No great UKIP breakthrough pending according to polls and press


          I have been very tolerant of the UKIP bloggers who regularly use this site to tell us UKIP is about to make a breakthrough. Unlike the supporters of other parties, they also write in a more party partisan way, a course of action more appropriate to confine  during elections  to proper leaflets under normal election expense rules.

       I have been regularly criticised by UKIP supporters for pointing out their lack of electoral success so far in Council and Parliamentary elections.  I argued prior to 2010 they would not win a single Parliamentary seat, even though they fought Buckingham where there was no Conservative, Labour or Lib Dem candidate. They have not  won a single by election for Parliament either.

         So let me indulge them again, by asking this simple question. What would constitute a “break through” for UKIP in the County elections? How many Councils would they need to win outright? How many seats in total would they need to take? Anyone can express a view, as it is the question UKIP have wanted us all to consider.

          If  UKIP members now think their party will not this time make a break through by winning control of County Councils, what would they regard as a good result?  Is the main aim in effect  to get more Councils into Labour hands, by taking more votes from Conservatives than from Labour?  How many such results  would represent a “UKIP victory”?

Memo:  There are 2409 seats up for election. Conservatives currently hold 1477, Lib Dems 480, Labour 255 and Others 197. I think UKIP is defending 3 County Council seats, but would be happy to be corrected if I have missed some.

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  1. lifelogic
    Posted April 29, 2013 at 5:36 am | Permalink

    Clearly success would be sufficient to force the Tories into an electoral pact. UKIP nor the Tories can win alone in 2015. They will struggle to win, even with a pact.

    True, Labour will be worse than Cameron but not by very much, so it is a price worth paying. Anyway Cameron has been so dreadful we will get Labour anyway, even without UKIP.

    I see Tory Ken Clarke has branded UKIP as “a collection of clowns” well it takes one to know one perhaps. Ken like Ted Heath has been wrong on almost every major policy issue from the EU, the ERM, the Falklands, taxation levels, the economy. real democracy to law and order. He has still learned nothing from his endless mistakes and clearly holds the interests of British people in utter contempt.

    • lifelogic
      Posted April 29, 2013 at 5:39 am | Permalink

      Not to mention the usual UKIP are racists slurs that we have come to expect from Cameron and Clarke.

      • Bob
        Posted April 29, 2013 at 8:04 am | Permalink

        “First they ignore you,
        then they ridicule you,
        then they fight you,
        then you win.”

        • Timaction
          Posted April 29, 2013 at 1:50 pm | Permalink

          I don’t know about breakthroughs but wouldn’t it be good to see democracy in action through the introduction of a “new” class of honest politicians into the mix. A party that represents the indigenous population and cares about controlling immigration and the use of our rare public resources and housing. A Party that would stop the green religion so we could retain our manufacturing industries. A return of democracy to these shores where we could deport terrorists and criminals. Control our own fishing and food policies and a host of other competencies surrendered by stealth by the LibLabCons. Put our own people back to work, particularly the 1 million young people who are unemployed. Shame on you all, we need a Party that truly represents us and NOT spending £23 billions on Europe or the rest of the world through aid.

        • uanime5
          Posted April 29, 2013 at 2:33 pm | Permalink

          But the fact that some geniuses were laughed at does not imply that all who are laughed at are geniuses. They laughed at Columbus, they laughed at Fulton, they laughed at the Wright Brothers. But they also laughed at Bozo the Clown.
          Carl Sagan

          • Nash Point
            Posted April 29, 2013 at 5:47 pm | Permalink

            Everybody laughs at you too mate, believe me

          • Edward2
            Posted April 29, 2013 at 6:00 pm | Permalink

            And now we laugh at you… isn’t that the next line Uni?

          • libertarian
            Posted April 29, 2013 at 9:30 pm | Permalink


            Er Bozo the Clown is a fictitious TV character.

            I know you are a fan of fiction and make believe but do try to keep up

          • APL
            Posted May 2, 2013 at 5:25 pm | Permalink

            uanime5 quotes Carl Sagan: “But they also laughed at Bozo the Clown.”

            And of course, the purpose of a clown, is to make people laugh!

    • lifelogic
      Posted April 29, 2013 at 5:52 am | Permalink

      And of course the BBC are not simply not giving UKIP fair coverage, though they seem very keen on the two females Caroline Lucas MP and Natalie Bennett of the Green Party. This despite the fact that neither seems to even have a basic grasp of the real science. Relying on childish, superficial appeals, to irrational base emotions and fears as usual. They both seem totally bonkers to me.

      The BBC seem also very keen on Ken Clark, Simon Hughes and John Major despite them having being proven wrong on every major issue. They always seem to be able to announce their silly views to the nation without any sensible questioning from the BBC.

      • Jerry
        Posted April 29, 2013 at 8:16 am | Permalink

        @Lifelogic: Sorry but you are either not paying attention or you are watching/listening to a totally different “BBC” to the rest of us, how can you claim that the BBC is not giving UKIP the same coverage when Mr Farage was sitting three chairs from Natalie Bennett on the most recent edition of QT?! Never mind the fact that the BBC, like all broadcasters, have to abide by the laws governing coverage of elections.

        • lifelogic
          Posted April 29, 2013 at 3:39 pm | Permalink

          “Never mind the fact that the BBC, like all broadcasters, have to abide by the laws governing coverage of elections.” Oh sure!

          Well perhaps in theory but never in practice. The BBC chairman or interviewer always act as yet another liberal democrat, pro EU, pro the green religion, pro ever greater government expenditure, pro the enforced equality religion, pro the non democratic EU, pro ever more regulation of everything.

          All questions come from the, too much to quickly, higher taxes are better angle. When have you ever heard a BBC person say that people spend money more efficiently than governments, landlords and some bankers are fine people, or that global warming is clearly an absurd exaggeration or that wind farms are totally uneconomic and make no economic or environmental sense? Or that uncontrolled immigration clearly make us all poorer in the short term and often in the long term too.

          BBC/Libdem/Lord Patten/Guardian think to an arts graduate man or woman.

          • Bazman
            Posted April 29, 2013 at 5:24 pm | Permalink

            People do not spend money of infrastructure and right wing dogma is not represented on the BBC either. If global warming is clearly an absurd exaggeration then quote some evidence of this. t global warming is clearly an absurd exaggeration. You can’t can you? Did you see Nigel Farage in Romania? Clueless does not even cover it.

          • Jerry
            Posted April 29, 2013 at 5:39 pm | Permalink

            @Lifelogic: Sorry but all that rant of a reply did was to show your political dissatisfaction rather than any actual bias – think about it…

          • lifelogic
            Posted April 29, 2013 at 7:42 pm | Permalink

            I have thought about it, indeed every time I hear the BBC. I conclude, on the evidence, that BBC staff are all, almost without exception, left wing, infected by the green religion, pro EU, innumerate, pro the ever bigger state, pro government enforced “equality”, pro ever more regulation, Guardian reading, arts graduates.

            They are looking for what is popular rather than what is true.

            For example always attack the rich and landlords as their are always more tenants and poor in the audience. Always attack
            “unscrupulous” employers are their are always more employees than employers.

            It comes out with almost every question they ask, the absurd PC language they use, often the chip on the shoulder and the many euphemisms they always use.

          • Jerry
            Posted April 29, 2013 at 7:49 pm | Permalink

            @Bazman: I have yet to see any proof that AGW [1] exists, until I do I for sure will carry on believing that what we are currently experiencing is just natural climate cycles, the sort of climate events that allowed the Romans to grow grape vines north of the Midlands or cause York to flood far worse than more recently some 400 years ago…

            [1] oh and please stop just saying global warming, the earth has gone through many warming/cooling cycles in it’s natural history

          • Jerry
            Posted April 30, 2013 at 11:39 am | Permalink

            Lifelogic: “indeed every time I hear the BBC. I conclude, on the evidence, that BBC staff are all, almost without exception, left wing

            By comparison every time I watch Sky News I conclude, on the evidence that, that the staff (or the editorial lines) are very much to the right of centre and if the output of their sister channels and publications are also taken into account then things move even further to the right. But is what you, I or anyone else think personally actually any judge of bias, I would suggest not, it is merely an indicator of our own political leanings.

            As I’ve said before, if those of the right, left and anywhere in-between of UK politics can complain of bias from the same editorial or content then surely that suggests the BBC is not at all biased except in the minds of the beholders?

          • lifelogic
            Posted April 30, 2013 at 4:08 pm | Permalink

            Jerry you are right on global warming. But not on the BBC it is not even exclusively a right/left issue. The BBC are always almost without exception:-

            Pro a bigger state, pro more taxes on the rich, pro the EU, pro uncontrolled immigration, pro more regulation and pro the man made global warming scare exaggerations. One know what will come out before they even open their mouths. The rarely seem to have almost no one with any science or maths around either and frequently confuse cause and effect and draw silly conclusions.

            They also childishly like to blame Primart when one of their suppliers factories collapses.

          • Jerry
            Posted May 1, 2013 at 8:22 am | Permalink

            @Lifelogic: “BBC are always almost without exception:- [then a long list]

            That doesn’t prove bias, just your own personal political opinions – as I’ve said, if the political right and left can complain about the same content…

            Sorry Lifelogic but the only person being biased is your good self, if it doesn’t agree with your own narrow views then it is wrong, it is biassed, it needs to be closed-down/sold-off.

            They also childishly like to blame Primart when one of their suppliers factories collapses.

            Best you tell that to board of Primart then, like all other media outlets the BBC was merely reporting what Primart themselves have said – I also think that Primart are being a bit OTT with this but we live in a dumbed down tabloid world thanks to the popular (mostly, right wing) press were PC’ness and PR is all that matters now.

        • Max Dunbar
          Posted April 29, 2013 at 8:55 pm | Permalink

          The BBC considers that it is the law.
          It revels in “proving”certain points by clever and not so clever manipulation of guests during debates and interviews. One of its favourite techniques is to outnumber the right-winger by at least 2 or 3 to 1. Another is to ask long “questions” which are really statements followed by repeated interruptions to the repondent’s answers thereby giving the victim almost no air time, etc. Maybe they think that bear-baiting will amuse the viewers. Maybe they are right.

          • stred
            Posted April 30, 2013 at 9:14 am | Permalink

            Max. They interrupt other guests as well as politicians. When scientists or doctors are interviewed interiewers assume that any answer is going to be too technical and cut the answer after a few words, often when something really interesting is about to be explained. Possibly because they can’t understand it themselves?

            Evan Davies had to dumb an explanation of percentages recently and resorted to using pennies out of a pound. It was as if he was teaching a junior class. No doubt this was to keep his dim managers happy.

          • Jerry
            Posted April 30, 2013 at 11:46 am | Permalink

            @Max Dunbar: So you want the BBC to go back the days of “Is there anything you would like to tell the nation Minister?” style ‘interview’ whilst giving him or her an open-mic for how ever long they wish to use it – if so, just remember that just as your favoured political leaning will take advantage, so will others!

            What you complain about is robust questioning, not bias. If there was then, by now, someone would have taken the BBC to court for breaking the law.

          • lifelogic
            Posted April 30, 2013 at 4:11 pm | Permalink

            Indeed usually four to one three lefty guests, the BBC person and one on the right. But the one on the right is so often one of Cameron’s chaps like Clarke – so not even sound anyway.

          • Jerry
            Posted April 30, 2013 at 9:34 pm | Permalink

            @Lifelogic: Please define “lefty guests”, you know their political allegiances or is this just more guess work simply because their views do not coincide with your own?…

            Funny how almost all other broadcasters use the same style of interviewing as does the BBC yet people like you never ever criticise them, I can understand why you would not do so with Sky News but what about Channel 4 – the latter who are even more pro many of the quack and/or PC ideals, in my opinion and I accept that some of the journalists might be taking some what of a Devils Advocate position.

        • Bazman
          Posted April 30, 2013 at 6:26 pm | Permalink

          By what sources do you deny global warming Jerry? I said name the sources first, so do. You cannot? What does that tell you (etc)?

          • Jerry
            Posted April 30, 2013 at 9:41 pm | Permalink

            @Bazman: I’m not denying anything, “global warming” (and global cooling) has been happening for millennia, try actually reading what I said and not what you thought I said – I actually said I have yet to see any evidence that proves AGW (which is different to Global Warming), I can’t deny evidence that I have not yet seen!…

          • Bazman
            Posted May 1, 2013 at 6:20 pm | Permalink

            Warming cos it is and cooling cos it does is just not credible. Scientific consensus does not say this only you and anyone else who does not want to hear it.

          • Jerry
            Posted May 2, 2013 at 8:55 am | Permalink

            I assume someone understood what Bazman was trying to say, sorry to say I didn’t, sure I understood the individual words but not the two sentences! 🙁

            Bazman, what do you not understand, these AGW pushers have not yet published all their data and thus allowed a full and frank peer review, thus there can’t be any scientific consensus – “I will now tell you what you will now all believe” is not consensus, it is opinion.

          • Bazman
            Posted May 3, 2013 at 5:31 am | Permalink

            Pretending you cannot understand me will not help you Jerry. The scientific consensus as it stands say that global warming is occurring and is because of and speeded up by man made emissions. This is not an opinion of scientists as you say. It is not settled by any means, but would you say the sun rising tomorrow is an opinion? There is a fringe of vested interest fruitcakes often funded by the oil companies and right wing groups that say this and the sites quoted on this site being prime examples.
            In other words do nothing fatalistic right/religious wingers who believe that all is pre ordained and man has no free will.
            Sources Jeremy. Sources. We will have a laugh and follow the money trail. “Just your opinion” Ram it.

          • Jerry
            Posted May 3, 2013 at 11:23 am | Permalink

            @Bazman: “Pretending you cannot understand me will not help you Jerry.”

            Sorry but I really didn’t understand what you were attempting to say, there was no pretence about it. 🙁

            Bazman, you are wrong on all accounts, there is non and there can not be any consensus because the AGW pushers -sorry, research scientists- have NOT published all their data [1], I can only assume that you can not actually follow scientific debate and the need for full and frank data release that then allows for critical peer review.

            Also, if we were to do as you suggest and follow the “money trail” it would lead directly to multi $/£m AGW scientific research funded by governmental and/or intergovernmental (IPCC) grants via the UN, plus many businesses making money from subsidised “Green” energy generation/conservation and insulation schemes. Then we have the daft situation (if AGW was a given and real danger) were the developed world is being expected to stifle their own economies to try and keep CO2 levels low(er) whilst free reign is given to countries like China, India and the like to do as they please with regards CO2 emission -as if CO2 has any respect for national boarders- because they are (economically) “developing nations”, funny how they have advanced services, electronic, space and nuclear industries though.

            Oh and my old fruitcake, no need to be so rude, I thought we were all adults here, I’m sure you would not wish people to stoop to your (apparent) level return the favour?…

            [1] in fact they REFUSE to do so and got very upset when some data was hacked and placed in the public domain

      • nicolsinclair
        Posted April 29, 2013 at 12:31 pm | Permalink

        Lifelogic: “…sensible questioning from the BBC.” Surely, that is an oxymoron?

        • lifelogic
          Posted April 29, 2013 at 3:40 pm | Permalink

          Indeed it is.

          • Bazman
            Posted May 4, 2013 at 4:15 pm | Permalink

            What news channel has ‘sensible’ questioning. Do tell us if you can. The opposite of the BBC I presume. When questioned you again have no answer.

      • HJBbradders
        Posted April 30, 2013 at 10:07 am | Permalink

        Every time one of those two women appears on TV or radio, the Greens lose 10,000 votes.

        • lifelogic
          Posted April 30, 2013 at 4:14 pm | Permalink

          Still at least we got rid of Welsh Julia Gillard to Australia, poor Australians.

    • The White Dragon
      Posted April 29, 2013 at 6:57 am | Permalink

      And I thought he looked as if he were on the way to clown school yesterday when I saw him on TV. Hair flying in all directions and with a tyre round his neck.

    • Disaffected
      Posted April 29, 2013 at 9:26 am | Permalink

      Spot on. Each time Cameron slightly sounds Eurosceptic Clarke puts him down. In austerity can it be justified to have a minister without a job? I think he is there to make Cameron tow the EU superstate line. Mrs Thatcher’s death gives us all a timely reminder of the personal qualities of the likes of Clarke and Heseltine that many of us dislike so much, yet he insults others with abandon. Do not forget Clarke’s record for ECHR, if you want the likes of Abu Qatada as a neighbour vote Lib Dem, Tory or Labour.

      • lifelogic
        Posted April 29, 2013 at 4:44 pm | Permalink

        One get the impression Cameron has told Clark in private – I think exactly you do Ken, but I have to pretend to be a bit EU sceptic due to the “bastards” on the back benches. It would help me a great deal if you make as much pro EU and soft left noises as possible. This so I can appear to be relatively skeptical at least, even though I am not at all.

        As can clearly be seen from all my actions, my daft loans to the PIGIS and the IMF, my fake green stance, my gender insurance nonsense and my appointment of Ken Clark, Heseltine, Cable, Clegg and Lord Patten types.

        • A different Simon
          Posted April 29, 2013 at 10:19 pm | Permalink

          Yep ,

          That’s about it .

          Clark is a shameless pompous elitest who should have been brought to justice for treason ages ago(etc) .

          In defence of Cable he does occasionally try to do what is best for Britain .

          You could never accuse the others you mentioned of doing that , not even by accident .

    • Henry Rogers
      Posted April 29, 2013 at 11:42 am | Permalink

      As a Conservative Party member I thought the TV clip of Mr Clarke’s remarks about UKIP at the weekend was profoundly embarrassing. Name calling like that should be beneath serious politicians. Saying why he disagrees with UKIP on policy matters would be more persuasive though it is possible that his views on the EU are no longer shared by many Conservatives.

      • lifelogic
        Posted April 29, 2013 at 3:44 pm | Permalink

        They Clark Cameron faction cannot think of any reasons for not being a Greater Switzerland/Norway.

        Other than the bogus X% of our exports go to the EU and the seat at the table nonsense (where we are ignored anyway).

        So they just smear people with racism.

        • zorro
          Posted April 29, 2013 at 4:49 pm | Permalink

          ‘The call of racism….the last refuge of the modern day scoundrel’…..

          Zorro Johnson

        • Bazman
          Posted April 29, 2013 at 5:25 pm | Permalink

          A country with an absurd tax system with countless regulations?

      • Max Dunbar
        Posted April 29, 2013 at 9:04 pm | Permalink

        Clarke is (someone the blogger dislikes a lot-ed). Apart from that he’s a great chap.

    • Electro-Kevin
      Posted April 29, 2013 at 4:50 pm | Permalink

      “A haven for racists.” (Ken Clarke on Ukip)

      So dare to disagree with Mr Clarke and you are smeared.

      There has always been a haven for (people with unpleasant views on race-ed) in this country. It’s called the BNP. The British public (much maligned as bigotted and unwelcoming of newcomers) have rejected this party but are never ever credited with doing so – despite outright provocation through the unwanted policies of uncontrolled immigration, access to the NHS and welfare.

      People are turning to UKIP because it is NOT racist. (They should be credited for it rather than criticised.) Perhaps that is Mr Clarke’s intention having seen the public rejection of the BNP and knowing that those of us who might defect aren’t racist people and think of it as the worst thing to be identified with.

      Voting for UKIP isn’t about winning seats for most. It’s about protest and not having the BNP or abstention as the only options.

      We need more polarised politics in the UK.

      (For what it’s worth I want a better Tory party. That’s why I’m here and not on the UKIP forum.)

      • APL
        Posted April 29, 2013 at 5:31 pm | Permalink

        Electro-Kevin: “So dare to disagree with Mr Clarke and you are smeared.”

        Disagreeing with Clarke is an article of faith as far as I am concerned.

        His opinions are worthless, he and Hestletine have pretty much between them destroyed the Tory party, probably deliberately. Both are the best MPs the Labour party never had.

        • A different Simon
          Posted April 29, 2013 at 10:27 pm | Permalink

          When Farrage gets in he can award Clarke a Peerage .

          Lord Haw Haw .

          Reply Mr Farage lost heavily in the 2010 General Election, did not fight any of the recent by elections and is not a candidate for County government

      • lifelogic
        Posted April 29, 2013 at 7:46 pm | Permalink

        “a better Tory party” – not a very ambitious target.

        • Electro-Kevin
          Posted April 30, 2013 at 6:42 pm | Permalink

          I don’t want a lot. Just real choice in politics.

          Choice. The word used to explain the benefits of privatisation. (I’m not against privatisation)

          The Tories fail in everything that was demanded of ordinary people.

          Where is our choice ?

          When we protest in about the only civilised way there is (through the ballot box) Mr Redwood sneers at us for our choice in party.

          It is notable that the IRA, religious fundamentalists and those who prefer to live in drug enclaves in our cities are given more democracy than the rest of us.

          I wonder why that might be.

          Reply I do not sneer . I ask a few questions and set out a few facts

          • Electro-Kevin
            Posted May 1, 2013 at 12:39 pm | Permalink

            My apologies, Mr Redwood.

  2. MickC
    Posted April 29, 2013 at 5:37 am | Permalink

    Very loyal of you but surely you are asking the wrong people the wrong question?

    The pertinent question is how many losses must the Conservatives endure before the party wakes up to the damage inflicted by the current leadership?

    Not winning the unlosable general election didn’t do it-so what will?

    Incidentally, I am a Conservative party member-but in the next general election will be voting UKIP. I understand this may result in a Labour government but regrettably the dead wood has to be cut back before there can be re-growth (a strategy which the current economic situation proves by its omission!)

    UKIP has the Conservatives rattled-and rightly so. Were UKIP so inconsequential the party would be ignoring it-but it is not.

    • Monty
      Posted April 29, 2013 at 3:27 pm | Permalink

      Mick, you have homed in on the right question there.
      How many losses will it take to force Cameron to stand down. ? Because that is what we want.

    • Max Dunbar
      Posted April 29, 2013 at 9:12 pm | Permalink

      Very clearly and objectively put.

  3. Mike Stallard
    Posted April 29, 2013 at 6:01 am | Permalink

    Oh Dear!
    UKIP has become a Party!
    It was never meant to be that. Its aim was simple: to get us out of the ghastly EU. In no way is it (or should it be) a rival to the Conservatives.
    What Dan Hannan in his blog has been saying for about a year now is that Mr Farage and Mr Cameron should come to an agreement and form a strong right wing which would sweep all before it. I understand this happened very successfully in Canada.
    Mr Cameron’s record on this one issue is lamentable. He has sided with the leaders of Europe against us, his voters. And, yes, he has lied over the promised referendum. But Mr Farage has confounded the media because he does things like admitting he went to a strip joint and took strong drink and – SMOKES!
    Here in this (Conservative) town there is a very strong UKIP presence.
    So the answer to your original question is this: please can someone get the right together so we can leave Europe ASAP?

    Please can we have a bit of leadership from the Conservatives on Europe at long last?

    • lifelogic
      Posted April 29, 2013 at 6:49 am | Permalink

      Ken Clark smokes too, he was even on the board of British American Tobacco, so smoking is also no guarantee of common sense. Just a much shorter life expectancy.

      • zorro
        Posted April 29, 2013 at 4:51 pm | Permalink

        You can sure that he’ll still be there when he’s 90 chomping on his cigars, and babbling on about the EU!


    • Max Dunbar
      Posted April 29, 2013 at 9:23 pm | Permalink

      If only the right could come toghether. It would take a remarkable leader to make it happen. Getting the Conservative Party toghether would be a start but at the moment it is no more conservative than the DDR was democratic. If the Tory Party did begin behaving like a right-wing party again then UKIP and other smaller parties would melt away. How many Tories would prefer Farage as leader of their party rather than Cameron?

  4. Steve Cox
    Posted April 29, 2013 at 6:13 am | Permalink

    Personally I think that so many people are disgusted with the self-serving politicians of all three main parties that they simply want to lodge a protest vote. If it wasn’t for UKIP then it would be for some other alternative party. In the last day or so both Boris Johnson and Lord Ashcroft have made the argument that a vote for UKIP is effectively a vote against the only party (i.e. the Conservatives) that has a serious chance of offering a referendum on our relationship with the EU. The trouble is that many dyed-in-the-wool Conservatives, such as myself, no longer believe what Mr. Cameron says or promises. He has gone back on his word too many times, or else has veered off on an irrelevant and vote-losing tangent (like gay marriage). Hence many people will continue to consider voting for UKIP and Mr. Farage, if only because they are not the Conliberals and he is not Mr. Cameron.

    • lifelogic
      Posted April 29, 2013 at 7:54 am | Permalink

      Surely no one can, any longer, believe anything Mr. Cameron says or promises? He as a PR spin career politician. After his short lived cast iron promise and the totally blatant inheritance tax ratting with countless other minor ratting on route he has not credibility whatsoever.

      Increases in regulation in all directions not a bonfire or red tape. New PAYE nonsense to distract employers for work, the gender insurance nonsense and countless other nonsense. Nothing serious yet on employment laws.

    • Peter McMahon
      Posted April 29, 2013 at 10:00 am | Permalink

      What referendum? Even in the highly unlikely event of Cameron being PM after the next election, he won’t stage any referendum on the UK’s relationship with Brussels, and he has not even the slightest intention of doing so.

      • lifelogic
        Posted April 29, 2013 at 4:46 pm | Permalink

        Indeed it will be cast iron promise broken number two. Some ruse/fig leaf will be found.

    • RB
      Posted April 29, 2013 at 9:41 pm | Permalink

      It’s not a protest.

      What the LibLabCons haven’t yet grasped is that it’s a full blooded fully intended and considered vote. Ken Clarke epitomises what he called the “political classes”. He says we should vote for people we think would be sensible councillors, not “clowns”. He has no grasp whatsoever that this is exactly what a large section of society will do on Thursday – vote for UKIP councillors on exactly that basis, thinking as they do that he and his colleagues are the clowns. It doesn’t occur to Clarke that he or his party are no longer the sensible choice to many.

      We have all followed Messrs Redwood, Hannan, Carswell and a few others for a long time and yet they have made no impact – none.

      Much as we might admire Mr Redwood he is in the wrong party at the wrong time and it is time for a change. The conservative party is effectively broken at a local level. Membership has collapsed. Local party infrastructure is almost destroyed, tens of thousands of supporters having now turned away from the party, many of them going over to UKIP.

      I will vote UKIP on Thursday.

      • joeqool
        Posted April 30, 2013 at 8:37 pm | Permalink

        Sadly RB I agree, I’ve voted Tory a long time, but they’ve moved on from me. UKIP are the only party that chimes with my beliefs, and they will have my vote, including the general election, from now on.

  5. Duyfken
    Posted April 29, 2013 at 6:15 am | Permalink

    I shan’t take the bait, JR, but you are to be congratulated for seven mentions of UKIP – those four capital letters really stand out. Keep up the publicity!

    • zorro
      Posted April 29, 2013 at 4:52 pm | Permalink

      Start to worry when they stop mentioning UKIP!


  6. Mick Anderson
    Posted April 29, 2013 at 6:23 am | Permalink

    Asking for an empirical quantified result in politics is a little optimistic! UKIP are going to claim success if their share of the vote increases (which it is almost certainly going to do), and all the others will claim they have failed if they do other than take all of the seats that they are contesting.

    There are too many variables which can be given different weight in any assessment, and it’s not as though the various parties even agree which ones should be included in the sums….

    I suggest that UKIP have already won the first skirmish by being included in so many of the discussions on radio and television. Should they increase the percentage of the vote, the number of the voters or the number of seats, that’s another win (or three). If it is at the expense of all three main Parties (rather than just one or two of the triad) then that’s the jackpot.

    Of course, if UKIP achieve any of the above, the other Party leaders will trot out the same lines about “protest votes”, “listening to the electorate” and “lessons to learn”. Many of us on this site don’t believe the last two, and are quite happy with the concept of the first!

    Personally I will either vote UKIP, independant if there is no Kipper for sale, or spoil the ballot if (as is often the case around here) there are only blue or yellow rosettes to reward. Mine will most definitely be a protest vote, but as I don’t support the Coalition, the MP with his name against the area, or the way the local Councillers have chosen to represent me for the last decade, this is the only form of complaint that I can lodge between GEs that will be noticed. If UKIP end up with councillers, MPs or the non-existant key to Number 10, I can’t imagine that they will do any worse than the current incumbents.

    • scottspeig
      Posted April 29, 2013 at 11:56 am | Permalink

      Don’t spoil your paper! I have been informed that if you cast a blank voting slip, that counts as a “none of the above” whereas a spoiled paper is consigned to the rubbish heap!

      • Monty
        Posted April 29, 2013 at 3:32 pm | Permalink

        I’d never submit a blank ballot paper. If you had a lot of people doing that, it would provide far too much scope for election fraud.

      • Bob
        Posted April 29, 2013 at 3:45 pm | Permalink

        ” I have been informed that if you cast a blank voting slip, that counts as a “none of the above””

        What would it achieve?

  7. Nick Berryman
    Posted April 29, 2013 at 6:27 am | Permalink

    Mr Redwood,

    I have been a Conservative supporter all my life. Until last year, I was a member of the local Conservative Committee, and was asked by the constituency chairman to be a vice chairman, and to chair the policy forum. Unfortunately, I can no longer give my support to your party, as it no longer represents my principles and beliefs. How can someone like yourself not seek to limit the damage being done to this country by the EU and all three mainstream political parties.
    If you have been reading the thousands (literally) of pro-UKIP comments in the Telegraph, following Ken Clarke’s stupid comments, you will realize just how unpopular your party has become, and how much the Tory’s have become disengaged from their (once) core vote.
    Please do the honourable thing, and defect to the United Kingdom Independent Party. Our country needs experienced politicians to see us through this difficult and dangerous time, and your track record shows that you have all the right credentials.
    You are clearly a UKIP supporter in all but name, so now is the right time to come out into the open. Churchill had the guts to change parties; I hope and trust that you do too.

    Kind regards,

    • Jon Burgess
      Posted April 30, 2013 at 7:27 pm | Permalink

      Try as we might, none of us can tempt Mr Redwood from the arms of his pro-EU, grammar school hating, high tax and spend, welfare inflating, big state, pro-green energy tax, gay marriage advocating, profligate, national debt expanding, armed services cutting, excuse of a party.

      One might be tempted to conclude that someone who is happy to be a member of such a party is no conservative.

      I couldn’t, of course, comment.

  8. Roy Grainger
    Posted April 29, 2013 at 6:32 am | Permalink

    There is no local election where I live but I would be voting Conservative if there were due to purely local issues, so I am far from being a UKIP cheerleader. However, I find John’s repeated failure to address UKIP’s policies interesting – the political guessing game he proposes here is another example. John: which UKIP policies do you not support ? The tone of this article suggests the reason we should not vote UKIP is that they won’t get elected, I assume that is the reason you won’t join them even though you support all their policies (I am happy to be corrected). Maybe voters (and MPs) should follow their beliefs and support the party that best matches them ?

    Reply: UKIP support my policies in a number of important areas – why should I therefore join them, when I held these views before they arrived on the scene, and when I have taken action to ensure I do hold elected office to be able to pursue these policies?

    • Roy Grainger
      Posted April 29, 2013 at 6:54 am | Permalink

      My reply is because the party of which you ARE a member does not support your policies.

      • Jerry
        Posted April 29, 2013 at 8:48 am | Permalink

        But Roy, perhaps if more people had not jumped-ship in a fit of peak back in 1992 there would have been enough support in the party then and now to ensure that not only Mr Redwood is listened to but that a less europhile leader got elected? After all, those who stayed within the Tory Party, people like our host or the member for Stone etc, have been able to do far more good than UKIP has (looking in though the sound-proof glass windows as they do [1]), only being able to make a noise as MEP’s but not able to change anything.

        [1] only in the Lords does UKIP have a voice, without much effect

        • Bob
          Posted April 29, 2013 at 3:53 pm | Permalink

          “without much effect”

          I think ukip have had a huge effect Tory policies.

          • Jerry
            Posted April 29, 2013 at 5:50 pm | Permalink

            @Bob: Don’t make us laugh! UKIP follow people like our host, Lord Tebbit or Mr Hannan etc. The very few issues that UKIP attempt to lead on are largely being ignored -any reaction by any other party usually being to challenge UKIP, rather than agree…

          • Bob
            Posted April 30, 2013 at 7:25 am | Permalink


            So you think David Cameron would have made his referendum “pledge” on the basis of his EU-sceptic minority members without the pressure from ukip.

            Don’t make us laugh!

          • Jerry
            Posted April 30, 2013 at 11:54 am | Permalink

            @Bob: The Tory party, or at least elements within, were anti EEC/EU long before UKIP or even Goldsmith and his ‘Save the Pound’ party was ever thought about, indeed some were disagreeing with Mr Heath back in the 1970s, so much so that Powell fell on his sword, telling his constituents to vote Labour and not Tory [1] because Heath would not promise (as Labour had) to ask the nation in a Stay-in/Get-out referendum.

            [1] in other words, he wanted them to sack him!

          • Bob
            Posted May 1, 2013 at 7:14 pm | Permalink

            By Rowena Mason, Political Correspondent
            4:08PM BST 01 May 2013

            “Amid growing support for the eurosceptic Ukip party, the Prime Minister today said the Conservatives need to “demonstrate absolutely that we are serious about this referendum”. “


            The old EU referendum trick – does he really think that conservatives are that gullible?

        • Ken Hall
          Posted April 30, 2013 at 1:29 pm | Permalink

          @Jerry In 2010, Cameron rejected UKIP’s offer to effectively disband if he granted an in or out referendum. Cameron declined.

          In October 2011, Cameron ordered a three line whip against an in or out referendum in the commons.

          Since then UKIP have BEATEN the conservatives in the last 4 by-elections…. then Cameron offered his so-called “in or out” referendum.

          If UKIP had not thrashed the tories in those seats, Cameron would NEVER have tried his despicable sleight of hand lie about a referendum in 2017.

          Of course UKIP are having an effect.

          Reply Simply untrue

          • Jerry
            Posted April 30, 2013 at 6:21 pm | Permalink

            @Ken Hall: “Cameron rejected UKIP’s offer to effectively disband if he granted an in or out referendum.

            I seem to remember that there were many other ‘conditions’, this suggestion of such a deal was far from simply wanting an In/Out referendum, I seem to recall UKIP also wanted to dictate what safe Tory seats they would be given, this would have been far from disbanding. Oh and as I recall it was the Tories who thrashed UKIP “in those seats”, if I’m wrong do remind us how many UKIP MPs sit on the Green benches of Westminster – exactly, zero, big fat nothing, UKIP couldn’t even score given an apparent open goal. The Greens are making more electoral headway than UKIP are in this respect!

            Of course UKIP are having an effect.

            Indeed they are, letting Labour and the LibDems in… 🙁

      • JimF
        Posted April 29, 2013 at 2:59 pm | Permalink

        Reply to reply:
        But your party isn’t pursuing these policies, is it? It never will. Rather like going to the mosque and hoping that eventually the congregation turn Catholic. Please believe us IT ISN’T GOING TO HAPPEN.

        Reply My party in government despite the Lib Dems cut the EU budget and vetoed the Fiscal treaty. What has UKIP done in the European parliament that has arrested the ever growing powerrs of that body?

        • Bob
          Posted April 29, 2013 at 7:38 pm | Permalink

          ” What has UKIP done in the European parliament that has arrested the ever growing powers of that body? “

          Which UK party has the greatest number of MEPs and what have they done to arrest ” the ever growing powers of that body”?

          • Ken Hall
            Posted April 30, 2013 at 1:30 pm | Permalink

            UKIP at least vote against granting more powers to the EU. The tories never do.

            Reply I do

        • RB
          Posted April 29, 2013 at 9:56 pm | Permalink

          Mr Redwood, that’s all you have?

          I do mean this with all due respect but you are an outlier in your party and in politics generally. You and those who share and pursue your views have understandably achieved nothing of any practical value.

          Your replies amount to no more than “I am still trying”. And kudos to you for it, but you have no influence in a way that affects us.

          The “cut” to the EU budget was a small shaving of a splinter off the money demanded and in no way addresses the real issue of the EU. It is a miniscule side issue.

          The veto counted for nothing as the EU/EZ ploughed its furrow anyway. What it actually constituted was a perfect demonstration of our utter powerlessness in the EU.

          The things you mention are chaff in the wind of the larger reality – of absolutely no consequence.

          People are now ready to address the big issues and UKIP is the only party that gives them that option.

          Reply SDtopping UK membership of the Euro was our biggest victory so far, and makes a further victory possible. I need more support, not more criticism

          • Bob
            Posted May 1, 2013 at 8:05 am | Permalink

            ” I need more support, not more criticism”

            How could I give you more support John?
            The only way I can think of, is by moving to your constituency.

            My current Tory MP voted against you on the EU referendum debate two years ago.

    • lifelogic
      Posted April 29, 2013 at 6:55 am | Permalink

      To reply you would indeed be foolish to change parties. Even if you retained your seat as you richly deserve, you would have no real influence in the house with a tiny number of UKIP MPs. A deal is the only way forward or the Eds and Unison all thanks to ratters Cameron and Osborne loosing the last sitting duck election.

      • Jerry
        Posted April 29, 2013 at 8:55 am | Permalink

        @Lifelogic: More like thanks to the UK electors, due to not giving the Tories a clear majority in 2010. Quite how you know how things would have played out had there been such a clear Tory majority I really don’t understand – unless you are “The Doctor” and can thus flip between alternate universes in your TARDIS… 🙂

        • lifelogic
          Posted April 29, 2013 at 5:43 pm | Permalink

          How did you guess?

    • Ben Kelly
      Posted April 29, 2013 at 7:11 am | Permalink

      Reply to reply
      Mr Redwood if your party does not pursue the policies you advocate then it is possible that your electorate may question your motives for staying in that party. You quite often list the issues which you have lobbied on/made progress in so at present I can understand why you stay; especially as UKIP does appear to be as described today “the far right of the Conservative party with Ed Balls as financial spokesman”. These two doctrines make odd bedfellows.

      I shall be voting Conservative in the local elections as my councillors do a good job and do not deserve to be villified for the abject failure of the national party to cut expenditure, for attacking middle income higher rate taxpayers as an easy source of additional revenue and for driving down real wages by not cutting off the flow of externally sourced labour and training home grown talent (very noticeable employment policy within the public sector)

      In general elections and Europe I will vote for a single issue party and UKIP voices my contempt for the European project.

      Success for me is to raise the profile of European profligacy and regulation to greater national conciousness. I believe that UKIP has so far had more success in this than the Conserative back benches, who have had far longer to impact as you rightly pointed out.

    • Disaffected
      Posted April 29, 2013 at 9:44 am | Permalink

      JR you are an intelligent man and it is recognised by those of us who read this blog. Most of your views are accepted by people on this site. Cameron and the modernisers do not. He surrounds himself with clones from Eton, Bullingdon Club, Oxbridge pro European people. He failed to win the last election with the most loathed person in office since most of us can remember. Tories have been out of office for 16 years so hardly a driving force at Westminster. He has treaded water for 3 years massaging his ego. Yet he has continued with their policies and there is only presentational difference between LibLabCon because the EU calls the shots with them being the presenters. How many times do you have to beat your head against the door before realising it hurts? I voted Tory all my life, I will never do so while Cameron is in office, I regretted it with Major and I am not doing it again. The toxic past is the Major, Heseltine (Clarke) government not Mrs Thatcher, Teresa May has got wrong era and so too has Cameron, Letwin and Osborne. Perhaps that is why he will not address the sleaze from the expense scandal or fulfil his promise of early legislation for right to recall. Gay marriage far too important to fulfil for his EU masters.

    • zorro
      Posted April 29, 2013 at 10:10 am | Permalink

      LOL……So the answer is for UKIP members to join the John Redwood Party (not the current Tory party)…….What could be simpler?


  9. Old Albion
    Posted April 29, 2013 at 6:38 am | Permalink

    Let’s see. Should i vote Labour……..nah! Lib-Dem………nah! Conservative…….nah!
    What’s the point, they are all the same (with a couple of notable individual exceptions John)
    You can’t get a fag paper between them. Same old lies and failures just different colour rosettes.
    I want out of the EU. I want democratic equality for England. Where will i find these?
    Oh! i know. UKIP.
    You call it ‘protest’ I call it desire for change.

    Reply: I do not call it protest. I am just asking a simple question – if you want out of the EU (as many now do) does voting UKIP and losing help that, or is it better to back a party that offers an IN/Out referendum which could win?

    • Roy Grainger
      Posted April 29, 2013 at 7:00 am | Permalink

      I would say voting UKIP and losing probably IS a good way for getting a referendum, because if UKIP garners enough of these “protest” votes then BOTH major parties will try to gain those votes at the general election by tailoring their policies to them on the specific issue of the EU. If on the other hand they just vote Conservative the Labour party has more interest in maintaining a clear policy dividing line between themselves and the Conservatives come the election.

      The Conservative promise of an In/Out vote is a two-edged sword anyway when it is clear they will be campaigning for an IN vote.

      Reply That is by no means clear. If, as some argue, the EU does not offer us a better deal many Conservatives will be campaigning for Out. Most Conservatives I know would vote for Out if the terms on offer were the same as or similar to current terms.

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted April 29, 2013 at 9:59 am | Permalink

        I find it very hard to believe that Cameron would ever campaign to leave the EU, under any conceivable circumstances, and the same with “in Europe but not run by Europe” Hague, and Lidington, and a whole raft of senior Tories, and where they led most other Tories would follow.

        In fact I find it hard to believe that Cameron would ever willingly hold a referendum on whether to leave the EU, just in case he lost, and even if he followed my suggestion and deposited a £10 million bond of his own money to back up his pledge I would still not entirely believe that it was going to happen until the Act had been passed.

        After all, £10 million is chicken feed for the EU, which historically has been quite prepared to use taxpayers’ money to look after its own.

      • Roy Grainger
        Posted April 29, 2013 at 10:14 am | Permalink

        No, it is not clear, but it is at leat arguable that a high separate UKIP vote will at least enable Labour to more clearly see how much of their own support has deserted and tailor an anti-EU policy accordingly, the effect the UKIP vote has on the Conservatives is of less significance. So I would argue that a UKIP vote is the best way to ensure that BOTH the Conservatives and Labour go into the next election with a referendum promise.

        The result of the referendum is a separate matter, last time there was a referndum on it, despite polls in advance indicating a “Out” majority, during the campaign this changed due to a number of factors such as the “establishment”, industrialists, and the leaders of all three parties being in favour of staying In, and assorted unpopular and divisive fruitcake characters on the extreme right and left running the Out campaign. I expect it will be no different next time, the best predictor of what will happen in the future is what happened in the past.

        • A different Simon
          Posted April 29, 2013 at 10:37 pm | Permalink

          Roy ,

          It’s too late .

          Even if they went into the next election with a referendum promise nobody would believe them and rightly so .

          You can’t blackmail or force those old parties to modernise because they like things just the way they are .

        • Jerry
          Posted April 30, 2013 at 9:53 pm | Permalink

          @Roy Grainger: “ So I would argue that a UKIP vote is the best way to ensure that BOTH the Conservatives and Labour go into the next election with a referendum promise.

          Well it might be in a Tory strong-hold but dissatisfied labour supporters could, were they put up candidates, vote SLP or even one of the other left-wing parties of protest, UKIP is thus not the only option and might actually not be the best protest vote for those on the left – the EU might well be at the top of the list for the right but might not be for the left who have other fish to fry – in the run up to Labour writing their next manifesto.

      • JimF
        Posted April 29, 2013 at 3:02 pm | Permalink

        You make a very good point Roy Grainger

      • keithus chegwinus
        Posted April 29, 2013 at 8:01 pm | Permalink

        We have been promised in/out referenda by Cameron & Nu-Labor previously, both reneged on their promises

        Reply No. Mr Camron promised a referendum on Lisbon prior to ratification, and voted for that in the Commons as promised.

        • Denis Cooper
          Posted April 30, 2013 at 12:43 pm | Permalink

          “Mr Camron promised a referendum on Lisbon prior to ratification”

          When he gave his “cast-iron guarantee” in the Sun on September 26th 2007 it was an unqualified pledge:

          “If I become PM a Conservative government will hold a referendum on any EU treaty that emerges from these negotiations.”

          He could easily have added a few extra words such as “provided that it is not already in force”, but he didn’t.

          That qualification was added later after pressure from Clarke and other members of the eurofanatic wing of the Tory party.

          Reply Not so. As one who fought unsuccessfully to get a pledge of an In/Out referendum if Lisbon had already been ratified I know you are not telling the truth. We also with the help of the front bench tried to get the Czechs to delay ratification so we could still hold a Lisbon vote after the GE.

          • Denis Cooper
            Posted April 30, 2013 at 3:20 pm | Permalink

            JR, unfortunately the Sun has removed that article from its website, but I had taken a copy of the text which I still have here and could copy and paste in full if you wish. However you can take my word for it that the sentence I have quoted above defining Cameron’s “cast-iron guarantee” is exactly the sentence as it appeared in the article:

            “Today, I will give this cast-iron guarantee: If I become PM a Conservative government will hold a referendum on any EU treaty that emerges from these negotiations.”

            And while there could easily have been a qualification about the “cast-iron guarantee” only applying before the treaty had been ratified, there was not.

          • Denis Cooper
            Posted April 30, 2013 at 3:50 pm | Permalink

            Or, you can read it here, dredged up on November 1st 2009 when it was still on the Sun website:


            Which also refers to the reaction from the Bruges Group:

            “There was absolutely no wriggle room in the unambiguous pledge he made in September 2007. He offered a “cast iron guarantee” to put any treaty in front of the voters.”

          • Mark W
            Posted May 2, 2013 at 8:04 pm | Permalink

            JR, ref: your reply. I didn’t know that. I knew the cast iron guarantee was worded to only be valid before ratification but I can see thru disingenuous language when I see it. It’s the most annoying thing politicians do. I must have not paid enough attention to moves like yours at the time.

    • Nick Berryman
      Posted April 29, 2013 at 7:05 am | Permalink

      Please credit the UK population with some sense. We know, and you must know, that Cameron’s promise is an empty one. Even if he intends to keep his word (and that would be a turn up for the books), there is no possibility that he will return after the next election with a majority to enable it to happen (if he returns at all).
      Regarding your response to My Grainger, you may be in a position to pursue those policies, but mere pursuit is not enough. The clock is ticking, and time is running out. You know in your heart it’s the right thing to do (that is quite clear) – all you have to do is take the plunge and make history!

      • Jerry
        Posted April 29, 2013 at 9:12 am | Permalink

        @Nick Berryman: “Cameron’s promise is an empty one

        Someone else who has a DeLorean (equipped with the all important flux capacitor…) and has thus gone looking into the future! You can’t possibly know what will happen in 2014/15/16/17 but you WANT this to be an empty promise because of your support for UKIP, because if the referendum is held then UKIP’s main blot has been fired (regardless of the result) by someone else.

        • scottspeig
          Posted April 29, 2013 at 12:02 pm | Permalink

          Given the number of U-turns, I wouldn’t be at all surprised if he reneged on this promise. He seems somewhat flexible to the countries “important” issues and yet dogmatic in the unimportant ones. A bit confusing to me!

    • The PrangWizard
      Posted April 29, 2013 at 7:22 am | Permalink

      I would assert that we would not be where we are now were it not for UKIP, some MPs and others. This referendum offer – of doubtful worth – did not spring voluntarily and without prompting out of the Conservative party or the government. I consider the offer is only an attempt to take the steam out of the EU opponents’ case. I expect Cameron and others to do a lot of wriggling to get out of his ‘promise’.

    • Dan
      Posted April 29, 2013 at 8:27 am | Permalink

      Seriously, you believe there will be an in/out referendum even with a Conservative win?

    • ian wragg
      Posted April 29, 2013 at 9:18 am | Permalink

      Jam tomorrow as usual.

    • Old Albion
      Posted April 29, 2013 at 9:41 am | Permalink

      Cameron is a Europhile. I do not believe for one minute he will ever seek a mandate to leave the EU.
      He will seek his renegociation. Ms Merkel will agree to let us continue to drive on the left for a bit longer and Cameron will declare a success in ‘our new relationship’ then campaign to stay in the EU.
      There is only one party that really wants out, and it ain’t the Con/lib/lab pact.

    • Pleb
      Posted April 29, 2013 at 1:15 pm | Permalink

      Im hoping for a Cons/Ulip coalition in time. This will take them towards eurosceptism. Cameron is a dead man walking anyway.

      • Jerry
        Posted April 30, 2013 at 10:13 pm | Permalink

        @Pleb: If UKIP take Tory votes in 2015 and allow a europhile Labour party in, or worse a Lib-Lab coalition, were the more europhobic Lab left-wing have to be tamed just as the europhobic of the Tory party have been since 2010, then not only is Cameron a dead man walking but so are the UKIP because after another five years the UK could well be so entwined into the (most likely, Federal) EU we might never be able to extract ourselves.

        UKIP are actually playing a very dangerous game, they might actually end up pitching us all out of the life-boat into the acidic waters that is the EU. In fact, if I believed in conspiracies, I would suggest that a group of europhiles dedicated to keeping the UK in the EU would set up an apparently anti EU party that then splits the vote on the traditionally eurosceptic/europhobe UK political right…

  10. margaret brandreth-j
    Posted April 29, 2013 at 7:02 am | Permalink

    There isn’t a valid reason why anyone shouldn’t start a new party and in many ways I agree with what UKIP say, however we are talking reality. Unless all other party members suddenly change their colours to get out of the EU, in other words there is a revolutionary action, UKIP simply do not have time to reverse the process.

    • ian wragg
      Posted April 29, 2013 at 9:23 am | Permalink

      Defeatest nonesense. The EU will probably implode anyway in the next few years.
      The British public will get their way one way or another. The continuing nonsense with deporting criminals and the never ending Euro crisis, just to mentionj a few of the problems will change the attitude ov the public eventually.
      The fact the John is giving so much time to UKIP means the party must be rattled.
      Incidently, Clarke has called me a rascist, can I sue?????

      Reply I seek to give time proportionate to UKIP’s third or fourth position in the polls. This is the only blog I have written on them recently.

      • Roy Grainger
        Posted April 29, 2013 at 2:16 pm | Permalink

        John: You give proportionate time to mentioning UKIP based on their position in the polls, but you give a disproportionate amount of time to mentioning their policies, in fact every time you complain that the government isn’t following one of your own policy ideas.

        Reply They are my policies, and the policies of like minded Conservative Eurosceptics. UKIP does not own those ideas, many of which I and other like me developed long before UKIP came along.

        • Jon Burgess
          Posted April 30, 2013 at 9:16 pm | Permalink

          Ah yes, developed long ago but not accepted as Conservative party policy. What, is the point of euroscepticism within your pro EU party?
          Yes you helped to avoid ditching the pound (thank God) but how long ago was that? What else can we celebrate? An in out referendum possibly some time soon but only after a raft of other things happen and only if Dave says so? What is the point of you?

          I’d rather vote for a party whose policies I agree with, than an individual who I agree with in a party that ignores him!

          Reply In 20 years of life UKIP has not helped us Eurosceptics achieve anything.

          • Jon Burgess
            Posted May 1, 2013 at 4:07 pm | Permalink

            Well, one might argue that your party’s EU policy (in Europe, run by Europe, committed to ever closer union but pretend that we are not) led to UKIPs birth.

            Let’s see where the next 20 years takes us. I’ve a feeling UKIP will be doing a lot more to get us out of the EU from hereon than your party will be.

    • A different Simon
      Posted April 29, 2013 at 10:46 pm | Permalink

      Margaret ,

      You make a very good point .

      The whole process of European integration has been designed to be irreversible .

      A principle which needs to be upheld is that businesses which banked on further European integration assumed the political risk themselves and are not eligible for compensation if the UK should leave .

      They can probably buy some synthetic product from the City of London to cover them .

  11. The PrangWizard
    Posted April 29, 2013 at 7:12 am | Permalink

    I would say what Mr Redwood’s is doing here, in his usual polite way, is what others from the Conservative party have doing over the weekend; sticking the knife into UKIP in order to deter as many people as possible from voting for them.
    What he is doing is legitimate, what they have been doing is just dirty politics.
    I’m not a UKIPer; but they have obviously scared the Conservatives, even Mr Redwood has had to come out in support, or has been told to. It will be a big event for them, the trouble is, expectations have been ramped up and it will be easy for their opponents to take a negative view of them afterwards if they don’t reach the massive expectations.

    Reply I have n ot been told to do any such thing. I have asked a very interesting and simple question, which will be endlessly debated in the media once the results are known, so why don’t people so passionate about UKIIP tell us their answer?

  12. oldtimer
    Posted April 29, 2013 at 7:17 am | Permalink

    No one has a clue about the electoral effect (in terms of seats won) of UKIP contesting more seats – even election gurus Rallings and Thresher duck out of that one. The measure that most people will note is the share of the vote that UKIP achieves. If it reflects and reinforces the trends revealed in the polls in recent months that will focus the minds of the three main parties. A significant sub text will be what impact UKIP has where Labour controls the local authorities. My belief is that UKIP will attract a strong protest vote, including some who do not normally vote.

    Co-incidentally yesterday lunch time I was canvassed on behalf of the local Independent candidate. The canvasser revealed that once upon a time he had been Chairman of the local Conservative association but had long since lost faith in Mr Cameron and his policies. In particular we shared our despair at the ineptitude and downright stupidity of government energy policies (shared by all three parties) on which you posted a day or so ago. The Independent candidate will get my vote. He said there was a UKIP candidate standing but knew nothing about him. The local UKIP campaigning tactic appears to be this: appear on the ballot paper and attract the protest vote. That is why I think that vote share is and will be more important for UKIP than the number of seats won in this particular election.

  13. Gordon Riby
    Posted April 29, 2013 at 7:26 am | Permalink

    How to quantify the UKIP threat… It has little to do with how many councils it controls, rather how much more % of the vote it takes. If it increases that significantly then that could catalyse the actual “breakthrough”, which is when the UKIP share of the vote could translate to it getting MP’s in a general election or upseting the balance of power in constituencies to a far greater extent than it has done in the past.

    Clearly UKIP’s activities do adversely effect the Conservative Party and have the potential to do so in a much more powerful way. The UKIP “effect” could well spread to the Labour Party heartland, attracting voters who would not, out of principle, vote Tory.

    How could UKIP do this? Why is it in a Position to do so? There are a number of reasons:
    1. The EU’s deficiencies are exposed in the fashion they have not been before. As a result UKIP is “legitimised”.
    2. Frustration that despite Conservative Party posturing on the subject, it seems to be “bending the knee” to the EU. For example, I would be willing to bet that voters don’t understand why we don’t have an IN/OUT referendum on the EU sooner rather than after the next general election.
    3. Frustration on the subject of immigration: I would also be willing to wager that alot of voters perceive that not enough is being done to stop a perceved influx of migrants from Romania and Bulgaria.
    4. Nigel Farage’s contention (made on Question Time) that the UK is not doing enough to reduce debt (there are no cuts etc) is a powerful and common sense arguement and one that does not differ greatly from your own view (or mine). The attacks on Farage (be they on the economy or immigration – usually by the left) appear to be baseless (such as the assertion that he is a “far right nutter”) and a variance with popular opinion.
    5. UKIP are receiving a lot of positive media coverage – Particularly the Murdoch outlets and some influential blogs like Guido…

    I think any party underestimates UKIP at their peril.
    Might be worth noting that I am not politically “active” person and have never voted UKIP. Although my opinions are broadly “Conservative”, I am not a member of that party, nor any other.

  14. Nick Berryman
    Posted April 29, 2013 at 7:42 am | Permalink

    When good men do nothing, they get nothing good done.

    • Chris
      Posted April 29, 2013 at 12:40 pm | Permalink

      Agreed, Nick B. Sometimes it means acting outside “the box” or “comfort zone” in the interest of the country, bearing in mind the damage to its sovereignty from the EU that has already taken place, and the further erosion of sovereignty that is planned.

  15. Amanda
    Posted April 29, 2013 at 7:51 am | Permalink

    Mr Redwood, you are too be congratulated for following the type of conservative policies that many UKIP voters at this election would support. Were the Conservative party to follow your example UKIP would not be a topic of conversation.

    So, what, to we the voters who will vote UKIP, will constitute success? Well, success has already started – that we rattle the Conservatives primarily and force them to listen to many,of the electorate whom they now flagrantly ignore; to the extent that we are called loonies etc. You should be please with that, it should help your case on the back benches.

    Secondly, we will be pleased to see UKIP take votes off Labour, showing that UKIP ideas have universal appeal and can break us out of the ‘party rosette system’ we are currently in.

    Thirdly, we will be pleased to see UKIP replace the LibDems as the third party by percentage of votes, and do far better than the Greens.

    If Labour gets a free pass this time, well so be it. They haven’t got any answers have they? And a return of the unions will only open more people’s eyes.

    The name of the game is not trying to get UKIP into power as a party, but to get the views they hold, listened to and adopted into policies. And, if the Conservatives are the ones who can do that best, then, it is the Conservatives who will be beaten with a stick, until they listen !! If it is the Blarite Labour people who listen, then excellent. You back benchers are doing your bit, but you are not making too much headway are you? So we have to take things into our own hands.

    Voting for Cameron is not going to move things our way, in fact it will only give the impossible man more succor to continue his anti-British, anti-Family, anti-conservative, pro-socalist, pro-Europe policies. More than anything, success will be a bloody nose for Cameron and his modernisation.

    • cosmic
      Posted April 29, 2013 at 9:47 pm | Permalink

      Vote Conservative, then when they are in office you are told that you voted for their moderate euroscepticism, which is being fully in favour EU integration but making noises pretending not to be. The sort of dishonest muddling we see now.

      Then Ken Clarke pops up on TV saying that if people didn’t like that they would have voted UKIP.

      Vote UKIP then you are letting Labour in.

      The problem is people see little difference between the Conservatives as now constituted and Labour, and Cameron seems to have done his level best to drive the point home.

  16. Malcuk
    Posted April 29, 2013 at 7:55 am | Permalink

    “Reply: That is by no means clear. If, as some argue, the EU does not offer us a better deal many Conservatives will be campaigning for Out. Most Conservatives I know would vote for Out if the terms on offer were the same as or similar to current terms”

    The fact that as the Bruges group shows almost all Conservatives vote very positively for the EU policies, completely destroys your reply John.

    It is interesting to note the disinformation thrown out by Conservatives over the last couple of days, and the “you must vote for my party” comments from people like yourself. How can you with all honesty & integrity, be against your parties policies, and then ask people to vote for it?

    After more than 40 years voting Conservative I gave up and moved my vote. Your party does and says nothing that I feel is in the best interests of the British population. I want out of the EU, and many other changes, so you know who will get my vote!

    Reply This site is my blog. It is not a Conservative party website. It seeks to provide analysis, commentary and facts on current UK and EU government, economies and the rest.

  17. they work for us
    Posted April 29, 2013 at 8:04 am | Permalink

    UKIPs treatment inspired by Conservative Central Office and others is misguided and will backfire. This sort of propaganda was to be expected as locla elections draw near and a fear factor sets in. The likely results are featured in the Telegraph’s main political colour cartoon.

    How does a new political party get off the ground if its supporters are told that they are madmen (because they disagree with the existing parties) and that the remedy is to vote for the existing parties of whose policies they already disapprove.

    Boris Johnson’s comments in the Telegraph are nearer to the point.

    • keithus chegwinus
      Posted April 29, 2013 at 8:06 pm | Permalink

      If someone like Dan Hannan or Carswell switched parties & were made UKIP leader then this would be a catalyst for real democratic change in this country.

      Reply I do not think Mr Farage would agree to that. Starting a new leadership with a major leadership war would n ot be a great idea!

  18. Jerry
    Posted April 29, 2013 at 8:08 am | Permalink

    Sorry John but the last couple of weeks of scare stories about UKIP policies or candidates in the Tory supporting press and the more recent barrage of comment from senior Tory MPs and grandees suggests that far from UKIP failing to make such a breakthrough that instead they might be about to do just so – The now constant bleating from the Tory supporting press and party suggests that the latter is running very scared…

  19. Brian Tomkinson
    Posted April 29, 2013 at 8:17 am | Permalink

    You seem to be in a minority on your own blog. I have been warning you of the switch to UKIP for a couple of years. You converted me to UKIP when you so clearly highlighted the failure of this government, led by your party, to deal with the economic crisis. It may be the case that UKIP support ‘your’ policies but your party leaders do not. You choose to stay with a party that will not do what you want – that is your choice – but please don’t try and belittle those of us who don’t like what your party is offering and vote for one which does. Or are we all now part of a virtual single party state, as there is so little difference between the three main parties in parliament, which brooks no opposition?

    • Chris
      Posted April 29, 2013 at 12:51 pm | Permalink

      You make some very valid points which are held by many grassroots. There is a frustration amongst grassroots with professed Eurosceptic MPs who continue to toe the line which Cameron has set, which is so clearly not Eurosceptic. The promise of a referendum if Cameron wins the next election is not secure enough, it is too late, and the electorate will not be given the straight question which they have been asking for IN/OUT. Cameron will not be able to renegotiate/repatriate significant powers, and the key questions of waves of mass immigration, being tied to a dinosaur which stifles growth through its bureaucracy and mass of legislation, and the relentless erosion of sovereignty cannot be solved – they are fundamental to the operation of the EU and the European leaders are not going to permit David Cameron to hinder “the project” significantly. There will be gesture politics, with Merkel letting Cameron return from negotiation with a small concession, but that will be all.

  20. Bob
    Posted April 29, 2013 at 8:18 am | Permalink

    The Tory mud slinging campaign is an obvious sign that they’ve lost the argument and name calling is all they have left.

  21. Nick Berryman
    Posted April 29, 2013 at 8:26 am | Permalink

    Why did you delete my last comment?
    All I said was: “When good men do nothing, they get nothing good done”; hardly an inflammatory statement?

    • Bob
      Posted April 29, 2013 at 4:06 pm | Permalink

      @Nick Berryman
      ” hardly an inflammatory statement?”

      It might upset good men who feel they’re not doing anything?

  22. Martin Weaver
    Posted April 29, 2013 at 8:31 am | Permalink


    Have you considered the possibility that the Conservative Party’s poor performance in office is going to contribute to the bloodbath that’s about to happen?

    David Cameron’s premiership has been an unadulterated disaster for the Conservative Party. He is totally out of touch with not only the electorate but, more amazingly, with the rank-and-file members of his own party. He clearly is all at sea in terms of running the government. A rudderless individual lost in a sea of mediocrity he presides over a government who believe that borrowing slightly less than the Labour Party is an economic policy to be proud of. We have totally lost control of our borders and cannot even extradite known terrorists and drug dealers. We have a rampant welfare system that’s completely out of control with a minister whose only solution is to ask people politely to send back the money for their bus passes. We have no energy policy beyond building windmills that don’t work and are strangling our economy with so-called green taxes which are literally killing thousands of our old folk every year. I could go on and on. But I think you get the point.

    The upper echelons of the Conservative Party are completely indistinguishable from the Labour and Lib Dems. You, to your credit, offer an alternative vision but the Conservative Party itself is heading for annihilation. And it deserves this fate. We, as the electorate, don’t. We will get a Labour Party again in government in 2015. And then the IMF. Our national demise is not the fault of UKIP but the abject failure of the Conservative Party to offer an alternative vision.

  23. Leslie Singleton
    Posted April 29, 2013 at 8:37 am | Permalink

    Dear John, Please try and understand that we are not a “protest” vote (not that it would matter if we were). Present company excepted, we have come to hate even despise the other parties and will no longer trust them a centimetre, but on a much more positive note we really really like at least most of UKIP’s policies and have an enormous respect for Nigel Farage who is patently the plainest of plain dealers (For what worth, in case you don’t know, The Plain Dealer is a famous American newspaper) and that is what we want right now. The answer to your question (put in the way you have, I’m sad to say, because it gives you a chance, you hope, to be able to say that UKIP have “failed again” or somesuch–as against the fairer “not yet broken through”) is not to be measured in numbers but rather in the look of shock and unhappiness that will be registered on the faces of real clowns such as Clarke. Every time that buffoon opens his mouth that’s another few thousand votes for the good guys. Conservatives RIP for all I care and Yes of course I understand the worst case immediate consequences.

    Reply I have never said you are protest voters. I want to sort out the EU issue for the UK. I get fed up with UKIP claiming I am the problem rather than part of the solution, and frustrated because we do not have enough Eurosceptic Conservatives in the Commons which is where we need Eurosceptics to be.

    • Leslie Singleton
      Posted April 29, 2013 at 2:05 pm | Permalink

      Comment on Reply–I have never said or thought that you are the problem, far from it, and I happily acknowledge that you are striving for your own part in what you see as a possible solution. You do appear however to be marooned in a party with some sort of death wish at the top. Of course I agree that we need more, lots more, EUsceptics in the Commons. That may happen and fast if UKIP do well, if only from Conservatives suddenly seeing the light.

    • JimF
      Posted April 29, 2013 at 3:16 pm | Permalink

      You are only the problem because of you are a potential solution. It is totally in your court as to whether to remain in the Tory party. You clearly have large local grass roots support, so why not use it to push the policies you believe in at a more exposed level rather than as a back-bench moaning-minnie in a party of quasi-socialists?
      They won’t lower taxes, they won’t break up the banks, they want Comprehensive education, they want green policies. They keep fuel prices high, they won’t offer a referendum now that there is an opportunity in this Parliament, but offer one when they are booted out. The party you are criticising offers all of these.

      Reply The party you want me to join fought Wokingham in the last election and did badly. I fought it as a Eurosceptic Conservative and won. I will keep my promises to my electors, not join a party they decisively rejected.

      • Leslie Singleton
        Posted April 29, 2013 at 5:29 pm | Permalink

        John–You go wonky in your logic on this. They did not “reject” UKIP (there is no mechanism for rejection for a start), they positively voted for you (big difference) and couldn’t do both and in any event the last election is the height of irrelevance. The only question worth asking is, would you win if you became the candidate in Wokingham in a by-election that you force now and my opinion on that is, Yes, you would and easily. UKIP would then have the magic MP (You) and buckets of media attention and we might get somewhere. I believe your electors would pardon your breaking your promise in these circumstances. Perfection spells paralysis as someone once said.

        reply I intend to keep my word to my electors. I cannot see how relabelling me UKIP and cutting me off from friendly Conservative Europsceptic MPs in the Commons so I have no-one to second any proposal I wish to make would be progress! Nor do I think I would win a by election if I forced one on the issue of wishing to change my party membership.

        • Christopher Ekstrom
          Posted April 29, 2013 at 8:35 pm | Permalink

          You bloody well know, Mr. Redwood, that without a change of leadership the EU policy will be mere window-dressing & infinite delay. Five years on? And then six, seven…you have been robust in your joust with UKIP but it rings hollow to me. I sincerely wonder if you are at liberty to express your opinions about UKIP. We all assume you regard Cast Iron the Main-Chancer as a Tory traitor & slime. We know you cannot criticize him. Emerging from your (out-dated) loyalty you do not criticize the “conservatives”. It is so obvious that England needs a true champion; is there not one man or daring & heroic stature left in England?

          Reply No, I am not under any orders to write the way I do. I write as I see it. Mr Cameron is the Prime Minister. I wish to influence the Prime Minister we have. The alternative PM is not Mr Farage but Mr Miliband.

      • Mick Anderson
        Posted April 29, 2013 at 7:57 pm | Permalink

        To reply: Perhaps you underestimate how well appreciated you are by your constituents – a popular, industrious, sitting MP should easily see off a challenge from UKIP. If I lived in Wokingham, I would vote for you in spite of the Party leadership.

        However, from a philosophical perspective, it would be interesting to see how many of the voters would follow you, were you to jump ship. I rather expect that you would retain your majority – I certainly believe you deserve to – but do understand why you remain loyal to the party you have served for so long.

        Reply I think many of the people who vote for me in Wokingham want me to be part of a Conservative governing party which they want me to influence. I do not think they want a lonely UKIP MP ostracised by the Conservatives.

    • zorro
      Posted April 29, 2013 at 5:11 pm | Permalink

      I can’t recall anyone ever saying that you are the ‘problem’ John…..Mind you plenty of people blame it on Cast Elastic and Clarke……


    • RB
      Posted April 29, 2013 at 10:13 pm | Permalink

      If we had a more Eurosceptic conservative party I would vote for it. But we don’t. I understand your frustration Mr R but some of us can’t wait forever. True it is said that the grass is never greener, its just different grass, but at some point you have to make the change, and UKIP is it at this time in this place.

      • Martin Weaver
        Posted April 30, 2013 at 9:47 am | Permalink


        Respectfully, it’s not just about us not being able to “wait forever”. Even a cursory glance across the English Channel clearly indicates the European Project is all about the submission of the national states to a centralised Brussels superstate and the erosion of national sovereignty in Greece, Cyprus and the other Club Med countries is frightening. This is a matter of national survival and with the best will in the world David Cameron isn’t going to negotiate an improved deal with the likes of Angela Merkel. We’re either in a EuroZone where a centralised government is the outcome or we get out. With Labour in charge, our finances will deteriorate even further, the IMF will turn up and our bailout we’ll be offered will be dependent of scrapping the Pound and joining the Euro. Not since 1939 have we faced such a threat to our national sovereignty.

  24. matthu
    Posted April 29, 2013 at 8:38 am | Permalink

    My wife and I were fortunate enough to be able to attend a talk by Daniel Hannan (CON MEP) and Frederick Forsyth in Thame at the weekend.

    Disappointingly there were only about 50 people in the audience – the hall could probably have accommodated 200 easily. Hannan pointedly did not ask for a show of hands to see how many people were contemplating voting for UKIP.

    Both speakers clearly support a referendum and exiting the EU and nobody would deny that this is the most important issue facing the electorate at the next election.

    Both speakers clearly recognise that the CP will need to negotiate with UKIP at some stage. Forsyth at least recognised that this will not happen unless there is additional pressure put onto the CP leaders – but how will this happen unless there is a strong showing by UKIP in the council elections this year and the European elections next year?

    Hannan was almost pleading with his audience not to vote UKIP – as is John Redwood.

    Naturally, if nobody voted UKIP, CP leaders would be able to write UKIP off as a protest party and there would be no need ever to negotiate.

    The reality is that there is no chance that Cameron will have concluded a mutually acceptable negotiation with the EU before 2017 and no chance that CP will be able to form a government on their own in 2015.

    The trouble is that there are too many consultants, too many lawyers, too many environmentalists, too many NGO beneficiaries, too many mandarins and too many of the political elite like Ken Clarke and Mandelson and the high and mighty at the BBC all benefitting from us being a member of the EU. And the EU will be prepared to spend millions in propaganda to defend the status quo. So there is a huge amount of inertia to be got rid of and it is going to get bloody.

    By voting for the CP (or Lib Dems or Labour) you suport the status quo. That is a sad fact.

    The success of UKIP will be measured not by how many councils they win (there are relatively few up for grabs anyway) but by their proportion of the vote. If they grab a higher proportion of the vote, it will be harder to deny them a place alongside the main parties in any TV debate.

    And we need that debate because none of the other parties is prepared to put their policies on the EU up for scrutiny.

    • Bob
      Posted April 29, 2013 at 4:10 pm | Permalink

      Eloquently put Mat.

  25. Winston Smith
    Posted April 29, 2013 at 8:44 am | Permalink

    I was a Conservative activist for nearly 10yrs, before I resigned. I then joined UKIP. UKIP are still a minor party, with limited funds and resources, but in the 18mths that I have been involved, I have seen it grow rapidly. There are a handful of very good candidates at the local elections, including ex-Tory councillors, with the rest being paper candidates. In the past month, we have had several senior local Tory activists join. We also have Tory members distributing leaflets for us (they still believe your Party will change). It will be close in a few districts, and we may only win one council seat locally, but we will ensure your Party loses several to the LDs, who have very few members and little resources locally. My local, exasperated Tory candidate said, “you are just letting in the LDs”. I said, “what’s the difference?”

    He had no reply.

  26. Anthem
    Posted April 29, 2013 at 8:51 am | Permalink

    I’m not “in” with UKIP to the extent that I can give any kind of informed answer to your question Mr Redwood.

    All I know is that we are a country that is smothered by this tumour that is the EU and I, for one, want out of it.

    I cannot believe that someone who spoke so glowingly about Margaret Thatcher in recent weeks, who, by all accounts held her in extremely high regard would support the party that stabbed her in the back over this very issue.

    The Tories have done everything they could to get us into Europe and it has brought us nothing but negatives.

    Thatcher warned about this situation (basically the stripping of our sovereignty) and she was absolutely right to do so. Her worst nightmare has come to pass and there is no way on earth that she would stand for the status quo were she in power today.

    Look further into UKIP policies and they also stand for low taxation, strong national defence, pro-small business and entrepreneurialism to name but a few.

    This is my kind of party and I cannot believe that anyone who supported Thatcher would be opposed to these things.

    I don’t know what UKIP would consider success in any election but this isn’t really about any one political party – I owe none of them a thing. It is about doing what is right for the country.

    Both Labour and the Conservatives don’t seem to want to do that so people are going to support the party which will. At the moment, the only one with any clear direction on the most pressing issue of our time is UKIP.

    I really do fail to see why you have such contempt for UKIP, Mr Redwood. They seem far more “up your street” than the Conservatives (post-Thatcher) to me.

    Reply I have never expressed contempt for them or their main views. Some of their policy views have copied ones I have often proposed. All I do is ask the obvious question that needs to be asked – will voting UKIP make resolving the EU problem more or less likely. As they have been around for many years now, so far it has not made it easier, as we still face a barrage of EU powers and decisions, thanks to 13 years of a federalist majority Parliament.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted April 29, 2013 at 2:54 pm | Permalink

      But there are many Tory MPs among that federalist majority, some positively enthusiastic federalists plus many others who obstinately refuse to accept the reality that the EU is a federalist project and therefore to support continued membership is in effect to support our subjugation in a federation.

      With the exception of known, sincere dissidents I don’t see how voting for a Tory candidate can do anything other than encourage the Tory leaders to believe they can continue with much the same course of national betrayal that their party has been following for the past half century, right back to Macmillan.

    • JimF
      Posted April 29, 2013 at 3:21 pm | Permalink

      will voting UKIP make resolving the EU problem more or less likely?
      It will make it more likely.
      Every UKIP vote is anti- the existing EU arrangement.
      Every LibLabCon vote is pro the existing UK arrangement.
      It therefore follows that the only way to send a message to LibLabCon and to our European friends is to vote UKIP

      Reply I always tell my electors that if they vote for me they are voting for a change to our relaitonship with the EU, as I do not support Brussels government.

      • JimF
        Posted April 29, 2013 at 6:36 pm | Permalink

        reply to reply:
        It ill behoves you then to talk of the lack of success of UKIP in that respect

      • may mckisack
        Posted April 29, 2013 at 9:24 pm | Permalink

        Really John–You do not make your usual sense on this subject. For some reason I remember a lecture on Economics decades ago explaining the difference between Demand and Effective Demand. In terms of anything that might happen before the end of five years by reason of your telling your voters that voting for you is voting for a change, well the answer is that nothing at all will actually happen. What we need is some ratting, never mind re-ratting, as has authoritatively happened before, to shake things up and hopefully precipitate some action immediately. Has it ever occurred to you that if you were to rat successfully other Conservative MP’s might follow?

        • Leslie Singleton
          Posted April 30, 2013 at 1:00 pm | Permalink

          Haven’t a clue what happened (IT not exactly my strong point) but the above under May McKisack was by me. Sorry!

      • cosmic
        Posted April 29, 2013 at 9:55 pm | Permalink

        Unfortunately John, they are not just voting for you (although that’s the theory), they are also voting for a party which has shown itself over the years to be determinedly in favour of further EU integration and has been dishonest about it.

    • Leslie Singleton
      Posted April 30, 2013 at 4:25 am | Permalink

      John–You have chosen to stick to your guns but we will stick to ours and all I can keep saying as someone who really likes you and enjoys your usual evenhanded coverage, is that it saddens me to see you stoop to illogic. You know better than most how difficult it is in a FPTP system and once again I say it is the height of irrelevance to dredge up stuff about how ineffective UKIP might be judged to have been some time back. That is simply exactly what one would have expected to have happened and proves nothing. Did you expect the party to spring up fully formed and in harness overnight? Rather, the question is what might happen in the immediate future and with UKIP fielding the same number of candidates as the Liberals, their improvement at Eastleigh, their success at rattling your party, the lunacy that is the EU, the festering abhorrence towards other parties’ hated ideas on the family (real families that is) and the very meaning of marriage and much else, and the continuing good polls (despite your odd headline today) means that the graph is pointing firmly upwards and IM (not very) HO there is a chance of a breakthrough. Of course, given that you have nailed your colours to the (wrong) mast, you don’t want to talk about UKIP’s real chances but the graph is firmly upwards and I predict at the least more strong and consolidating progress on Thursday. Nobody said it would be easy.

      Reply As someone who wants to resolve the EU crisis for the UK, splitting the votes is a major impediment to progress. UKIP was formed 20 years ago and still has no MPs and just a handful of Councillors.

      • Leslie Singleton
        Posted April 30, 2013 at 12:31 pm | Permalink

        Comment on Reply–I struggle to believe that you would try to make play on UKIP’s “just a handful of Councillors” when you must surely know that that is going to change in 48 hours, the only question being by how much. Yes to-date UKIP has no MP’s. How many of those 20 years has Nigel Farage been leader? Early on in the 20 years there were admittedly some odd people in charge but as I keep saying I cannot for the life of me see what that proves as regards to-day. More and better people are on their way up. BTW I thought Nigel’s line about the Conservatives splitting the vote at Eastleigh not only hilarious but true. He always says exactly the right thing! No mercy!!

        Reply This is Mr Farage’s second period as party leader. The truth is for 20 years UKIP have been offering us a pull out from the EU and never got anywhere near being able to deliver it.

        • Leslie Singleton
          Posted April 30, 2013 at 5:32 pm | Permalink

          Comment on Reply–Didn’t know that Nigel Farage had been leader before but what does that prove? No argument that to date UKIP have not been able to deliver but that is entirely as was to be expected. Hopefully that is about to change. As things stand, even if Cameron wins, which is itself very doubtful, we, if we are lucky, have to trust him for 5 years. That is not an attractive proposition.

          Reply The fact that Mr Farage has been Leader before is a comment on the argument that at last UKIP have found their breakthrough Leader.

          • Leslie Singleton
            Posted May 1, 2013 at 5:04 am | Permalink

            Comment on Reply–Eh? I have never once heard anywhere that “at last UKIP have found their breakthrough leader” and I do not understand it anyway, the only point being is he or is he not doing a good job now and a lot of us think he definitely is. I do not know as I write exactly when Nigel Farage was first leader but there were I agree certainly some funny goings on a few years back when the Archangel Gabriel would have had trouble. Besides even if (which I do not for a minute believe to be the case) Nigel has flaws (What with him being human) any such pale in to insignificance in comparison with the totally untrustworthy and untrusted and immoral greasy Cameron.

  27. A.Sedgwick
    Posted April 29, 2013 at 8:52 am | Permalink

    There is argument that UKIP are both saving democracy in this country and the country itself. The apathy for the main parties is tangible in the turnout downturn in elections over the last 40 years and thanks to this medium all the comments that are made in response to blogs and newspaper articles.

    I find your piece disingenuous for several reasons. The English and General Election voting system makes it virtually impossible for a political party to become a serious force even with say 10% of the popular vote. The Liberals staggered on the brink of Commons extinction for numerous elections and it wasn’t until they were gifted the anti war vote over the Iraq disaster that they gained a more proportionate number of MPs. The SNP showed that PR does not mean coalition government but even if we have a coalition UKIP, largely disgruntled Southern Conservatives, and the Conservative Party are natural allies just as the Labour and the Libdems are. Cameron had no mandate for the Coalition or making them effectively equal partners and the five year fixed term with a 75% vote to reverse is an appalling Parliamentary abuse by all who voted for it.

    Cameron will not win the 2015 election. He has been so wrong on so many issues because he has no core beliefs. His policies reflect his advisers and focus groups perception of what is in vogue. Dave get your thermals on and nip up to Lapland approach. He is what he is, probably a very nice bloke to know, but hopeless at his job. He has largely created the current support for UKIP with the reneging on the Lisbon vote. UKIP are crystallising the pent up frustration of being run by the likes of Blair, Brown and Cameron in a voting system that denies true democracy – the marginals rule ok! UKIP are changing Conservative policies and rattling many cages.

    Your loyalty to Cameron, who I believe you voted for in 2005, and the Conservative Party establishment is laudable and you clearly have your reasons for doing so but I cannot believe that privately you do not think what a mess and that Cameron is not the future..

  28. Acorn
    Posted April 29, 2013 at 8:55 am | Permalink

    There are a lot of probable voters saying they will vote UKIP, but knowing some voting history in my Parish, I am not convinced they will. UKIP is somewhat deficient in the policy area, its web-site tells you little about its economic policy except it likes flat rate taxes. It would substitute a “local” sales tax, instead of VAT, near impossible to implement across District / County borders in the UK. So I don’t hold out for any more intelligent law making than the current lot achieves.

    Bloggers here are prompting JR to join UKIP. I fancied him in a breakaway new party based on Orange Book Lib-Dem-ism. Alas, the latter has seen some of its leading lights fall to temptations of public office and the odd criminal court.

    UKIP is keen on referenda, which would be a big plus for me on the democracy front.

  29. Roger Farmer
    Posted April 29, 2013 at 9:06 am | Permalink

    We have waited three years for your government to look as if they are fixing the problems left by the last lot. We still have some useless banks around our necks, no coherent power generation policy, spending has leapt from 900 billion to a forecast 1400 billion, the EU has effectively made Parliament redundant, and we have no control of anything anymore. The Lib/Lab/Con cabal believes all this is just great, and our leadership, so called, lies it’s way, vomiting PR drivel at every turn. Those of the electorate with the ability to think for themselves have had enough. Whether they fail to vote, spoil their papers or vote for UKIP, their point of showing their utter disgust with those in power will have been achieved. As a lifelong conservative voter I dearly hope that conservatives in particular get a real hammering on Thursday resulting in people like yourself having the courage to rid us of this useless leadership.

  30. Anthem
    Posted April 29, 2013 at 9:14 am | Permalink

    Ahhh… I see. I really should have look at the other comments more closely. You have given some telling replies up there.

    That is by no means clear. If, as some argue, the EU does not offer us a better deal many Conservatives will be campaigning for Out. Most Conservatives I know would vote for Out if the terms on offer were the same as or similar to current terms.

    This is a good one, though. You’re missing the point.

    We don’t want “terms” from the EU. We want OUT of the EU. If they have the power to grant us “good terms” then they have the power to revoke them at some point in the future and replace them with “bad terms”.

    Really, reading your replies, it is clear that this is all about the political “game” to you. You have maneouvered yourself into a position that has taken many years and a lot of hard work on your part. Understandably, you are now not prepared to give that position up even though whatever campaigning you are doing is having very little observable effect on certain issues?

    You say you held these views before UKIP came along. UKIP have been around for 20 years now. At what point does a person realise that he is talking to deaf ears and entrenchment?

    This is why people are moving from the “established” parties. They aren’t listening. So rather than attempt to change the ship’s direction, we’re jumping on board a ship that’s going in the direction we want to go in.

    Reply At what point will a UKIP supporter accept that a) I am well intentioned on the EU issue b) I and other like me who fight this battle daily in the Commons have secured some victories (no to the Euro, no fiscal treaty etc) c) we will battle on until we have fundamentally changed the UK’s relationship with the EU.

  31. Denis Cooper
    Posted April 29, 2013 at 9:28 am | Permalink

    Friday April 26th, the day appointed by the sponsor, the Tory MP John Baron, has come and gone, and because Parliament had been prorogued on Thursday April 25th MPs did not give a Second Reading to his Private Members’ Bill for an EU referendum in the next Parliament:

    “A Bill to make provision for a referendum in the next Parliament on the question of whether the United Kingdom should remain a member of the European Union; and for connected purposes.”

    And moreover:

    “The Bill failed to complete its passage through Parliament before the end of the session. This means the Bill will make no further progress.”


    “This Bill is being prepared for publication.”

    is now nugatory, and we will never know whether he intended to include provisions to prevent the next government using its Commons majority to force through a normal repeal of his Act and so avoid holding the promised referendum.

    The State Opening will be on Wednesday May 8th, and is there any hope that the Queen’s Speech will include a government proposal for legislation to guarantee an EU referendum in the next Parliament?

    Not really, because even if Cameron really wanted a referendum and wanted to make sure that it would happen whatever the outcome of the next general election he cannot decide to make that government policy without the agreement of Clegg; and unless Clegg agreed to it civil servants would refuse to work on the Bill, JR has previously informed us; and in any case it would not be in Cameron’s interest to have an entrenched Act which would guarantee a referendum even if he lost the general election.

    Entrenching the Act against normal repeal would be to GIVE us a referendum, rather than offering to SELL us a referendum in exchange for our votes, but of course with no guarantee of delivery even if Cameron remains Prime Minister after that election.

    And nor would Clegg want any such Act to be passed, whether or not it was entrenched against normal repeal.

    If the Act was deeply entrenched then whatever government was formed after the next general election would be unable to prevent the referendum taking place, even if by some miracle it was the eurofanatic LibDems governing on their own; while if the Act was not entrenched against normal repeal then that would inevitably boost the election prospects of the Tories, who could say that those who wanted an EU referendum must vote for their party, even if secretly the Tory leadership had no intention whatsoever of ever putting EU membership at risk through a referendum which it might lose.

    Which might force Labour and the LibDems to pledge that they would not repeal the Act and would hold the referendum, even though once again their pledges made at the time of the election might prove worthless after the election.

    So far better from Clegg’s point of view to simply veto the idea of an Act mandating an EU referendum after the next general election, whether or not that Act was entrenched against normal repeal; and far better for Cameron to let it be known that he very much wanted such an Act but the proposal was blocked by his coalition partners; and also far better for Labour to stay on the sidelines sniping at both, but especially at the Tories.

    Here’s an idea to cut this Gordian knot: rather than just giving another “cast-iron guarantee” which turns out to have all the enduring structural strength of papier-mache in a tropical deluge, why doesn’t Cameron put his own money where his mouth is and deposit a £10 miilion bond which he could only recover either on the day that the Queen appointed somebody else as her Prime Minister, or on the day that the EU referendum was held, whichever was the earliest?

    But failing something like that, really the best that ordinary patriotic people can do in the face of this cartel of three main political parties united in their support for our subjugation in the EU is not to vote for any of their candidates apart from those who sincerely dissent from their party’s pro-EU line – and note the word “sincerely” – and instead vote for the candidates of a party which under its constitution is unequivocally committed to our withdrawal from the EU.

    • Chris
      Posted April 29, 2013 at 1:00 pm | Permalink

      You very clearly expose the current hypocrisy which is at the root of the problem

  32. English Pensioner
    Posted April 29, 2013 at 9:32 am | Permalink

    According to a number of media sources (The Daily Telegraph, The Mail and the Commentator) Conservative Central HQ now has a team of about 20 people at work trying to “dig the dirt” on UKIP candidates for the local elections and trying to show that some are, or were, members of the BNP or have made “racist” remarks. They are apparently scouring Twitter, Facebook, etc for such evidence. Now I am equally sure that there are both Tory and Labour candidates and sitting members who have previously belonged to other parties or made racist comments, but UKIP doesn’t seem to be wasting time seeking them out.
    To me, this approach smacks of extreme despair, the Tories have no arguments against the UKIP policies, so they attack the candidate. Personally, I don’t believe this will do the Tories any good, particularly when it comes to accusations of “racist” remarks which the public now regard as a standard method of attack by politicians when they have nothing sensible to say.
    I support UKIP, I don’t expect them to win, but I do hope there will be enough of them to shock the Tories in returning to traditional Conservative policies which are currently only being promoted by UKIP.

    • Tom William
      Posted April 29, 2013 at 1:30 pm | Permalink

      I stood as a Referendum Party candidate in 1997 and our area agent, who had once worked in Conservative central office, told us that here was, and always had been, a “dirty tricks” department there. While this may go on all over the world among the “political class” it is the sort of behaviour which disgusts most of the electorate.

    • Winston Smith
      Posted April 29, 2013 at 3:19 pm | Permalink

      Its not just the parties trying to smear UKIP. The political elite’s friends in the Media – they literally are school/uni buddies, the network is that small – are on full-scale smear attack. Fortunately, few people read newspapers these days – we have the internet and blogs, so their lies are less effective. The problem, however, is the BBC. Which, is why Cameron won’t dismantle its monpolistic control of news reporting. He still thinks he can inflence them.

  33. matthu
    Posted April 29, 2013 at 9:53 am | Permalink

    The Spectator has a good article on UKIP today – I will include the link in a reply to this message so as not to impede moderation of this.

    To try to tackle UKIP as though they were a conventional aspirant party of Government is, in my own view, to misunderstand what they are about and the motivation of those currently minded to support them.

    UKIP’s rise is not based on their policy platform (which is intellectually lacking robustness, lazy and in many ways contradictory). Nor is it based on their personnel (other than the cheeky chappy Nigel Farage) who I’m certain falls short of a standard that would be expected by the three main parties. It is based on a frustration of the main parties to tackle some issues in a way a number of the public want them tackled.

  34. Andy Baxter
    Posted April 29, 2013 at 10:02 am | Permalink

    Sad to say but YOU all are wrong……….

    salvation from the EU and overbearing intrusive government endowned with a ‘divine right’ sense of entitlement to OUR money, the waste of such and the ‘do as you are told not as I do’ attitude from the political class rests not in the current system of ‘representative democracy’ it lies in direct democracy on a model similar to that of Switzerland but tweaked for the UK consciousness and culture.

    representative democracy is an oxymoron! what views expressed here and in many other blogs and articles are truly ‘representated’ by the political class in parliament which is the right to determine our own futures both locally and nationally.

    representative democracy is no fit for purpose anymore:


    there no longer is truly seperation of powers to prevent abuse by power hungry officials at all levels of governance.

    we have a supposed legislative (Parliament) stuffed full of for the most part self serving careerists eager to grab onto and hold on for life to the greasy pole of advancement and self enrichment whose job is supposed to be the scrutiny of the executive and the holding to account of the executive who (no matter what colour rosette) seek ever more power and money to fund an ever increasing state.

    how can a legislative (MP’s) whose function is to under representative democracy to represent the views of their contituents function to true seperation of powers when over 100 of its members are also members of the executive (the govt) holding ministerial posts, who will put the govts interests before that of their constituents for advancement and an opposition controlled by party machines via fear and favour under a whip system: a true conflict of interest if ever there was!

    and finally we have a judiciary neutered by the ECHR and whose function is to interpret legislation and law actually interefering n the making of law!

    wake up sheeple……there is another peaceful way but Mr Redwood won’t publish the links I keep putting up because I think he knows the days are numbered for he and his kind.

    We ahve to take back control of our lives and the way we are governed not by voting for partys established under the status quo but by supporting a movement for change in the way we are governed that gives true people power devolve to locales and control over the taxation and what it is spent on, and a that gives a way to control politicians to make them work for us, not party machines infected with the virus of failed ideaologies and controlled by corporitist money….

    • uanime5
      Posted April 29, 2013 at 3:15 pm | Permalink

      In a common law system the purpose of the judiciary is to apply the law(s) created by the legislator and fill in any gaps by creating common law. If they just mindlessly interpreted the law then they’re no longer able to hold the legislator to account.

      The ECHR has not neutered the judiciary but has strengthened it because now they can disapply statutes that violate human rights, rather than slavishly having to obey them. If the UK had a constitution then we’d really see the judiciary being able to hold parliament to account.

      Ever since the law lords were removed from the House of Lords the judiciary has lost any ability interfere with the making of the law.

      • Edward2
        Posted April 29, 2013 at 6:09 pm | Permalink

        Your last sentence shows the loss of power the UK is suffering thanks to the EU courts, perfectly.
        Before the EU took control, our judges eg Lord Demming (look him up Uni) often made their own minds up in conflict with Parliament.
        It worked better in my opinion and more closely protected and reflected the wishes of the ordinary man in this nation, far more than the decisions of remote EU courts.

        • Edward2
          Posted April 29, 2013 at 9:17 pm | Permalink

          Should be Lord Denning
          (Got my heroes mixed up Dr Demming and Lord Denning)

        • uanime5
          Posted April 30, 2013 at 11:52 am | Permalink

          The Law Lords left the House of Lords because several ECHR cases indicated that allowing judges, who had made various laws, to decide how these laws should be applied created a conflict of interests. This had nothing to do with the EU.

          I know who Lord Denning is as I studied law. I also know that the House of Lords often overturned his decisions, including one decisions where he stated that judges should be able to disapply acts of Parliament if fraud may have been involved during their creation.

          Judges have always been free to conflict with Parliament. During the Victorian era they often interpreted statutes so that these statutes would comply with judge made common law.

          Finally both EU and ECHR law can be applied in UK courts by UK judges. Though these judges are free to consult either the ECJ or ECHR for clarification on points of law.

      • Leslie Singleton
        Posted April 30, 2013 at 4:44 am | Permalink

        unanime–Wonderful as usual and straight out of the Left Wing For Dummies. The problem is not so much “Human Rights”, which is so very motherhood and apple pie, but what is or is not included in the detailed definition. A lot of people cannot even begin to understand the lunatic manner and extent to which the business about “family” life (translation: whom some reprobate is transiently shacked up with) is being applied. Not really much to do with the Law at all and I would wager that most people in the country agree with me.

        • uanime5
          Posted April 30, 2013 at 11:56 am | Permalink

          Just because people do not understand or do not like how the law is being applied does not make it wrong. Especially when it’s often misreported by the press.

          • Leslie Singleton
            Posted May 1, 2013 at 5:45 pm | Permalink

            unanime–No longer read what you say unless, as with this, it is one of your instant say-the-opposites on something I have written (and even then I could easily start giving up, automatically, on seeing your name) but 1) I would have thought you would be on the side of the masses (ie this is not elitist or anything like) and 2) I’d stake a lot that about 90% of the population disagree with some of the crazier results of the wretched foreign so-called Human Rights laws. And of course, being the positive person you are, the Press has it all wrong according to you whereas I think the Press usually get it right and criticism of their methods of obtaining information even when justified does not alter that.

      • Mark W
        Posted April 30, 2013 at 9:25 pm | Permalink

        If the UK had a constitution? It doesn’t not have one. Whether you like it or not we have the English Bill of Rights 1689. Virtually copied by the USA. Along with the relevant parts of Magna Carta and the Habeus Corpus Act why bother with a soecifically written constitution that would not be written with the care that these documents were.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted April 29, 2013 at 4:41 pm | Permalink

      Switzerland has a system of representative democracy, but unlike our system it has a fail safe device: its citizens can on their own initiative reclaim the authority they have delegated to their elected representatives, by petitioning for and getting a binding referendum on a subject of their choice at a time of their choosing.

      I don’t think you’d see a Swiss minister treating opponents with quite the same degree of contempt as Peter Hain back in 2003 when he said:

      “Those starting off on a campaign for a referendum might as well put away their placards and stop wasting their money, because we are not going to do it.”

      because if those campaigning for a referendum got enough signatures then there would be a referendum whether or not he liked it.

  35. MactheknifeAndrew
    Posted April 29, 2013 at 10:05 am | Permalink

    I would not vote UKIP but I do like Farage. Unlike most politicians he has the courage to say what he thinks .

    The problem we have is that Cameron is pro-EU and is really fudging the issue and not making any real impact. It’s all “jam tomorrow”. We need something to show Europe that we are serious and that should be putting Qatada on a plane right now. The French and Italians have ejected terrorists without trial or referral to European courts.

    I’m sure UKIP would do this given the opportunity.

    • uanime5
      Posted April 29, 2013 at 3:16 pm | Permalink

      Do you have any evidence that the French or Italians have ejected terrorists without trial?

      • Edward2
        Posted April 29, 2013 at 9:20 pm | Permalink


      • Mark W
        Posted April 30, 2013 at 9:33 pm | Permalink

        The French appeal process doesn’t stop deportation. The appeal can be held after deportation in their absence.

        That said I prefer our legal system. Presumption of innocence is essential in a free law governed society. Far more important than democracy. Essentially this is where an Anglo nation will never sit comfortably in the EU.

        We value freedom they value rules.

        We are free to do anything unless prohibited. They can do nothing without permission. Total clash.

  36. Denis Cooper
    Posted April 29, 2013 at 10:17 am | Permalink

    “Buckingham where there was no Conservative, Labour or Lib Dem candidate”.

    But there was the Speaker, the sitting Tory MP who had been publicly endorsed by his party leader, and there was a supposedly independent “Buckinghamshire Campaign for Democracy” spoiler candidate backed by members of all three of those parties with the deliberate intent of undermining the prospects of the UKIP candidate.

    Not that was ever a realistic prospect of the 2010 UKIP candidate overturning that Tory MP’s 2005 majority of 18,129 starting from the 1,432 UKIP votes in 2005.

    • Mark W
      Posted April 30, 2013 at 9:36 pm | Permalink

      The speaker was a former Tory. Once speaker I believed they no longer remained party political. If this is wrong I’m sure I will be corrected.

      The vote may have been closer if Farage hadn’t had is air adventure that morning. Who knows…

  37. Roy Grainger
    Posted April 29, 2013 at 10:18 am | Permalink

    John: Your questions on what would constitute a UKIP “breakthrough” in the local elections are provocative and interesting. However, make sure you ask the same when it comes to the EU elections in 2014. As that is on a proportional-representation basis it is a fairer way of judging support for UKIP. What would be a breakthrough for them in that ? 40% of the seats and the biggest single party ?

  38. Ken Hall
    Posted April 29, 2013 at 10:21 am | Permalink

    A breakthrough would be a significant % increase for UKIP keeping up the momentum towards gaining power. Limiting the guide to a set number of councillors or councils taken is not a reliable guide, as the vagiaries of FPTP mean that a massive increase in actual votes, may not quite result in a breakthrough in results. As yourself noted back in 2001, when in actual votes, the tories started a fightback against new labour, but you ended up with the same number of seats.

    Also a lack of electoral successes in the past should not deter our future. After all, where were the SNP 20 years ago.

    The labour establishment even created a PR system of elections in scotland to prevent the SNP from EVER taking power totally there. Even then, the Scottish people showed how much they detest the “establishment” parties of the liblabCON to vote in the SNP in such numbers that they won an overall majority, Something that the tories threw away in 2010 by rejecting UKIP’s very kind offer of putting country before party to effectively disband, in return for a promise of an in-or-out referendum on EU membership. To his disgrace, Cameron rejected such an offer, and lost enough votes to UKIP in enough constituencies to be denied an overall majority, even in a FPTP system designed to prevent coalitions. Where is the TORY breakthrough? Cameron threw it away. Do you remember back in 2009 when Cameron was posing as a right wing Eurosceptic? He was 24 points ahead in the polls and on course for a landslide. Had he taken up UKIPS offer, UKIP would not even exist today and we would have had an honest, real, in-or-out referendum on the EU and either be setting our course on further and faster integration into the EU, or setting course for to become a successful, dynamic internationally trading independent nation once more.

    Instead you face a rapidly growing UKIP threat to the establishment’s dominance and all your posturing will not hide your obvious fear of the establishment losing power for centuries.

    UKIP have a long-term plan to rise to power and we are much further ahead today on, than any of us expected to be 3 years ago.

    UKIP only secured 3% of the vote in 2010, but oh what a crucial 3% vote it was as it prevented YOUR party from winning a majority. Something which we warned you about and you foolishly ignored.

    UKIP are now 4 times more popular, enough to ensure that the tories lose the next election outright.

    Even the blatant fear-mongering by tories that voting UKIP gets labour will not work, because thanks to the EU all we get is EU policy implemented by whichever party happens to be in Downing Street and more and more of us know this, as do you. Your former Euroscepticism was honourable. Your duplicitous deceit in supporting Cameron’s false promise of an “in or out” referendum is dispicable, when we all know the truth. It is a con, a trick and a trap to trick the electorate to vote to stay in a centralised EU. You promise reform, have a referendum on it that offers a fantasy EU, we vote for it and then the EU rejects it and we are trapped. It is the old trick of bait and switch and it shows YOUR naked contempt for the electorate if you believe for a second that we will fall for it.

    More and more of us are waking up to the liblabCON. We know that you cannot mend our economy, and neither can any other of the troika of the liblabCON parties, because the EU will not allow you to implement any agenda which would restore our economy and allow us to be a strong self-reliant nation. The EU is dedicated to the destruction of the individual nation states. That is it’s purpose. All countries must be stripped of their ability to be independent and must give up part of their national attributes and become utterly reliant on other parts of the EU for survival. The UK had to give up manufacturing to become dependent on Germany and France for that.

    Other nations rely on the City for their financial services, pensions and investments.

    It matters not if Cameron or Miliband are in No 10, so long as they are puppets to the EU.

    The liblabCON are united against the people of the UK over the following issues. the EU, high taxing, spending and borrowing, keeping the most complex tax system in the world, politically correct racist, sexist, genderist, sexual preference-ist, fashion-ist divisions in society and pitting minority against minority and against the majority too. Climate and energy policy, immigration, meritocracy, free markets, banking reform.

    If we want GENUINE change and an alternative on any of the above, we cannot get that from liblabCON as you are united in implementing almost identical policies on ALL those crucial areas.

    On all these issues, there are miner differences which the trioka exaggerate for electoral effect, but in reality they are all implementing the same EU driven agenda.

    If we want change from this 40 year status quo, we CANNOT get it from the liblabCON and you know it. You are now becoming desparate and it is showing.

    If you want to kill UKIP, as you had a chance to do in 2010 and got stung, then the only way to do so is to implement patriotic policies and common sense conservative policies at that.

    resorting to insults and smears weakens you and strengthens UKIP, because it shows that the EU is controlling your party so much, that you cannot govern for the good of the people and in lieu of any actual popular policy, you have to resort to dirty politics, insults and cheap slurs.

    Thank you for proving UKIP right and making UKIP even more electable.

    Reply Your immoderate language is directed to the wrong person. I have not attacked UKIP or placed slurs upon them. I offer to support an In/Out referendum in the next Parliament, as I promised – and voted for – in this Parliament. I do not recall any UKIP MPs around to help me secure it.
    If the Conservatives have a majority after 2015 there will be both a renegotiation and an In/Out referendum. I can assure you Mr Cameron would not be allowed to change his mind on such a crucial issue.

    • uanime5
      Posted April 29, 2013 at 3:21 pm | Permalink

      UKIP only secured 3% of the vote in 2010, but oh what a crucial 3% vote it was as it prevented YOUR party from winning a majority.

      In which additional constituencies would the Conservatives have won a majority if they had received all the votes that went to UKIP?

      • Mark W
        Posted April 30, 2013 at 9:43 pm | Permalink

        Off the top of my head 2005 election Crawley would have been Conservative if they’d secured the UKIP vote. (They won in 2010).

        There are some where Tories are a close second. Search the BBC results site. It has them all.

        Tories big problem is they have larger constituencies by population and huge majorities in them.

  39. Border Boy
    Posted April 29, 2013 at 10:31 am | Permalink

    These would all be relevant and telling questions in a normal political environment, but I think UKIP and their supporters occupy a different world from main stream voters. I think many of them regard all three main parties as having refused to address their concerns about immigration, Europe, Welfare and politIcal correctness and they are not that interested in whether Labour or Conservatives are returned to positions of power since they are regarded as “all the same”.

    As for what constitutes a good performance I think it will be their subjective assessment of how much the UKIP vote scares the mainstream parties, particularly the Tories, into addressing their concerns through revised policies and action taken. My guess is that if UKIP get the same or more votes than the Liberals in percentage terms there will be a lot of scared politicians out there.

  40. william
    Posted April 29, 2013 at 10:34 am | Permalink

    Mr. Redwood. I give the party several thousand pounds each year,and was dismayed by Ken Clarke’s after dinner speech at our annual dinner last year. It is imperative to try and pass legislation for an In Out referendum now.If it is voted down, fine,Cameron can call a general election. The issue of sovereignty,with all that entails over immigration and the supremacy of our courts,is not going to wait to some undefined date in the future.

  41. woodsy42
    Posted April 29, 2013 at 10:44 am | Permalink

    How many seats mean success for UKIP? I suggest you are asking the wrong question. They won’t form a government, so in that sense there is no ‘success’ for UKIP.
    The relevent question is does their continuing rise in voting numbers significantly affect the conduct and behaviour of the existing parties, making them more compatible to the wishes of the people?
    If yes then they are a success for the people, and it’s people that matter not parties. I would suggest that’s already becoming the case.

  42. Chris S
    Posted April 29, 2013 at 10:49 am | Permalink

    As a regular contributor I would like to say I am not a UKIP supporter.

    I am however a strong supporter of the John |Redwood/Daniel Hannan/Christopher Chope wing of the conservative party.

    Where I differ from Daniel is that I could be persuaded to vote to stay in the EU if the Conservatives could achieve a settlement which handed back a wide ranging set of powers to member states and there was an end to this “Ever Closer Union” nonsense that the electorate across the 27 would never agree to, if they were ever given a chance to vote on it. I’m sure Dan is only convinced we should leave the EU because he’s more realistic, knowing there is no chance of an acceptable settlement.

    However, turning to UKIP.

    I will be voting for UKIP in the local elections. I will also vote UKIP in next year’s Euro election ( only because Daniel is not an MEP for Dorset ).

    There are two reasons for this :
    First, I believe that this is the only chance we have of getting the present Conservative leaders to change course or, if he won’t, provide the backbenchers with the necessary ammunition to vote in someone else who will.

    Secondly, like it or not, a pact with UKIP provides the only realistic way of getting a Right of Centre National Government elected under the first past the post system. Such is the toxicity of the Conservative party name in much of the North of England, even with the boundary changes (a measure Cameron lost through incompetence), it would have been very difficult. Without them, in my view is it will be impossible.

    The Conservatives need to agree a set of constituencies in which they will not put up a candidate against UKIP and in return, UKIP should do the same. If UKIP are given a free run in, say, 50-100 agreed constituencies they should get a reasonable number of MPs elected and there should be a realistic chance of a coalition government of the right.

    The pact will have to give the Conservative leader an opportunity to carry out the promised renegotiation exercise with Red Lines agreed in advance but we pretty well know what the outcome will be, don’t we ?

    There is time to get this kind of agreement in place and like minded wealthy individuals, some of them Conservatives, have the resources and expertise to help UKIP develop policies and vet candidates before 2015. Targeting their greatest resources on only 100 seats will give the party chance to set up a more effective party machine.

    As for the measure of UKIP success in the local elections : they might not win many seats because of their widespread support but if they achieve over, say, 18% of the vote that would be successful. If they achieve 20-30%, David Cameron better watch his back sooner rather than later. Certainly there must be a reasonable chance that the party might poll over 20%

    David Cameron should most definitely not make the mistake of assuming that Conservative inclined voters who vote UKIP in 2013 and 2014 will automatically return to the fold in 2015 :

    I will be voting Conservative at the 2015 general election but only because I live in Christopher Chope’s constituency. However, if Cameron does not change course and I were in a constituency without a right wing candidate, I would still vote UKIP, even though it might cost the Conservatives a seat.

    The country will not be able to compete in World markets if we continue with the current high tax and spend model favoured by Cameron as well as the Lib Dems and Labour.

    If Labour win in 2015, sooner or later this will be apparent to the ordinary voter and Labour and the LibDems will then lose a considerable degree of support. The Conservatives will need to be ready to pick up the pieces.

    • Tom William
      Posted April 29, 2013 at 1:42 pm | Permalink

      An agreement such as this just will never happen. But nothing concentrates the mind more than the prospect of execution and that is where UKIP can have a major impact. Whatever the results of local elections, UKIP are likely to win the EU elections next year, which will be a seismic shock – and an opportunity.

      The solution? Ditch Cameron and offer an in/out referendum under a Conservative government as a priority “to lance the boil”. Anyone who knows anything about the EU understands that any meaningful re-negotiation is totally against the credo (and acquis communitaire) of the EU and will never happen, whatever we are promised by spin doctors.

      • Chris S
        Posted April 29, 2013 at 7:48 pm | Permalink

        You could well be right about a pact but even changing policies and appointing a new party leader will not be enough to overcome the unpopularity of the Conservative brand in much of the North of England, Scotland and Wales.

        If you rule out an electoral pact with UKIP, we have to hope that Alex Salmon wins his independence referendum. The conservatives will then have a reasonable chance of winning a majority in a Westminster Parliament swept clear of MPs from Scotland. Especially if the boundary changes can be forced through at the same time.

    • Barbara
      Posted April 29, 2013 at 3:50 pm | Permalink

      Indeed – the Treaty of Rome, the very foundation document of this monster, in its first sentence, mentions ‘ever-closer union’ (“DETERMINED to lay the foundations of an ever-closer union among the peoples of Europe …”).

      It is clear neither we, not anyone else, could put an end to what you call this ‘ever-closer union nonsense’ without dissolving the whole thing and starting again.

      • Chris S
        Posted April 29, 2013 at 7:33 pm | Permalink

        It should be possible but in reality there is no chance of changing the policy of “Ever Closer Union” however unpopular it us with the voters in the 27 states. This is the democratic deficit in action.

    • Mark W
      Posted May 2, 2013 at 8:10 pm | Permalink

      Chris S. brilliant post.

  43. Man of Kent
    Posted April 29, 2013 at 10:54 am | Permalink

    I went to a UKIP hustings meeting at Dartford a couple of weeks ago and was struck by the wide variety of background of speakers and audience.

    I liked their policies on Grammar Schools [Kent is particularly strong here – but we are not allowed to expand this success story]

    and on Europe ,immigration, DFID, windmills, climate change .
    So much was just common sense .

    OK there are plenty of unfunded UKIP tax breaks on offer but I find these far preferable to unfunded spending commitments presently being indulged eg IVF treatment for the gay ,lesbian community.

    No one believes the Cameron referendum promise and it is this area that is the great Conservative weakness .

    If UKIP achieve good enough results to force a pact to have an In/Out referendum then there might just be a chance of a Conservative victory with UKIP.

    This would entail quite a few Europhile sitting Conservatives being de-selected or becoming Euro sceptic .

    If Labour win there would be no change on Europe but their tax and spend policies will bring about their downfall to the great cost of the country.

  44. matthu
    Posted April 29, 2013 at 10:56 am | Permalink

    One reason why we are being urged to vote Conservative is localism: the CP are apparently devolving decision making down to local councils.

    Vote CP, then you can decide where your additional houses get built.
    But not whether you want any more houses in the first place.

    Vote CP, then you can decide (within limts) where your windmills get sited.
    But not whether you want any windmills in the first place.

    Vote CP, then you can decide where your EU flagpole gets sited.
    But not whether you want an EU flagpole in the first place.

    Vote CP, then you can decide which countryside the HS2 demolishes.
    No – that’s probably not true …

  45. Terry
    Posted April 29, 2013 at 11:10 am | Permalink

    Well, the Green’s got themselves an MP down in Brighton. Who’d have thought that possible? A “Breakthrough” for UKIP would be when they take control of a local council. Just one.

    One thing the sitting MPs fail to grasp is that generally speaking, the public, who care, are fed up with the shenanigans of 21st politicians from all of the 3 main parties. Most all appear to have no connection with the world outside of Westminster and most all appear to be in it just for themselves, no matter which Party. That is the way MPs are now generally perceived and that is why complete change is required and that is why UKIP have become so popular.

    Until Cameron and Co adopt the ‘Britain and the British always first’, approach like UKIP, there will be no majority for the Conservatives at any election. The country desperately needs true, patriotic leadership and ‘none of the above’ fit the bill, do they?

  46. Elliot Kane
    Posted April 29, 2013 at 11:21 am | Permalink

    For me, as a floating voter (Though one who sees much to like in UKIP), ‘victory’ for UKIP is not a thing that can be counted in added council seats, but rather in how well they are setting the political agenda for the three main parties.

    From the amount of fire they are currently getting from the Europhile section of the Conservative party, I’d say they are already doing very well.

    UKIP have so far succeeded in putting both uncontrolled immigration and EU membership squarely in the centre of the debate, despite all three main parties not really wanting to discuss either. That’s ‘victory’ right there.

    UKIP are also reinforcing the position of the significant minority of Eurosceptics in the parliamentary Conservative party, giving them a stronger hand, which is excellent.

    It was not so long ago that all three parties voted against an In/Out Referendum on a three line whip, proving utterly that with just over 100 honourable exceptions, the House (And the leadership of all three main parties) is overwhelmingly Europhile.

    Yet Europhile Cameron feels under significant enough pressure since then that he has promised a referendum on the issue he once set a three line whip against! With no disrespect at all meant to the Tory Eurosceptics, that is far more UKIP’s victory than anyone else’s.

    Whether we can BELIEVE Cameron is something else again, of course, as he (Along with Labour and the Lib Dems) has prior form on promising EU referenda then going back on his word. But the fact that he felt he had to make the promise despite being an utter Europhile himself surely shows the current level of pressure he is feeling.

    So, back to the question: ‘what would represent a UKIP victory in the council elections?’ Well, my honest feeling is that UKIP will take another solid step forward without really being able to claim massive victory (Though they will anyway) or defeat (Though the other parties will claim that anyway). Consistent growth is their hallmark, not a sudden overwhelming surge.

    ‘Victory’ will be getting the three main parties to take them even more seriously. Which judging by the amount of effort the Conservatives are putting into digging up dirt is already mission accomplished.

    ‘Victory’ is also persuading the British people that they are a party worth voting for instead of the ‘Big Three’. That’s a social attitude, and a whole lot harder to measure, of course.

    Reply It was us Conservative Eurosceptic MPs by our actions and words in the Commons that persuaded Mr Cameron to offer a referendum and to make his important new policy on the EU speech. We have also been very active persuading the Coalition to implement the Conservative party policy from the last election of making a substantial reduction to net migration. Neither of these things have anything to do with UKIP support in polls, which has remained well below the level of getting any seats.

    • Elliot Kane
      Posted April 29, 2013 at 12:19 pm | Permalink

      The Tory Eurosceptics have played a significant role which I certainly don’t want to undervalue or depreciate in any way, John, but you are still a minority in a parliamentary party that is roughly 2/3 Europhile. Granted, that’s far better than Labour or the Lib Dems, but in and of itself I don’t think that is enough to create such a major sea change in policy, I’m afraid.

      Cameron is a committed Europhile. He has said on many occasions that he sees Britain’s future as being in the EU and will fight to keep us there. He surrounds himself mainly with other Europhiles and ignores the very talented Eurosceptics, such as yourself, when it comes to appointing ministers. I don’t see that as great evidence of a strong Eurosceptic influence within the Tory party, I’m afraid.

      Without significant outside pressure, I can’t see someone as dedicated to the EU as Cameron offering a referendum. I suspect the majority of that pressure comes from looking at the number of seats he expects to lose because of the UKIP ‘spoiler vote’.

      (As a side note: you should be the Chancellor. I think that’s pretty obvious to a lot of people.)

    • Brian Tomkinson
      Posted April 29, 2013 at 4:44 pm | Permalink

      Reply to reply,
      I think you are being disingenuous when you say “Neither of these things have anything to do with UKIP support in polls, which has remained well below the level of getting any seats.” UKIP may have polling levels below those needed to gain seats in Westminster but they are increasing their share and as was shown clearly in Eastleigh they can beat your party and that is the reason why Cameron takes note of them along with all the defections of the grass roots workers from your party. Cameron didn’t want the old brigade, well he has got his wish and deserves all that’s coming to him.

  47. waramess
    Posted April 29, 2013 at 11:24 am | Permalink

    This is a crass error of judgment. UKIP supporters are in the main dis-enfranchised Tory supporters who would certainly return if the Conservatives stopped manically searching for the centre.

    They are not loonies nor racists and to the extent Cameron continues his rant he is insulting erstwhile Conservative supporters, of which he is not one.

    The Conservative Party has now become a Liberal/Socialist Party in all but name, that houses a few homeless right wingers who are often minded to modify their views to become more in tune with the front bench.

    Right wingers now have a home to go to and it really is up to them to go and take it over. unless, of course, they are too posh to admit to being a UKIP MP.

    Just in case this is mistaken as being yet another UKIP rant I have never voted for them and now I live overseas however, the way the Conservatives are moving I would have little doubt in other circumstances that my vote would now go to UKIP

  48. scottspeig
    Posted April 29, 2013 at 12:09 pm | Permalink

    Success: Increasing their current vote in both percentage and real terms, as well as getting councillors – I don’t think they require a controlling amount this time due to their previous local elections.

    What would you consider a success for the Conservative party John? A loss of 100 seats? 200? 500? Or would it only be a success if you increased your votes by percentage or real numbers?

    Considering Thatcher increased the number of votes (albeit in general election. I don’t know the local numbers), your view of success can only be thwe same as UKIPs view no?

  49. Lindsay McDougall
    Posted April 29, 2013 at 12:13 pm | Permalink

    These are not the key questions. The questions that matter are:
    (1) How does the Conservative Party win back UKIP supporters ON MERIT?
    (2) How is the lack of trust to be overcome?

    Mr Camron’s speech on renegotiating our treaties with the EU, followed by an in/out Referendum was a good start, but only a start. It needs to be followed up by a clear negotiating position, including ‘bottom lines’ – minimum acceptable recovery of powers. The sooner this is done the better. We don’t want ‘ever closer union’ and we don’t want the Federalistic Maastricht, Nice, Amsterdam and Lisbon Treaties. This is not an extreme position; it is the viewpoint of most British business.

    The lack of trust comes from 3 factors:
    (1) We have been here before. Harold Wilson promised a full renegotiation of our entry terms, followed by an in/out referendum. He only renegotiated at the margin and recommended – and got – a ‘Yes’ vote in the 1975 referendum.
    (2) David Cameron supported John Major and Maastricht throughout the 90s. John Major has already briefed not to expect too much from any renegotiation and that it doesn’t much matter anyway (everything in the EU garden is lovely, don’t you see?).
    (3) The Conservative Party has not purged itself of all pro-European Conservative candidates.

    • Brian Tomkinson
      Posted April 29, 2013 at 4:52 pm | Permalink

      The majority of Conservative MPs want the UK to stay in the EU just like Cameron. Despite what our host keeps telling us the Conservative party is a europhile party. If you want the UK out of the EU you cannot trust them to do it. If you want the UK to stay in the EU then vote Conservative, Labour or Lib Dem they are all the same.

    • cornishstu
      Posted April 29, 2013 at 9:52 pm | Permalink

      Ever closer union is the EU’s game plan and any renegotiation of power of any of any significance just ain’t going to happen, so its back to in or out.

    • cosmic
      Posted April 29, 2013 at 10:15 pm | Permalink

      “It needs to be followed up by a clear negotiating position, including ‘bottom lines’ – minimum acceptable recovery of powers.£

      He’ll never do that because he doesn’t want to leave. The intention is to scratch the eurosceptic itch with a bit of blather.

    • Lindsay McDougall
      Posted May 1, 2013 at 2:13 pm | Permalink

      Now do you see what you are up against, Mr Redwood? The 3 people who responded to my blog have all despaired of the Conservative Party being truly Eurosceptic. You realise, I am sure, that there is a Europhile minority within the Conservative Party who would prefer a Lab/LibDem government to significantly revised EU Treaties. They are punching above their weight and will continue to do so until purged. Why don’t you name and shame them and send the list to Nigel Farage? If you play your cards right, there is a chance that UKIP will oppose only Europhile Conservative candidates.

  50. Wokingham Mum
    Posted April 29, 2013 at 12:16 pm | Permalink

    Sorry hard words to say UKIP will probably do well in the local elections.
    UKIP will get the Conservative & Lib Dem protest vote, Labour supporter will vote UKIP to spite the Conservatives at cost to their own party.
    They may well do well on Thursday but will people really vote for them in a general election, I don’t think so.
    UKIP only serve to divide the vote, this will lead to more and matched coalition governments, not a good thing. That and weak leadership is why the Conservatives aren’t doing well. UKIP muddy the water. UKIP are a flash in the pan. There is no need to mock , insult or slur them, that works in their favour. Cameron would be best served to distance himself from the Lib’s, move gently to the right and get the EU issue ref done quickly and blow UKIP out of the water if he doesn’t Labour will, they’ll have to to win back their UKIP traitors and deserters.

  51. Wokingham Mum
    Posted April 29, 2013 at 12:19 pm | Permalink

    I meant ” I’ll matched”
    Who would think the little word “I’ll ” could matter so much

  52. Bernard Juby
    Posted April 29, 2013 at 12:21 pm | Permalink

    You pose some pertinent but tricky questions. UKIP exists because the Conservative Party will not or cannot address those concerns which make them seek alternatives.
    If a side effect of this is to weaken the Conservatives and let in Europhile Lib-Dims and Socialists then so be it I’m afraid. The country will eventually come to its senses in time.
    The rise of Euroscepticism in Germany is a mirror image of what we have here.

  53. Peter Davies
    Posted April 29, 2013 at 12:27 pm | Permalink

    To add my half pennies worth I think Fighting Council Elections is not the right start point for a political party designed to take us out of the EU – They may brand themselves but in the end councils are local govt organizations and nothing to do with Supranational politics.

    Given that UKIP have no parliamentary seats would their effort not be better focused if they only targeted Tory or Labour seats occupied by Federalist leaning candidates? The sceptic wings of both Labour and Tory parties would vote for referendums etc so surely given their low resource base their jobs should be to go after the (Ken Clarke/Ed Davey) type seats of this world.

    The fact is, they will never win a GE by themselves but their most likely outcome following the course they are doing would be to let Labour back in 2015 which no one sensible should be wishing for.

    • Mark W
      Posted April 29, 2013 at 2:43 pm | Permalink

      Yes UKIP should only fight against federalist MPs. Labour have good Eurosceptics like Austin Mitchell and they waste their time against him.

      • Bernard Juby
        Posted April 30, 2013 at 9:21 am | Permalink

        Agreed – but one has to beware of Candidates from all sides of the political spectrum who profess to be Eurosceptic before the polls but turn native afterwards.
        I know of some MPs and MEPs who have done this. No names – no pack drill but I know who they are!

        • Mark W
          Posted April 30, 2013 at 9:51 pm | Permalink

          Austin Mitchell has been a long term euro sceptic but I take your point. I know one Tory MP, (won’t name as my flapping ears heard an off the record remark and it would be poor form), but the gist was very euro sceptic, but knew the referendum vote would fail, knew would be large enough to be noticed, didn’t want to damage own career. Perfectly rational decision. The Tories that supported that bill weren’t the only ones and I’m sure JR knows who is making the same noises as him to the right people.

    • Chris S
      Posted April 29, 2013 at 9:31 pm | Permalink

      “surely given their low resource base their jobs should be to go after the (Ken Clarke/Ed Davey) type seats of this world”.

      To quote a phrase : No ! No ! No !

      We all know UKIP can’t win outright in 2015.

      To secure the referendum, UKIP needs a Conservative Government or, better a Conservative-UKIP coalition to win power. For this to be achieved we all need as many Conservatives to be elected as possible.

      Committed pro-EU-at-any-cost MPs don’t hold a very high proportion of Conservative seats but standing by against them UKIP will be guaranteed to split the vote and could gift their seats to the LibDems or Labour, helping these two parties to form a pro-EU, anti-referendum Government.

      Even in the absence of a pact, UKIP should concentrate their resources and best candidates to stand only in the seats the Conservatives can’t win because of their unpopularity. These seats are mainly in the North and London and most Conservative voters in those seats will vote tactically for UKIP anyway, and the party will secure at least some seats.

      Cynical it may be, but in the absence of a pact, that is the only policy that provide any chance of securing the referendum.

      In that Government, MPs like Davey or Clarke will have performed an essential service : they will have no influence on Government policy but, they will have helped the two parties to get safely past the winning post. That’s all that matters.

      I agree with John, feelings in the party and the country are running so high that Cameron will have to hold the referendum, whatever he really thinks.

      He may want to try to secure a fig leaf of minimal concessions and still recommend we stay in but if there is a Conservative-UKIP Coalition, Red Lines can be insisted upon in the coalition agreement. If these are not won, Cameron will then be committed to campaign for a no vote.

      Either way, we will all be free to support the out campaign. The decision is then up to all of us, isn’t it ?

      Whatever Nigel Farage would really prefer to do, he’s an intelligent and practical guy and he know that UKIP simply has to help the Conservatives win the General Election, even if Cameron is still there.

      I wonder if he reads this Blog ? If so, how about a comment, Nigel ?

    • Sean O'Hare
      Posted April 30, 2013 at 10:55 am | Permalink

      As the Eastleigh by election win by the LibDems shows, it is necessary to have a strong local presence. The better UKIP do at the locals the better they will do at the next General Election.

  54. Chris_A
    Posted April 29, 2013 at 12:34 pm | Permalink

    I left the Conservatives and joined UKIP because the EU is such a serious issue.

    Many other innovative & common sense policies will keep me in UKIP.

    I am sure the party branch I am establishing this year will push my local Tory Westminster seat back to Labour, but LibConDem are the same on the EU so it doesn’t matter.

    • Pleb
      Posted April 29, 2013 at 1:29 pm | Permalink

      I agree

  55. Paul
    Posted April 29, 2013 at 12:39 pm | Permalink

    How about the Conservatives tell us how much they expect to lose? No of course they won’t do that – they’re too busy checking the social media posts of UKIP candidates. There is no set target in mind for UKIP but one thing is for sure – the UKIP vote will dramatically increase as we take votes from all political parties, particularly from the Conservatives who continue to look desperate with their dirty tactics and stupid comments from people like Ken Clarke who is well past his sell-by date. I agree with many people on this blog who say JR should defect to UKIP, but the fact is JR continues to belittle UKIP despite its growing success and still believes the Conservative Party led by ”all my heart and all my soul” Cameron is eurosceptic. What we need is for eurosceptics to stop arguing and come together to achieve what most of us want – out of the EU completely. Do we all join the Conservatives who are wrong on nearly everything and want to stay in the EU or UKIP who are right on nearly every issue and want to get out? I think we know the answer.

    Reply: Commentators are suggesting that if the Conservatives win half the seats on offer that would be a good result.

    • matthu
      Posted April 29, 2013 at 1:27 pm | Permalink

      With 2409 seats up for election and the Conservatives currently holding 1477 that would mean losing no more than about 270 seats.

      I would think that would be an exceptionally good result for the Conservatives.

  56. Christopher White
    Posted April 29, 2013 at 12:41 pm | Permalink

    Parties like Ukip never win in a first-past-post system but can influence government policy.
    The Tory referendum promise is reliable; the consequences of not following it would be too bad to contemplate. Mrs Andreasen made the correct choice to switch.
    However, the change in MrCameron’s attitudes – setting up Policy Board, having Policy Meetings with MPs and appointment of anti-windpower former energy minister to liaise with MPs would not have happened without the pressure from Ukip’s double-digit vote-share.
    Traditional parties are not ‘all Social Democratic’ but they believe that if a majority of the electorate want policies they don’t like they entitled to ignore them. A lot of appeal at Eastleigh was for man-in-the-street to vote against patronising attitudes to their opinions.
    Mr Cameron has some very elitist attitudes – if you remember he made some very stong remarks to Jesse Norman who organised voting down a constitutional reform that had no basis apart from being to the advantage of the LDs. He also tried to neuter the ’22 – no one else has tried this in the 90 years of its existence.

    Reply I can assure it was Conservative MPs, not UKIP, who secured those changes.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted April 29, 2013 at 2:06 pm | Permalink

      “The Tory referendum promise is reliable; the consequences of not following it would be too bad to contemplate.”

      I might have believed that at one time, but not after Brown was allowed to get away with denying a referendum on the Lisbon Treaty without any really bad consequences for his party.

      If Cameron reneged on another referendum pledge then no doubt Labour and the LibDems would seek to make some temporary political capital out of that, but I doubt that either party would try to maximise the benefit by following through with their own pledge for a referendum that they don’t want.

      Replyk I do not believe Mr Cameron will rat on the referendum pldge, and I can assure you a majority Conservative party in the Commons would not let him. My colleagues would understand the importance of the referendum to their victory and to their voters. If he tried to rat we would vote through the Bill or warn him his leadership was on the line.

    • Normandee
      Posted April 29, 2013 at 2:42 pm | Permalink

      you keep telling yourself that.

  57. Christopher Ekstrom
    Posted April 29, 2013 at 12:56 pm | Permalink

    A triumph would be to force the “Conservatives” into a coalition. UKIP has built momentum & has all the right enemies; Kenny (last of the Red Hot Heathites) Calls us clowns? Let ’em loose & give them votes, Kenny?

    The polls are wrong…

  58. Anthem
    Posted April 29, 2013 at 12:58 pm | Permalink

    I’m pretty sure someone famous didn’t take too much notice of polls or the press.

    I believe her view was that the only poll of any consequence was the big one on GE day.

    It has been alluded to by others here but the unknown quantity here are those people who, like myself, have not voted for years because it has become impossible to differentiate one party from another.

    If UKIP can stir some more of those from their apathy, we could see some interesting results.

  59. Normandee
    Posted April 29, 2013 at 1:09 pm | Permalink

    I have waited to see what kind of support your position on UKIP would get, and so far it would appear you have none. You are in the minority in your own party as well, will it never occur to you that if you don’t agree with your party then you could be in the wrong party. If you got on bus for Luton, and the driver suddenly decide to go to Paris, and regardless of how much you asked him very politely, as you would , no real pressure, he refused to change direction, you would get off the bus. Not sit back and say I’m sure it will be nice in Paris.

    • Christopher Ekstrom
      Posted April 29, 2013 at 8:26 pm | Permalink

      Cast Iron already ratted. He must GO!

  60. David Saunders
    Posted April 29, 2013 at 1:11 pm | Permalink

    Unusually for you, you miss the point, JR. It is not UKIP winning seats but UKIP preventing Tories from winning them that is the issue. The Conservative Party is now divided into two, and I for one am a Tory voting UKIP until post Cameron. It is the only way I can express my view about the current political situation. I know the Parliamentary arithmetic hobbles the Tories but who brought about the position in the first place by running a godawful election campaign and poor TV debating?

    Incidentally poor old Clarke mouthing off about UKIP will make voters of that inclination even more determined to vote

  61. Ed Smith
    Posted April 29, 2013 at 1:37 pm | Permalink

    Mr Redwood,

    Greatly respect your excellent blog but this is very off topic so pse read, delete but many would love to know why not:

    Subject is ECHR/Abu Qatada.

    Why can we not:

    Secede from the present treaty to which none of us ascribed;
    Reinstate the original 194x treaty to which we signed up with some purpose;
    Do this by decree for speed(!);
    Send AQ to Jordan [a pretty respectable country & his offence WAS use of a fraudulent passport];
    Front off the Senior Mandarins/Lawyers who quibble to their own advantage;
    Garner public applause.


    Ed Smith.

    Reply Because there is no Commons majority for this. The Lib Dems fully support the ECHR,as do Labour. The Lib Dems block a solution within government.

  62. Gordon Mutch
    Posted April 29, 2013 at 1:42 pm | Permalink

    93 comments and rising by 14.30 this afternoon. JR has struck a rich seam of pain and pleasure today! Incidentally, am I mistaken is seeing similarities between JR and Lifelogic and Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde? Or could Lifelogic be what JR really feels but cannot bring himself to say?

    • Bob
      Posted April 29, 2013 at 7:53 pm | Permalink

      @Gordon Mutch

      mmm, I wonder if “uanime5” is really Mr Redwood being mischievous ?


      • uanime5
        Posted April 30, 2013 at 11:58 am | Permalink

        Given how little I criticise UKIP and how much I praise the EU I’m unlikely to be Mr Redwood.

      • Mark W
        Posted April 30, 2013 at 9:59 pm | Permalink

        I doubt it.

        Uni is highly amusing, highly predictable, good sport and thick skinned.

        But boy does he/she along with tag partner Baz attract our attention. All good fun and no ones pointing guns.

  63. Bert Young
    Posted April 29, 2013 at 1:54 pm | Permalink

    You have been extremely tolerant in allowing the pro UKIP camp to express themselves via your blog and dogged in your determined views that voting for UKIP will be a waste of time . I consider that voting for UKIP will be a wake up call to the Conservatives and bring about an earlier change in the leadership of the party . Hopefully this will occur before the next election and , with or without a deal with UKIP , create a Conservative Government with a considerable majority . David Cameron has not got the support of the British voting public and the sooner he goes the better .

  64. matthu
    Posted April 29, 2013 at 2:00 pm | Permalink

    [JR says] Memo: There are 2409 seats up for election. Conservatives currently hold 1477, Lib Dems 480, Labour 255 and Others 197. I think UKIP is defending 3 County Council seats, but would be happy to be corrected if I have missed some.

    Telegraph on 05 April: Ukip defections surge in local election threat to Tories
    Ukip has gained more than 30 council seats in just three months in worrying sign for the Conservative Party’s local election prospects.

    BBC on 12 April: Brett Vorley, who represents Cranleigh East ward on Waverley Borough Council, has joined Diane James and Elliott Nichols in UKIP.

    Eastbourne herald on 17 April: Last week, long-standing Peacehaven councillor Phil Howson, who also sits on East Sussex County Council, had left the Tories and joined UKIP

    So UKIP are probably defending 32+ seats.

    Reply You name one extra County seat I had missed. I was not counting Town (parish level) Councils or Boroughs with no elections this time.

  65. Normandee
    Posted April 29, 2013 at 2:04 pm | Permalink

    I hope you enjoy Paris.

  66. Mark W
    Posted April 29, 2013 at 2:37 pm | Permalink

    I will be voting Conservative on Thursday. I have no UKIP candidate. If there was, and I’m a UKIP supporter, I would still support the Tory candidate locally as the four standing Lib, Lab, Con and Ind is a two horse race between the Tory and Ind. The Tory has been historically good locally. The Ind is on the parish and (has odd views-ed). But a charming one that is safe in the confines of an advisory body like a parish (Co opted too) but would be a danger on a County.

    The success of UKIP is to be judged by how frightened the other parties are of them. They have set the agenda. (In part). The narrative has changed and I’m not convinced that backbench Tories are singlehandedly responsible for this. They (Tory backbenchers) may indeed be the reason Cameron changed his mind on a referendum but UKIP have changed the national debate. (My opinion).

    My Parliamentary seat is rock solid Tory it will stay that way. I fear UKIP will lose a neighbouring bellwether to Labour (Good Tory there too at present). But I think another “safe” Tory seat locally will swing to UKIP in a general election unless they (UKIP) really screw up in the next two years. I believe they will take a handful of seats in the next general election.

    I actually occasionally go to political meetings and have been to three UKIP ones recently. They are attracting serious minded people. I bumped into several people I know in business, some from medium sized local concerns. All people who over the years were Tory material. But UKIP have attracted the blue collar Tories too. The seat, I won’t name it, I think they’ll take at the general election did stun me a little. The volume of people in a large sports hall, jammed to capacity with a croud round the doors outside. Farage was mingling with people all round before hand. Knows how to work an audience too. But appears to be one of us.

    I’ve been to meetings of all major parties as I like to know what they really think. (The LibDems and Greens play host to the nasties bunch of individuals I’ve come accross and the LibDems are brilliant at keeping them away from the media). The big parties don’t really have these shindigs now but they were interesting in their day. I even went to a BNP meeting just to nose at what they were like. Inept, naive and amusing. Handy to have around as a receptical for the genuinely racist with little threat of it becoming a serious force. On sensing fresh meat I was informed that they weren’t racist and that, (ethnic groups will be pleased with this bit), they don’t mind you being here. How nice to have their permission, quaint even.

    But UKIP recently seemed to have the professionalism that you’d expect with Tory and Labour. They may take seats on Thursday, but the candidates whether win or lose will know what footwork is and this could mean a landslide in the Euro election. Then the voting public may just taste blood for the first time in a few generations and bury the tripartite system that currently exists. Who knows…

    Reply: So far changes to the Conservative leadership appraoch to the EU has come from within the party and mainly from the MPs. The leadership up to this point has not regarded UKIP as a serious threat to them so it has not been studying how to deal with them. Let us see what happens on Thursday.

    • Mark W
      Posted April 29, 2013 at 7:56 pm | Permalink

      In my post I still conceded that Cameron changed on the referendum as a result of you and your colleagues. The narrative I refer to is in the population at large and I believe UKIP have a part in this. If one believes the BBC has a leftist bias, it is in their interest to split the Right too.

      If the Tory leadership hasn’t taken UKIP seriously until now they should apply a little focus. Many UKIP supporters like myself, may still vote Tory when it matters as I’m doing on Thursday. I wish to see Tory control of my county and also my ward representative returned as she deserves it.

      But I’ve become surprised at some rational people who are normally private regarding political matters, and obvious Tory supporters, openly talking about voting UKIP. The neighbouring seat I referred too is quite alarming.

      I will vote UKIP in the euro election. I have no regard of the aimless EU parliament and wouldn’t mind if a hamster was my region’s representative.

      I intend to vote UKIP in the general, but in my heart don’t know if I’ll think different with the pencil in my hand. I just don’t know. Through all the bluster I think my position is common but Cameron needs to realise this and not take it for granted.

  67. uanime5
    Posted April 29, 2013 at 2:44 pm | Permalink

    I’d say that for UKIP to make a breakthrough they’d either need to win more seats or councils than the Greens. To be considered a major political party they’d need to win more seats or councils than the Conservatives, the Lib Dems, or Labour.

    • Edward2
      Posted April 29, 2013 at 6:11 pm | Permalink

      Thanks for another blindingly obvious statement of fact Uni.

    • Leslie Singleton
      Posted April 30, 2013 at 4:54 am | Permalink

      unanime–I might have missed it because I meant what I said about often on seeing it’s you I just pass on by without reading, but surely with your numerical approach and desire for proof that the sun comes up every day you managed to prove my little arithmetrical proposition. Pity it failed to close you down for a while at least.

    • sjb
      Posted April 30, 2013 at 1:51 pm | Permalink

      Assuming UKIP get, say, around a 20% share of the vote on Thursday AND the Conservative Party do badly do you think Cameron will change the Tories’ EU policy again? For instance, might he promise to bring the referendum forward to try and obtain a mandate for the negotiations with other member states?

      Reply I am trying to get the Mandate referendum. I think the issues about it are not the UKIP vote, but votes in the Commons to get it through, and the strength of Conservative support for it.

    • Lindsay McDougall
      Posted May 1, 2013 at 2:21 pm | Permalink

      UKIP don’t need to make a breakthrough. All that is needed is for the Conservative Party to be convinced that they won’t win a majority in 2015 without the votes of most UKIP supporters. Don’t you know that necessity is the mother of invention?

  68. Barbara
    Posted April 29, 2013 at 2:44 pm | Permalink

    Once any party have to begin slanting off another party to me they become suspect, and it seems as though they lack moral fibre. Its OK to judge policies, analyse them, and judge them, but to resort to abuse shows real lack of commosense. That is how I’ve seen comments about UKIP. It appears even the BNP, whom I don’t like one bit, have been treated in this way, yet are a legal party of this state and should be treated with the same respect. Its hearing policies, talking about them and challenging them you get a clear picture of the party in question.
    Name calling, which comes back to haunt those who engage in it, shows little itelligence or desperation on their part. I hope some people show more restaint and respect and we are able to discuss different parties policies, hear what they have to say. If you are genuine the party should have no fears. Time will give us all the answers.

  69. JimF
    Posted April 29, 2013 at 2:51 pm | Permalink

    Absolutely in agreement. You have no worry at all from UKIP, best to ignore them completely, unlike your staffers who want to investigate and try to smear candidates. They are absolutely no threat to you. You are best to completely ignore them until they eat you up.

  70. muddyman
    Posted April 29, 2013 at 2:56 pm | Permalink

    A ‘break through’ – the Con. showing such figures as to initiate the removal of Cameron.

  71. matthu
    Posted April 29, 2013 at 3:27 pm | Permalink

    UKIP stands for

    smaller government
    more limited government (less of a nanny state)
    lower taxes
    democratic accountability
    more controlled immigration
    cheaper energy
    more international trade
    less corruption
    more trust in the people

    These should all be Conservative party policies. But they are not, because none of this is possible if you are simultaneously advocate staying in the EU.

    When the Conservative party advocates these policies, some UKIP voters may revert.

    Reply But UKIP also stands for stopping people who want these things from getting elected! The truth is afetr Thursday UKIP will sitll not be able to implement any one of those things.

    • matthu
      Posted April 29, 2013 at 5:08 pm | Permalink

      If I was voting this week (and unfortunately I do not have that opportunity) I would rather my vote could in no way at all be construed as support for the status quo.

      As simple as that.

  72. Tim
    Posted April 29, 2013 at 3:48 pm | Permalink


    What constitutes success, you ask.

    Frankly I’m past the point of no return re the Tories. I actually don’t care who wins any more as I refuse to play the three party game. Yes, this is nihilistic but the EU is now a sick joke and our country has lost control of it’s borders, self respect and any freedom for independent action.

    I’m not going to trust the Tories again on this. At least UKIP is clear on Europe and immigration. I want to vote for a party I believe in, not a least worst option.

    Sorry John.

  73. Tad Davison
    Posted April 29, 2013 at 4:22 pm | Permalink

    I regard myself as a natural Conservative, but like so many other people, I feel badly let down by the party that is supposed to represent all those with a similar view. A new party has stepped into the void, and now represents the true voice of mainstream Conservative thinking. If the Tories are too stupid to see what the people are crying out for, and thus let another party speak for us, then they deserve to be trashed.

    It might be that the unintended consequence of a wholesale, or even a moderate defection to UKIP lets in Labour, but there is not that much to choose these days between Labour and the Tories, we still get a pro-EU pinko party, so where’s the loss?

    In the leader, John wrote: ‘Is the main aim in effect to get more Councils into Labour hands, by taking more votes from Conservatives than from Labour?’

    I think the bedroom tax will see to that without UKIP’s help, because I have found it to be massively unpopular locally.

    Tad Davison


    Reply Labour calls it the bedroom tax, Conservatives call it the spare room subsidy. I do not find it so unpopular on the doorsteps I visit as you suggest.

    • Tad Davison
      Posted April 29, 2013 at 9:09 pm | Permalink

      John, I do not jest. I have been told by both Conservative and Labour party activists that the bedroom tax (to use the colloquialism) is deeply unpopular (I haven’t asked the Lib Dems because they know my views on the EU, that I’ll tie them in knots, and stay well away from me!)

      Most of the recent changes to the benefits system have been welcome, are long over due, and perhaps don’t even go far enough, but the bedroom tax seems to strike at the very security of a lot of vulnerable people thus making them very uneasy. It’s as if the coalition don’t care about them, and Labour are making capital out of it. Thursday will be the acid test.


  74. alan jutson
    Posted April 29, 2013 at 4:38 pm | Permalink

    The answer to your question is :

    UKIP will make progress, but will not win a huge number of seats in the local elections this year.


    I forecast they will win big time in the European Elections in 2014, because Mr Cameron has not yet comvinced anyone he is serious about any meaningful renegotiation, because he is not taking any action in this Parliament.
    Indeed he forced a three line whip against a referendum vote only last year.
    Thus he has already shown his true colours and thoughts.

    Reply UKIP jam tomorrow!

    • zorro
      Posted April 29, 2013 at 5:17 pm | Permalink

      Reply to reply – but probably better than Tory fudge today… 🙂


    • Jerry
      Posted April 29, 2013 at 6:02 pm | Permalink

      @alan jutson: Indeed UKIP may well win big time in the 2014 EU elections, so what if they do, what does it achieve, nothing in the EU parliament other than some more rabble-rousing speeches as UKIP have little ability to influence the debate in the EU parliament than the SNP has in the UK parliament – and of course UKIP have no influence in that latter parliament how ever many MEP’s they have…

      As for Jam tomorrow, in what I assume was a reply by JR, not even that -more like- perhaps the flour to make the bread will arrive tomorrow! 🙁

      • alan jutson
        Posted April 29, 2013 at 7:57 pm | Permalink


        I do not expect anything positive about UKIP getting a large number of votes in the European Elections, but I do think a large number of people want to give Cameron and all the other Parties a bloody nose on the EU, to try and make them understand it is damaging our Country.

        So to sum up, it WILL be a protest vote.

        Sometimes it makes sense to cut off your nose to spite your face, just to make a point.
        I have do so before in business, and believe me it works. short term harm, for long term gain.

        Reply to JR
        Ref “Jam tomorrow”.
        At least we know what the UKIP leader wants, but like you I do not believe anything much will happen to make it come true.
        Cameron I simply do not trust to even negotiate seriously, even if he was given the opportunity.

    • JimF
      Posted April 29, 2013 at 6:53 pm | Permalink

      Pots and kettles!!!!
      Nothing quite as jammy as Cameron’s referendum when he wins a majority, which he couldn’t even win against Brown!

    • Wokingham Mum
      Posted April 29, 2013 at 8:15 pm | Permalink

      No marmalade ! No real con voter can, with consciousness can vote

  75. The PrangWizard
    Posted April 29, 2013 at 6:41 pm | Permalink

    As I have said before a number of times I am not a UKIPer, and I am one of your admirers, although it may not seem that way sometimes, but I can’t answer your question, I’m sure it as difficult to answer it as it would be for you to say how many Conservative seats lost to them would be an embarrassment for your party and government. I’ve read the flak you get and it must be very tough going given the views you hold.

    However, I am one of those who is very angry, who feels strongly they have been betrayed by Cameron, because they wanted a Tory and didn’t seem to get one; whether your pages see a disproportionate number of UKIPers will be seen on Friday, and you may be right.

    I’ve moved from being a keen Conservative supporter, believing in the Union and tolerating the EU in the hope that governments and the Conservatives would look after our interests, to someone who is quite prepared to talk rebellion. So if UKIP shakes things up, so be it, let them.

    I now want out of the EU, I want an English parliament which is being denied, (why is England is so ‘special’ that it doesn’t deserve one, when the other nations do, how can it be argued against?) and I don’t care if the Union is broken up through devolution. I feel under no obligation to protect it. (And just to make me even more annoyed I’ve just heard the Head of Aberdeen Asset Management on Jeff Randall on SKY say he’d love Scotland to be independent – why the hell can’t someone talk about the rights of England on mainstream TV?)

    And Cameron has been one of the catalysts. So ‘what the hell!’ I say.

    reply I have already given an answer to the question of Conservative results. If Conservatives lost a single County Council they currently control to UKIP control then that would be a good result for UKIP and a very bad one for Conservatives. If UKIP got more Council seats than the otherwise third placed Lib or Lab parties that would also be a good result for UKIP, though hardly a game changer without control of some Councils so they could do something.

    • Chris S
      Posted April 29, 2013 at 9:49 pm | Permalink

      John, we are now only two years away from the General Election so the number of votes UKIP secures is important, especially as the Euro elections are perfectly timed and will be fought under PR.

      What proportion of the popular vote does UKIP have to achieve this week for you to regard as a success ?

      I have already said 18% and anything over 20% should seriously worry Central Office.

      Reply I have said they need to win at least one Council outright, and to have more Councillors than either Labour or the Lib dems to show electoral progress.

  76. Dan
    Posted April 29, 2013 at 6:51 pm | Permalink

    The Conservative Party is committed to the EU.
    JR stood and was elected on that manifesto.
    No amount of waffle can deflect from that.

    UKIP wants out of the EU.

    I go with UKIP.

    reply I stood on my own views, including a promise to vote for an EU referendum this Parliament, a promise I kept.

    • Paul
      Posted April 29, 2013 at 9:17 pm | Permalink

      John, would you support a UKIP candidate over a pro EU Conservative candidate in a general/by-election? This may cost the Conservatives an overall majority but if you truly believe in what you say then you must be open to working with or supporting UKIP to get the outcome many of us want. Are you above party politics? We need eurosceptic MP’s in parliament irrelevant of which party they belong to. This is why I believe UKIP and the Conservatives need to stand aside in certain constituencies, but given the foolish things David Cameron has said about UKIP this looks increasingly unlikely with him as leader.

      Reply I do not think either Mr Farage or Mr Cameron plan any such thing. I have a Eurosceptic Conservative to vote for which I think is the best answer.

    • cornishstu
      Posted April 29, 2013 at 10:18 pm | Permalink

      problem is JR your views are a minority within your own party.

      • Chris
        Posted May 1, 2013 at 9:02 am | Permalink

        In his reply to my earlier comments, Mr Redwood said that the majority of the Cons Party are eurosceptics. My point was that only 82 MPs supported the referendum debate, so there must be “shades” of euroscepticism, with some prepared to act, as the 82 did, but many not. Actions are critical, words only are meaningless.

    • Dan
      Posted April 30, 2013 at 8:07 am | Permalink

      Is JR denying he stood on the basis of the Conservative Manifesto?

      Reply I stood on the Conservative Manifesto as modified by my personal manifesto as an official Conservative candidate. That included a promise to vote for an In/Out referendum which the party Manifesto expressly did not include.

      • Dan
        Posted April 30, 2013 at 5:18 pm | Permalink

        Seriously, you stood on the Conservative ticket but decided that you would attach your own conditions on standing to that ticket?

        Not sure if thats deceitful, disloyal, duplicitous or simply a total cop out.
        If you couldn’t accept the deal your party offered, you should have stood as an independent.

        Truly, that’s an outrageous position you have taken. Unprincipled.

        Reply On the contrary it is quite principled and honest. Every sensible candidate for a major party differentiates themselves in some way or another. I just happen believe strongly that we need an In/Out referendum so I said so and voted for one.

        • scottspeig
          Posted May 1, 2013 at 11:03 am | Permalink


          What utter tosh!! Everyone knows (or ought to) that you vote for the individual, not the party. (Which is why I do not like PR since then it is party, not the individual)

          Parties exist to enable easier groupings in Parliament and so having a personal manifesto should be an essential. In effect, the candidate then stands as a member of the party and agrees with the general gist of the whole body yet remains an individual with personal ideas and trying to push them into a national level!

  77. Duncan
    Posted April 29, 2013 at 8:21 pm | Permalink

    John, a breakthrough would be if UKIP gains more votes than the Lib-Dems.

    With our “first-past-the-post” electoral system the number of people elected to this or that party will not give an in-depth analysis of success / popularity.

    Reply If Lib Dems got 10% and UKIP 11% that would be no great victory – it would still give Lib Dems more seats than UKIP.

  78. Bob
    Posted April 29, 2013 at 8:21 pm | Permalink

    It’s not just David Cameron that’s frit.

    “Labour joins the Tories in move to block UK Independence Party members from appearing on TV leader’s debates”

  79. Gordon Mutch
    Posted April 29, 2013 at 9:03 pm | Permalink

    Today’s comments are fascinating. I still think that the best chance of transforming the UK relationship with the EU is through the Conservative Party winning the next election with a substantially increase in the number of CP MPs being ready to bring about this transformation. Splitting the CP vote seems to be self-defeating, unless the economic/political landscape changes massively and dramatically.

    Cameron is disappointing, but he and Osborne are all there is for the foreseeable future. They need to work a few economic miracles (small ones will be enough) to raise national spirits and give us a sense of direction, for example on energy. Anyone with UKIP leanings will best serve the UK by throwing their weight around within the CP.

  80. Max Dunbar
    Posted April 29, 2013 at 10:12 pm | Permalink

    Dr Redwood must be pleased with the response that this article has generated. If there is a bloodbath in May then there is a chance that he will not be consigned to the sidelines of the Conservative Party for too much longer.
    UKIP are hungry and the gloves are off. They will gain many votes from ex-Labour as well as ex-Tory supporters due to their strong and unique stance on immigration.
    If the Conservative Party look at Scotland they could be looking at their future in England. No room for complacency.

  81. Robert Alderbourne
    Posted April 29, 2013 at 10:42 pm | Permalink

    “No great UKIP breakthrough pending according to polls and press”

    Meaningless headline for the context of the article that was written.
    Even if the article was about polls and whatever the press rekons (gotta smile )..firstly everyone I know is voting UKIP, secondly the press just pump out the spin their fed.

    As for not voting UKIP to avoid the disappointment of a Labour Govt, I’m not sure that in the main issues Europe or Immigration the Tory party have been any better than a Blair Govt.

    Reply SO how many Councils do you think UKIP will win on Thuirsday?

    • robert alderbourne
      Posted April 30, 2013 at 8:33 am | Permalink

      Probably none. But I think they’ll get over 20% of the popular vote.

      For a fourth independent party I’d call that a breakthrough.

      Reply UKIP spin says 18%. If that produces practically no seats it is just a spoiler. The national polls show considerably less than that, but UKIP might do better in a low turnout local election as polls find differential turnout difficult to capture.

      • robert alderbourne
        Posted May 1, 2013 at 3:02 pm | Permalink

        Ummm I get the impression that the average UKIPper is twice as likely to vote as a Zombie labour voter or Tory voter. ie the UKIPper is a far more democratically pro-active member of society.

        Alternatively you could argue the UKIP vote is part of a wider non usually voting ie disenfranchised public. I think though that this large element may now vote for this party and so I think that UKIP is actually going to tap into all that huge…40% of non-voters.

        Either way there is a feeling that the UKIP Genie is definitely out of the bottle, I’d call that a breakthrought..yawn.

  82. Simon Jones
    Posted April 30, 2013 at 12:01 am | Permalink

    I think it could be considered a breakthrough for UKIP if people’s awareness that there is a real alternative to the identikit main three parties is raised. It won’t make a blind bit of difference which of the main three parties “win” because they are essentially one and the same with miniscule differences in policy that are to all intents and purposes irrelevant. The penny is slowly beginning to drop and people you speak to have an awareness that was not there a year ago. They are beginning to see that there is actually an alternative to the status quo.

    I spoke to someone a couple of years ago who studies these things and he reckoned it would take 40-50 years for the British to get fed up with the way they are treated by their politicians. I reckon it could be a bit quicker than that, all it needs is another expenses scandal or similar and things could change quite rapidly. It will be interesting to see what happens.

  83. David Langley
    Posted April 30, 2013 at 7:03 am | Permalink

    Nigel Farage wiped the floor with a puerile Humphries on the today programme just now. I believe in UKIP and a new start for the UK. It will be such a relief for me to be able to vote for a UKIP candidate. Where I live there are no council elections so I will have to wait but my support is there and I will do what I can do to try and get the UKIP policies into the public debate. Real people who have sweated in real jobs and had real life experience have a great enthusiasm for the aims and objectives of the UKIP. What is not good to like to get your country back?

  84. Robert K
    Posted April 30, 2013 at 7:06 am | Permalink

    Seems to me that UKIP is a conservative party but the Tory government is social democrat.

  85. Clarence
    Posted April 30, 2013 at 7:25 am | Permalink

    In this part of the world, a vote for UKIP is to let Lib Dems, (far worse than Labour)in. It’ll be a different story come the European elections though.

  86. David Langley
    Posted April 30, 2013 at 7:31 am | Permalink

    You should as a Tory John, be worried as some big money is moving behind UKIP, I think the Tories are very obsessed about being part of the old establishment and the old boys network is still evident as shown by the old boy Clarke. I have the unworthy feeling that you would sooner be in UKIP than your present party. How can you bear to listen to the tosh coming out of the front bench of your party? I know you do not want to lose your job, but you have never asked your local voters to my knowledge how they feel about UKIPs aims etc. Perhaps they are waiting for you to “come out” too?

  87. Chris
    Posted April 30, 2013 at 9:31 am | Permalink

    A very thoughtful article by Daniel Hannan, which follows on from his appearance at Newbury last night with Owen Paterson (a local Conservative function, I understand). I think it would be very constructive if more MPs in the Conservative Party worked along these lines, instead of denigrating UKIP or being merely supercilious about their chances. The reality is that Cameron is going to lose the next election, and there has to be a very long hard look at the state of the Party now, and action taken. The EU is moving apace towards its ever closer integration and if Labour gets in, then we will lose our sovereignty completely. We have little time and the stakes are enormous. Hannan and Paterson both stated apparently that the Cons and UKIP have to work together, otherwise the Cons Party will be defeated and the EU will effectively swallow us up. It is as simple as that. If that is the case, which MPs are going to act now to do something about it – one would assume the “Eurosceptic” MPs, if they really fear for our country, should do something. They may not have a majority in Parliament, but they have some very powerful ammunition at their disposal. At present, they do not seem willing to use it. My question is, why not, if the whole future of our democracy is at stake?
    “I’ve always been a big fan of Nigel Farage. Though we’ve fought each other at three European elections, he has been the most gracious and sincere of opponents. In an age when politics is dominated by careerists and trimmers, he motivated by love of country.
    For as long as I can remember, Nigel has said that Ukip is different from other parties. It isn’t an end in itself, he says, but a means to an end. It exists only to give the British people their say on leaving the sclerotic and declining EU. I believe him. That’s why Conservatives should be encouraging him to realise that vision…”

  88. Chris
    Posted April 30, 2013 at 11:47 am | Permalink

    As I understand it, you have frequently mentioned that you, as a Eurosceptic, are powerless to advance the Eurosceptic agenda because you are outnumbered in Parliament. Last night, Daniel Hannan and Owen Paterson spoke at a meeting in Newbury, where they were apparently very clear of the need for wavering Conservatives to vote Conservative and for disillusioned grassroots not to vote UKIP because the Cons Party needed the majority to advance the Eurosceptic agenda – something along the lines that at present it was the Lib Dems who were holding back the Eurosceptic action, but that once in power the Conservatives would be able and willing to take radical steps to loosen ties with the EU.

    My question is how will the number of Eurosceptic MPs in the Cons Party be any more effective with a Cons govt only, if they are in the minority within the Party, let alone the Coalition, as you have indicated previously? If Eurosceptic simply means supporting Cameron for a referendum in 2017 on renegotiated terms or OUT (significant renegotiation not actually being a realistic option with the EU as Merkel et al have already made clear) that will not satisfy those who have deserted the Cons Party, and who are needed back “in the fold” to ensure a Cons victory. If there are eurosceptics within the Cons Party who apparently are willing to go much further, but who have yet to play their cards, then that may entice back former Cons voters.

    However, you seem to indicate that as you are in a minority there is nothing much more you can do, or are prepared to do with regard to pushing David Cameron to promise something much more radical with regard to the EU. It appears to the electorate that there are two sorts of eurosceptics – those who support Cameron in his 2017 “promise” of a referendum, and those who are perceived as true and effective eurosceptics who support much more radical action, and who are behind the scenes preparing for that radical action. The former will not gain any traction with former Cons supporters, but the latter might, and it is the scale and strength of the latter group and the action that they are prepared to take that is of significance to the prospective voter.

    Reply I have never said we are in a minority within the Conservative party! Conservative Eurosceptics are clearly in a minority in Parliament, but the overwhelming number of Conservative MPs are Eurosceptic and have combined to change our policy to negotiate and decide.

    • Chris
      Posted April 30, 2013 at 2:52 pm | Permalink

      The problem is, Mr Redwood, that only 82 were prepared to fight their corner at the EU referendum debate. Certainly not enough to be regarded as a majority in the Conservative Party. Neither is having David Lidington as our Europe Minister convincing with regard to the eurosceptic credentials of the present Conservative Party.

      Reply Many more are Eurosceptic

    • Chris
      Posted April 30, 2013 at 8:56 pm | Permalink

      My earlier response to your reply has not been posted, but basically I said that 82 MPs who had the courage of their convictions in the referendum vote does not represent a majority of Conservative MPs. There are degrees of euroscepticism in the Conservative Party, and the lighter shades of eurosceptics do not convince the grassroots conservatives.

  89. Chris
    Posted April 30, 2013 at 3:04 pm | Permalink

    I see that Matt has wasted no time in ridiculing the ill fated campaign to belittle UKIP, and Norman Tebbitt is highly critical too.
    Tory canvasser at doorstep: “If you vote UKIP, all the bees will die”.

  90. ciconia
    Posted April 30, 2013 at 6:39 pm | Permalink

    Absolutely no political affiliations myself, though I have in the past helped local tory district and county council members at election time because they were good for the community.
    This time I have refused to help, because (a) even though haven’t seen a UKIP person I’d want to run the country, they’ll be just fine in local govt; and (b) I know politics is the art of the possible, not necessarily the desirable, but from those of us outside the Westminster twittersphere, what planet is the coalition on?

    It may be that Mr Lansley’s nhs reforms, and Mr slow but steady Duncan Smith’s benefit reforms will prove the wonders of the age, but we’re three years in, govt IT history is uniformly poor, and the results will be a long time coming.
    Where Labour diverted itself with banning foxhunting, tories have police commissioners and gay marriage. Not gay myself, socialise with a few and attended a civil partnership ceremony, in the family, but never heard gay marriage raised, ever.
    And localism? Has anybody talked to the volunteer parish councillors at the bottom of the heap having to produce community and neighbourhood plans which will be ignored by developers and govt alike?
    On to the yellow peril, obsessed with an electoral system that favours er… LibDems, and wanted to reform the H o L by replacing the present 80% party political nominees with 100%
    Back to UKIP and the eu;
    I’ve lived and worked in mainland Europe and elsewhere abroad in industry. I’ve seen enough to make my mind up
    I’m also mightily p….d off with the poor return on my hard earned savings and the lowering of the 40% tax threshold.
    I’m not leaving you, you’ve left me.
    Time for change.

  91. Tony Hagman
    Posted April 30, 2013 at 6:43 pm | Permalink

    John, you keep living with your head buried in the sand.

    Labour, Conservative and Lib Dems are worthless, treacherous, self-conceited rogues.

    UKIP for me and many people I know – Britain needs change.

  92. Mark W
    Posted April 30, 2013 at 10:19 pm | Permalink

    Slightly off point here but some statistics are like football statistics. Whereby a certain team hasn’t beat another team at home for 80 years. It has no relevance.

    No government has increased its vote share in office. This government has the combined vote share of Tory and LibDem. If this number reduces to produce one governing party that could still be a majority Tory government. These are unchartered waters in living memory.

    Labour is beginning to crack. They have yet to offer an alternative. They have yet to apologise for the mess they made. The Tories ought to dust off their one attempt at hammering a simple message with their, fixing roof sun shinning line. And remember the cast iron renege before the election was probably what cost them a majority.

  93. sm
    Posted April 30, 2013 at 10:50 pm | Permalink

    As remarked earlier , its a slow burn until the tipping point.
    Liblabcon cant fool everyone all of the time.

    We are not the only member of the EU, will the EU27 exist by 2015?

    • sjb
      Posted May 1, 2013 at 8:33 am | Permalink

      The EU27 will cease to exist on 1 July 2013 when Croatia becomes the 28th state of the Union.

    • Jerry
      Posted May 1, 2013 at 8:44 am | Permalink

      @sm: As has been pointed out before, unless and until Labour (and the LDs) start loosing seats to UKIP in the same way as the Tories did at the last GE then all UKIP is doing is splitting the very vote that would otherwise bring a majority right wing, eurosceptic, government to power who will actually take steps to reign-in/exit the EU.

      Vote UKIP = we get a Labour government = (as their policies stands now) the UK signing up to even more EU dicta, never mind more quack ‘Green’ science that will continue to stifle UK business and industry into oblivion.

      • scottspeig
        Posted May 1, 2013 at 11:19 am | Permalink

        I’m sorry, but the Conservative party has drifted too far away from policies I advocate.

        Therefore, I will vote for the nearest party/candidate to my views. That is the UKIP candidate.

        • Jerry
          Posted May 1, 2013 at 2:28 pm | Permalink

          scottspeig: Do as you think best but don’t start bleating about an unfair electoral system or what ever when Labour (and perhaps the LDs, even the odd Green) are back in government and signing away yours and my right to decide how the UK is governed. All I’m saying is, surely better a less than perfect eurosceptical Tory party than a split vote on the right that allows a europhile government in. “Better the devil you know than the devil you don’t!”…

  94. MarkieW
    Posted May 4, 2013 at 1:58 pm | Permalink

    So does having 25% of the vote from nowhere count as a breakthrough John?

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    John Redwood won a free place at Kent College, Canterbury, and graduated from Magdalen College Oxford. He is a Distinguished fellow of All Souls, Oxford. A businessman by background, he has set up an investment management business, was both executive and non executive chairman of a quoted industrial PLC, and chaired a manufacturing company with factories in Birmingham, Chicago, India and China. He is the MP for Wokingham, first elected in 1987.

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