Tag Archives: nigel farage

The Nigel Farage Paradox: the higher his public profile, the lower is public support to leave the EU

Nigel Farage

Here is the Nigel Farage paradox: the more that Ukip’s media profile, poll rating and party membership has grown over the last two years, the more that support for the party’s core mission – that Britain should leave the European Union – seems to have shrunk.

    Sunder Katwala, director of British Future (New Statesman, 3 April 2014)
Posted in News | Also tagged , , , , , and | 31 Comments

The Swiss Wheeze: the Better Off Out argument that’s full of holes

Swiss CheeseIf only we were Switzerland, eh? That’s the dream of the Better Off Out brigade, who long for its freedom as part of the European Free Trade Association (EFTA). And it’s a tempting offer: all the benefits of free trade with EU member states, and (if you believe Nigel Farage, Dan Hannan et al) none of the risks.

Except it’s not quite that easy, as The Economist highlighted when it investigated Britain’s options.

photo by: Filter Forge
Posted in Europe / International and News | Also tagged , , , , , , , and | 19 Comments

Nick v Nigel: What the commentators say – and don’t say

Farage cleggWell, there’s a surprise. After last week’s largely positive stories, the headlines aren’t so good this week. It’s interesting to see that those who called for Nick to be more passionate and to go less on the detail weren’t satisfied when he did just that. I wonder if last week’s coverage prompted too much of a strategic rethink to an approach that was working fine. In my opinion, the only thing that needed changing from the LBC debate was a stronger answer on the referendum question, especially as it …

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged , and | 49 Comments

Opinion: Young people benefit from the EU. We need to persuade them to vote for the party of IN

Youth on the Move in Volos 20Each one of us who was glued to a screen or radio for the Nick vs Nigel EU debate last Wednesday will have our own opinion of who lost and who won as facts, rhetorical points and the affection of the audience were fought over. But I’ll tell you whose affection wasn’t fought over – that of Britain’s young people. And I, along with friends in and outside the party, was disappointed.

The lives of young people in this country – your children, your activists, you …

photo by: EU Social
Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged , , , and | 9 Comments

It’s #NickvNigel Round 2 and we have bingo and billboards

Nick v Nigel Round 2 poster

Today the second debate on EU membership takes place between our Nick Clegg and UKIP leader Nigel Farage.

The image you see before you will be beaming down on commuters and shoppers in Tottenham Court Road, one of London’s busiest areas from around now. At least I think that’s the case. I’m only from Scotland.

It’s also fair to say that no social media timeline will be safe from the image of Cameron and Miliband missing

Posted in News | Also tagged , and | 5 Comments

Clegg slams Farage over “extreme” and “utterly grotesque” Putin comments

Nigel Farage MEPMost Liberals would have been choking into their Corn Flakes this morning upon reading that Vladimir Putin, who apparently has designs on Finland, is the object of Nigel Farage’s admiration.

I just think it is utterly grotesque that Nigel Farage apparently admires – and that was the question to him, ‘Who do you admire?’ – admires someone, Vladimir Putin, who has been the chief sponsor and protector of one of the most brutal dictators on the face of the planet, President Assad, who has blocked at every single

Posted in News | Also tagged , , and | 14 Comments

Tim Farron MP writes…Tales from the Spin Room

Clegg Speech 40Last night I was in the spin room doing my job as President, walking around and saying Nick had won.  It wasn’t hard to appear convincing, because he was brilliant. It was certainly easier than when I have to speak to the media after some by-elections!

I thought Nick won last night on both style and substance. Though of course as a Lib Dem, I would say that.  As a party we like facts and evidence. Watching last night, those things were very light on the UKIP side of the …

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged , and | 32 Comments

LibLink: Lynne Featherstone: Last night we saw the nasty side of Nigel Farage

Lynne featherstone by paul walterLynne Featherstone has written an article for the Liberal Democrats’ website in which she slams Nigel Farage’s comments on same sex marriage  and Crimea in the debate last night.

I agree with Vlad

Nigel Farage loathes the EU so much that he is prepared to side with Vladimir Putin against the people of Ukraine and the democracies of the western world.

His statement, that the EU has “blood on its hands”, was an insult to those pro-democracy demonstrators who bravely took to the streets of Kiev to fight for their

Posted in News | Also tagged , and | 22 Comments

#NickvNigel Pre-match fun: Pick of the Tweets

In just over half an hour, the #NickvNigel debate will be on. There have been many amusing tweets throughout the day. Here are some of the best:

Posted in News | Also tagged and | 3 Comments

Three ways to watch #NickvNigel

It’s just over an hour to go until Nick Clegg takes on Nigel Farage to debate whether Britain should be in or out of the EU.

Here’s where you can watch:

It’s being streamed on both the Liberal Democrats’ website or over at LBC

If you have Sky News, you can watch the build up, debate and aftermath from 6pm.

Posted in News | Also tagged , and | Leave a comment

Your essential Nick v Nigel debate reader: 15 articles to get you match-fit ahead of tonight’s live encounter

Today’s the day of the first Nick v Nigel debate. Here’s your essential reader ahead of tonight’s first encounter between the Lib Dem and Ukip leaders…

Three LibDemVoice articles…

First, let’s recall how the debate came about – Nick Clegg challenged Nigel Farage to the debate live on his LBC radio phone-in last month: “It’s a brave, maybe audacious move,” said my co-editor Caron Lindsay, “but Nick has never been one to shy away from a challenge. He’s also honed his already good debating skills since his success in 2010.”

And as I pointed out then, it was a smart …

Posted in Europe / International | Also tagged , and | Leave a comment

The Independent View: Clegg can’t just take on Farage – he also needs to spell out his own vision for EU reform

Like all political obsessives up and down the country I’ve stocked up on popcorn ahead of Nick Clegg and Nigel Farage’s upcoming duels over Europe in anticipation of some captivating political theatre. However, from my more sober perspective as a political analyst, such a binary, ‘all-or-nothing’ debate over Europe is fundamentally flawed as it does not speak to where the majority of the British public are at. Polls have consistently shown that when respondents are offered options beyond staying in on the current terms or leaving altogether, the option of staying in a reformed/slimmed down EU proves the most popular across the political spectrum.

People hold different views about how they would like to see the European Union develop. Which of these statements comes closest to your view?

Graph

Posted in The Independent View | Also tagged | 25 Comments

Lib Dems as ‘The Party of IN’ – Clegg’s pro-European strategy starts to pay off

nick clegg v nigel farageKudos to Nick Clegg and his team, including his director of strategy Ryan Coetzee. The gambit of issuing a personal challenge to Nigel Farage to debate Nick on Europe has been accepted not only by the Ukip leader, but also now by the media. As Caron Lindsay reported here this morning – #NickvNigel – We have a date and #NickvNigel: We have 2 dates – any more for the Tour? – the two leaders will face-off both on TV and on radio within the next …

Posted in Europe / International and Op-eds | Also tagged , , , , , , and | 53 Comments

#NickvNigel – We have a date

nick clegg v nigel farageIt’s just been announced – the date we’ve been waiting for, when Nick Clegg will face Nigel Farage to debate whether Britain should be in or out of the EU.

Nick challenged Nigel two weeks ago on his Call Clegg radio show on LBC.

The debate will actually be televised, on BBC2 and will take place on Wednesday 2 April at 7pm.

Julian Huppert has just been on the BBC News Channel saying that he thinks that Nick will do really well, making the positive case for the European Union. On the two largest parties in British politics, he said:

I’m not surprised the other two parties have refused to take part. David Cameron’s party is completely split and Labour don’t quite know where they are on this. We are the only party who wants to be IN Europe, IN work.

Posted in News | Also tagged , , and | 12 Comments

Farage says Britain’s becoming “unrecognisable”. But the British public says our sense of belonging is increasing.

Ukip leader Nigel Farage was dog-whistling for all he was worth at his party’s spring conference this week:

“In scores of our cities and market towns, this country, in a short space of time, has, frankly, become unrecognisable. Whether it is the impact on local schools and hospitals, whether it is the fact that in many parts of England you don’t hear English spoken any more, this is not the kind of community we want to leave to our children and grandchildren.”

His words were eerily reminiscent of William Hague’s insidious “foreign land” speech in 2001. And his party’s slogan …

Posted in News | Also tagged , , , , , , , and | 47 Comments

Opinion: Nick, Nigel and the Hokey Cokey party

In common with many Lib Dem activists I have ambivalent feeling about Nick Clegg. I don’t feel that there is a strong case to either say that that no good had come from the coalition or from his leadership, or alternatively that it’s all been peachy. In my view it’s actually a case of what you think the balance has been between successes and disappointments, a debate where I sit roughly in the middle.

However Nick’s latest move – challenging Nigel Farage to a public debate on Europe – has my unbridled admiration, both morally and politically. Morally not only because …

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged , , , , and | 21 Comments

Andrew Rawnsley: “The real reasons why Nick threw down the gauntlet to Nigel”

Andrew Rawnsley has made some interesting comments in today’s Observer on Nick Clegg’s debate challenge to Nigel Farage.

He makes the obligatory point that the party’s poor position in the polls and concern over the consequences of a bad result for Clegg’s leadership  but makes the point that it only takes a relatively small shift to protect the position of Liberal Democrat MEPs.

Senior Lib Dems privately confide that their goal is quite modest: to lift their vote share by three to four points above their current poll ratings. When you are bumping along at low levels of support, just a

Posted in News | Also tagged , , , , and | 19 Comments

Clegg v Farage: why Nick needs Nigel

Some smart stuff from Nick Clegg this morning, issuing a direct challenge to Ukip’s Nigel Farage to debate him on Europe.

For starters, it seizes the initiative. Nick’s been ambushed often enough on his radio phone-in show, Call Clegg, with the producers lining up disgusted ex-Lib Dem members, and folk like Boris Johnson and Cathy Newman, to spring awkward questions on him. Today he turned the tables. The speed with which emails from the party pinged into my inbox – complete with petition to sign – show this was a planned surprise.

It’s succeeded in catching Nigel Farage off-guard. The Ukip leader wants to think through the pros and cons. If he agrees to Nick’s challenge, will it weaken his case for appearing in 2015′s televised leaders’ debates? Should he demand a four-way debate – even though he must know that’s a non-starter and it might look like he’s unwilling to take up the gauntlet thrown down by Nick? They’re fair enough questions to want to think through. But in today’s insta-response news climate, Nige’s lack of immediate enthusiasm will dent his carefully cultivated image of un-spun, devil-may-care, shoot-from-the-hip, take-on-all-comers man-of-the-people.

Posted in News | Also tagged and | 40 Comments

Nick Clegg challenges Nigel Farage to debate on EU membership

Nick Clegg LBC laughingOn his weekly Call Clegg phone in programme, Nick Clegg challenged Nigel Farage to a public, open debate on whether Britain should stay in the EU. He said it was time for the leaders of the two parties advocating out and in to discuss the issues. He was clear that membership of the EU protected 3 million British jobs, kept us safer and enabled us to protect the environment.

I’ll tell you what I’ll do. I will challenge Nigel Farage to a public, open debate about whether we should

Posted in News | Also tagged , and | 26 Comments

Opinion: Farage: The Nostradamus of Politics

Fear is a powerful motivator. Take, for example, its use in two political campaigns, one from each side of the Atlantic: the Daisy Girl ad, used in the re-election campaign of US president Lyndon Johnson in 1964; and the Labour tax bombshell broadcast, from our own Conservatives in 1992.

One made American voters ask, “Do I really want Barry Goldwater – a man who joked about lobbing a nuclear bomb at the Kremlin – to have his finger hovering over the red button?” The other made British voters ask, “Do I really want Labour to …

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged and | 17 Comments

Opinion: Time to expose UKIP

The recent expose of UKIP’s Victoria Ayling, who wants to send all immigrants “back home” offers a glimpse at the nasty side of this party which Nigel Farage would rather keep hidden.

Talk of ‘repatriating’ of immigrants sends a cold shudder up my spine as I remember the 1970s rhetoric of when that phrase applied exclusively to those from the Commonwealth.

As a European candidate in the East Midlands, the same region Ayling is from, I want voters to be informed the true face of UKIP.

For a party which many commentators speculate will reap the most votes in next May’s …

Posted in News | Also tagged , , and | 51 Comments

It’s “Immigration Hysteria Day”. Again. Here’s how Lib Dems need to respond

Another day, another bout of “the UK’s about to be invaded by 29 million Bulgarians and Romanians” hysteria. But today it’s not Nigel Farage splattering mis-shapen statistics into the debate: it’s the Prime Minister, David Cameron – increasingly resembling Mr Farage’s mini-me – who’s showing leadership by following the tabloid press. Here’s how the BBC lists the new proposals:

  • New migrants will not get out-of-work benefits for the first three months
  • Payments will be stopped after six months unless the claimant has a “genuine” chance of a job
  • The “habitual residency test” to determine eligibility for benefits will be tightened up
  • An earnings

Posted in News | Also tagged , , , , , and | 44 Comments

Tim Farron writes… A liberal win on ‘Go Home’ vans

go home illegal immigrant posterSince I have been President I have worked hard to try and make sure members views are heard in the heart of government.  Banging on ministerial doors to try and make policy after policy better and more liberal.

Over the summer the ‘Go Home’ vans came onto our streets.  At the time I joined Sarah Teather and, oddly, Nigel Farage to oppose them. (Who says politics doesn’t give you strange bedfellows!)

My view was clear both then and now: The vans represented the worst kind of divisive politics and …

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged , , , and | 5 Comments

How UKIP managed to lose 45% of their MEPs

UKIP-MEPs-collage-2

Posted in News and Op-eds | Also tagged , and | 46 Comments

Nick shows an alternative way to get a swing to the Liberals…

File this story under one of two categories, according to taste: ‘How did we miss this at the time?’ or ‘Why are you even bothering to tell us now?’

nick clegg flowersHere at LibDemVoice we try and keep you up-to-date with all Lib Dem affairs. And speaking of affairs… according to the Daily Telegraph of 11th June (yes, I’m afraid I don’t regularly read its ‘Home > Women > Sex’ section) Nick Clegg is the most attractive of the party leaders to women on the look-out for “a bit of extracurricular” …

Posted in News | Also tagged | 4 Comments

When Mr Farage came to Edinburgh – the ugly side of politics

It was misbehaviour all round when the UKIP leader came to Edinburgh on Thursday. He found himself on the receiving end of a noisy protest  organised by, among others, the Radical Independence Campaign. They shouted all sorts of abuse at him, leading to him taking refuge in a pub from which he was rescued by the Police. The Guardian has video of the incident.

He quickly lost any sympathy he might have gained by accusing the BBC’s David Miller of hatred and hanging up on a live radio interview.   This from a man who used the term “fascist scum” …

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged , and | 20 Comments

The Independent View: Voters support pro-wind energy candidates

Nine months ago Nick Clegg made his Leader’s speech to Conference in front of a backdrop featuring wind turbines. There followed months of speculation about the relationship between Lib Dem Energy Secretary Edward Davey and his junior Minister John Hayes, until the latter was moved. So were Clegg and Davey right to be so forthright in support? New polling numbers suggest so, despite what certain fossilised parts of the media would have us believe.

Over the last year there’s been a slew of opinion polls showing strong support for wind – as Davey said to the Parliamentary Renewable and Sustainable Energy …

Posted in The Independent View | Also tagged , , and | 4 Comments

A Tory-Ukip pact? Up to you, guys. But you do know there’s an easier way, right?

farage and cameronUkip’s spectacular showing at last week’s local elections has got the Tories spooked. The full realisation is sinking in that this may not be a one-off eruption of popular protest.

Nigel Farage’s band of modern-life-is-rubbish disciples will likely top next year’s Euro polls. Such momentum may propel them towards a double-digit general election performance in 2015. If so, the Tories’ hope of a majority is dead: Ed Miliband will become prime minister as leader of the largest single party.

Though the local elections were scarcely a bundle of laughs for …

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged , , , and | 47 Comments

Nigel Farage’s disappearing fish act

nigel farageLast week I drew attention to the reform of the Common Fisheries Policy, which amongst other improvements ends the practice of discards. Chris Davies MEP has been a leading advocate for reform, and had garnered cross-party support.

Even Nigel Farage had said:

First let me stress that the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) has been a complete environmental, economic and social disaster and UKIP uses what say it has in the EU “Parliament” to vote against discards and protect British fishing.

Posted in News | Also tagged | 3 Comments

+++ Neck and neck: first Eastleigh constituency poll

That 3 point gap is within the margin of error on the poll, and so it is, as they say in the US about such results, a statistical dead-heat.

What is clear is that this is a contest between Liberal Democrats and Conservatives. Nigel Farage was right it would seem to back out of fighting the seat – and Labour too are clearly out of it in Eastleigh.

The Labour vote share is particularly interesting as we’ll see how well the party can do at squeezing a clearly third-place Labour in a Parliamentary by-election. The pre-2010 record is of course very good …

Posted in News and Parliamentary by-elections | Also tagged and | 47 Comments



Recent Comments

  • User AvatarP Benson 16th Apr - 7:42pm
    How anyone can be proud to work with IDS is beyond me.The man who has wasted a fortune on a unworkable UC.His WP is next...
  • User AvatarJoeBourke 16th Apr - 7:35pm
    There is a relatively simply way of delivering £2500 financial support to university students, apprentices and others undertaking FE or skills training i.e. a universal...
  • User Avatarg 16th Apr - 7:23pm
    JohnTilly, I suspect Michael White is referring to the various stories that have appeared on the news website Exaro. This is run by an ex-Guardian...
  • User AvatarRC 16th Apr - 7:23pm
    @ Malc "Not all of us had the advantage of higher education" A decent school teaches pupils to use apostrophes properly by the age of...
  • User AvatarJayne Mansfield 16th Apr - 7:21pm
    @ Simon Shaw, Clearly we are approaching this from different angles. I am approaching from the angle of a voter who believed that the politicians...
  • User Avatarmalc 16th Apr - 7:12pm
    RC: "And why can’t some people who are apparently obsessed about higher education use apostrophes correctly?" Not all of us had the advantage of higher...