. If Mr Cameron, or whoever is in power at the time, were to enter talks with the EU aimed at reclaiming sovereignty, do you think that Ken Clarke would support him or undermine him? No prizes for the answer.

  43. christina sarginson
    August 5, 2010

    John I hate to remind you but the conservative party did not win the election and as far as I know many of the people I speak to still want to stay in the EU we do need to make this work and stop wining on about it we need to work together we are British that is imporant to us but we can be European too, that is another part of our identity just move on!

  44. assegai mike
    August 5, 2010

    You are right, and one gets the government one deserves. That so many of the British electorate are prepared to vote for traitors is deeply depressing. Close your eyes and imagine over half of the Commons benches populated by Lord Haw-haws. My conscience is clear.

  45. MarkThackray
    August 9, 2010

    On the campaign trail many of the people I talked to on the door step wanted to vote UKIP but there was a greater need to vote against Labour and liberal parties.
    Even if UKIP had not stood the Conservative party would still not have won a clear majority. It lost when it decided not to indicate policy early stopped debate within the party and did not push for election in all seats.

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