Tag Archives: ukip

Opinion: Our seaside towns and the challenge of UKIP

Clacton beach huts photo by Nick PageIt now looks set that Duncan Carswell will win the forthcoming by-election in Clacton and become the first UKIP MP. Whilst enjoying the Tory discomfort, I’ve been thinking a lot about what we need to do to counter UKIP and their simplistic appeal.

In a poll last weekend, immigration was identified as the top concern by 57% of people who intend to vote for UKIP in Clacton. As with many of UKIP’s other target seats the number of immigrants living in Clacton is actually very low – just 4%. What there is in Clacton though is a struggling local economy, high unemployment, low pay, former B & Bs being used by the Council for temporary accommodation and poor educational achievement.

Posted in Op-eds | 28 Comments

The Independent View: What are the most ‘Ukip-friendly’ Liberal Democrat seats?

revolt on the right ukipIn our recent book, Revolt on the Right, we compiled a list of the most demographically receptive seats in the country for Ukip. This allowed us to rank all seats in the country according to how favourable their populations are for Ukip, using the most recent census data.

The ideal seats for Ukip share key characteristics: they have lots of ‘left behind’ voters who we also know from our research are the most receptive to Ukip and its policies. These ideal seats also have very low numbers of voters who have, instead, tended to remain resistant to Ukip, including university graduates, ethnic minorities and people in professional and economically secure occupations. This is a useful first exercise in filtering through all seats to find those where -if Ukip stood a strong candidate and knocked on plenty of doors – they would probably find the most voters receptive to their message.

Posted in The Independent View | Also tagged and | 40 Comments

Former Clacton UKIP candidate ousted by Douglas Carswell resigns and backs local Liberal Democrat Councillor

This time last week, Roger Lord was looking forward to facing Conservative MP Douglas Carswell in the General Election next May. He might not have expected to trouble his majority too much but he was secure in his position.

That didn’t turn out so well for him when he heard that he was being ousted as candidate in the same way that we all did.

He’s not very happy about it and has quit his Council seat. He has given his rather unexpected backing for the ensuing by-election to Liberal Democrat District Councillor Gary Scott whom he described as a “genuine person”. Gary is not putting himself forward for the by-election.

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged and | 31 Comments

Opinion: Kippers’ squeals show we are a more liberal country

UKIP logoPoor judgment: that’s the reason UKIP MEP Janice Atkinson has given for referring to a Thai-born supporter as “ting tong from somewhere”. I was “completely tired out”: that’s how Farage explained his statement during the European election campaign that he’d be concerned if Romanians moved in next door. Excuses, excuses.

I don’t know about you, but I don’t ever consider whether or not to use a racial epithet. I don’t think to myself, on balance I judge it right to refer to that person as …

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Lib Dem donations in 2014, 2nd Quarter: £1.23m raised (but that’s less than Ukip)

Today saw the publication by the Electoral Commission, the independent party funding watchdog, of the donations received by the UK’s political parties in the second quarter of 2014 (1 April to 30 June). Here are the figures:

lib dems donations - Q2 2014

And here’s how the BBC reported it:

UKIP have reported more in political donations than the Lib Dems in a quarter for the first time, according to the Electoral Commission. UKIP reported donations of £1.4m from April to June this year – £170,000 more than reported by the Lib

Posted in News | Also tagged and | 4 Comments

Opinion: UKIP are a blessing in disguise for pro-Europeans

Liberal Democrat MEP Catherine Bearder works harder than nine UKIP MEPs put together. She speaks more sense than their entire delegation, of course, but in terms of turning up to vote, it’s official: the number of European Parliament divisions she’s taken part in since the election is more than the combined total of nine of their lot.

Since the new Parliament started at the beginning of July, MEPs have faced 39 roll-call votes in the plenary. This is where all MEPs come together to speak and vote, usually in Strasbourg. Catherine, our sole representative in the European Parliament, has voted on …

Posted in Europe / International and Op-eds | Also tagged and | 43 Comments

Ukip may well win a seat in May 2015. But the least likely person to get elected is Nigel Farage

Nigel Farage, Leader, UK Independence Party (UKIP)This week saw the latest in Lord Ashcroft’s polls of the marginal battleground seats that will decide the result of the next general election. This crop focused on 14 marginal Conservative-held seats where Labour are in second place.

The overall news was half-encouraging for Labour. As it stands, Ed Miliband’s party is poised to win 11 of these 14 seats next May. The average swing from Tory to Labour of 4.5% would be enough to win 53 Tory seats, which, as as Ashcroft notes, “combined with the 17 seats my recent polling suggested they could gain from the Lib Dems, would be enough for a small overall majority”.

Of course, this poll is a snapshot, not a prediction (as Ashcroft repeatedly stresses). A similar exercise conducted by Ashcroft for PoliticsHome in 2009 pointed to a Tory majority of 70 seats and we all know how that turned out a few months later. Usually the governing party picks up support as the election nears, while the opposition party loses support. We’ll see how that historical pattern bears out in Coalition conditions and as voting becomes yet more fragmented between five national parties, as well as the nationalists in Scotland and Wales.

But the most newsworthy finding from Ashcroft’s poll was that Ukip would win two Conservative-held seats, Thanet South and Thurrock.

Posted in News and Polls | Also tagged , , and | 21 Comments

Opinion: What do we get from the EU for £33 million a day?

eu_flagUKIP claim that we pay £55 million per day to be a member of the EU. My UKIP neighbours ask what we get back for that money. What should I tell them?

First off, it seems we get about £22 million a day back in cash, in the form of grants and subsidies. But even UKIP neighbours can do simple arithmetic. That leaves a net cost of about £33 million per day, or about 50p per day on average for every man, woman, and child in the UK. What do …

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged | 117 Comments

Brian Paddick writes…We must challenge UKIP on the facts

Turning point in politics?So where are we?  The UK and the rest of Europe have lurched to the right.  People and countries are becoming more insular and less internationalist, less tolerant of difference and are looking for “others” to blame.  Almost inevitably during times of austerity, people do not like those inflicting the pain, however necessary.  Of course, some will argue that the cuts in public spending are not necessary, are not fair, are not reasonable, do not need to be so severe or all of the above.  The fact is, for years the UK has been spending more than it earns in taxation

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged | 57 Comments

Opinion: We won in 2010 with compassion, is it the key to victory in  2015?

imageAccording to the media Liberal Democrats are behaving like rats in a sack with each member trying to eat (and in some cases spit out the other). Of course the media are less accommodating when it comes to highlighting the review that Nick commissioned with James Gurling, Cllr Abi Bell, Cllr Ruth Dombey and George Lyon.

While a review is welcome it is not the whole answer. What will help us in 2015 is engaging with some of those traditional Liberal Democrat liabilities, namely our compassion.

Take Lord Oakeshott. While I can’t comment …

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged | 23 Comments

Opinion: Defining ourselves will heal the fractions

preambleUnderstanding the European and local elections is important to how we heal as a party. It has been the hardest election defeat to take for various reasons. Firstly that the Liberal Democrat MEP team were truly incredible; hard working and respected across Europe for delivering the most they can for their regions. Secondly because of how the grass roots reacted to the results. Finally, and most lamentably, we lost our MEPs to the politics of fear, hatred and blame.

I am unapologetically pro-coalition and a strong supporter of Clegg’s leadership. He has …

Posted in Op-eds | 48 Comments

Before learning lessons from Ukip’s success, we first have to put that success in perspective

UKIP logoMy LDV colleague Joe Otten yesterday kicked off what we hope will be a little mini series reflecting on the success of Ukip (and other extreme right parties across Europe) in last week’s European elections.

I agree with Joe that is something we should discuss with some seriousness – and I look forward to reading your contributions in the comments and in posts on the site.

But I think before we start to “learn lessons” we have to put the vote in some context.

It is difficult to think of conditions that could …

Posted in News | Also tagged and | 80 Comments

Appeasement or Opposition?

clegg farage lbcNothing is more annoying, said one voter on the radio, than mainstream politicians telling us why we voted UKIP.

But at risk of causing further annoyance, it is important to try to understand the UKIP vote, what it represents, and to what extent it is right to respond with appeasement, like Labour’s Sadiq Khan, and many others of left and right, or opposition. To be fair to Khan, despite the apology, he largely makes the same arguments Labour have been making for years.

Uniting the issues of immigration, Europe, and …

Posted in News | Also tagged and | 39 Comments

Opinion: we lead when we’re brave

UKIP logoLike many others I was a sub-agent for the European Elections. My ‘chosen’ borough was Tameside where we stood precisely zero candidates at the local elections. A bizarre contrast compared to Lib Dem led Stockport just down the road where I live.

It will come as no surprise from the North West results that one of my samples was devoid of any Lib Dem votes at all – a first after 30 years in politics. (Luckily there were samples that were a bit rosier!)

Once proceedings were complete something troubled me: there were Labour, Green and Conservative sub-agents and little old me. What was missing: ah yes, good old UKIP. I wonder if this is a sign of how they’ll be acting in the European Parliament? For a party who came second to absent themselves at a count so as not to represent the democratic process let alone their own voters is baffling and perhaps a little alarming.

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged and | 39 Comments

LibLink: Giles Goodall: UKIP’s disgraceful record on gay rights

Gay Pride New York 2008 / 20080629.10D.49816 / SMLSouth east Euro Candidate Giles Goodall has compared and contrasted the voting records of the Liberal Democrats and UKIP on LGBT rights in an article for Pink News.

It will come as no surprise to anybody that the Liberal Democrats have supported LGBT at every single stage:

In contrast, Liberal Democrat MEPs have systematically supported LGBT rights, with the European liberal group coming out with the best record in the European Parliament, alongside socialists and greens.

Let’s look at some of the things UKIP …

Posted in LibLink | Also tagged , , and | 3 Comments

Not everything you read on the internet about UKIP and Nigel Farage is true

nigel farageThis morning, Facebook timelines were bombarded with an image of Nigel Farage next to a quote in which he is supposed to have said that UKIP wanted to ban beards of more than 2 inches. “The beard goes or you go” he is supposed to have said on Anglia Radio on Saturday. After a quick (and horrible) mental image of Prime Minister Farage banning Z Z Top from entering the country, I quickly realised that it didn’t sound right. And if it had been true, such a juicy quote as …

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged , and | 30 Comments

Huppert on Astra Zeneca takeover’s threat to jobs, the European elections and the living wage

Medical Drugs for Pharmacy Health Shop of MedicineJulian Huppert has been talking to Cambridge student magazine Varsity.

Not surprisingly, the subject of Pfizer’s proposed takeover of Astra Zeneca came up. Why should students be bothered?

It will have a direct impact on the prospects for people in particular disciplines, and will be a longer term issue about the future of Britain”, he replies. “This matters for students who work in STEM subjects, natscis, chem-eng, all of those subjects, because this could be their employment – even if you don’t work directly

photo by: epSos.de
Posted in LibLink | Also tagged , , and | 1 Comment

LibLink: Nick Clegg: UKIP would rather turn the clock back on LGBT rights

rainbow flag on white background  : harvey milk plaza, san francisco (2012)In an article to mark today’s International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia, Nick Clegg has told readers of Pink News what the Liberal Democrat MEPs have done for LGBT rights both within Europe and globally:

Your Liberal Democrat MEPs have already been fighting for the rights of the LGBT community in Europe. For example, they have supported a European Parliament campaign for the recognition of equal marriage, civil partnerships and cohabitation in EU countries, as well as for

photo by: torbakhopper
Posted in LibLink | Also tagged , , , and | 12 Comments

WATCH: Nigel Farage comes a cropper at the hands of LBC’s James O’Brien

Nigel Farage was interviewed by LBC Radio’s James O’Brien today: it didn’t go well for the Ukip leader. Watch here as he’s asked about the racist comments of elected Ukip representatives, the extremist views of its far-right European allies, its mis-use of dodgy stats to whip-up immigration fears, and its refusal to sign up for an audit of its MEPs’ expenses…

Posted in YouTube | Also tagged and | 54 Comments

“Label the behaviour not the person”: why we shouldn’t call Ukip a racist party

ukip-poster-manchesterFor once I’m going to agree with Nigel Farage. Speaking at a rally this week, he pleaded with the media and public, “from this moment on please do not ever call us a racist party. We are not a racist party.”

As rallying cries go, it’s not the most ambitious. But, then, Ukip’s not an ambitious party. As Farage himself happily boasts, it has just two policies: withdrawal from the EU and bringing back grammar schools. It doesn’t really matter, though. Ukip is defined by what it’s against, not …

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged , , , and | 107 Comments

Opinion: 485 million, 26 million or 4,000? UKIP’s immigration confusion

Nigel Farage, Leader, UK Independence Party (UKIP)So, Mr Farage, which is it? In the debates with Nick Clegg, you claimed 485 million of our fellow Europeans could come to Britain. On your wretched billboards, you claimed 26 million are eyeing up our jobs. Now, on leaflets that are dropping through letterboxes, you claim 4,000 EU migrants are landing on our shores each week. These are very different numbers.

I guess the 485 million figure is simply the total number of people who could legally come to the UK. But how is this different from pointing out that the 64 million people who live in the UK are all perfectly free to move to, say, Totnes? Should Totnes Town Council leave the UK so it can impose border controls? Should National Rail blow up the railway line at Dawlish to slow their arrival? Should the Government impose restrictions on internal movement within the UK just in case? Of course not, because 64m people aren’t about to move to Totnes, even though they’re free to do so, just as 485 million Europeans are not going to come here to Britain.

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged and | 40 Comments

Opinion: An open letter to UKIP voters

Letters Play Important Roles in our LivesDear UKIP voter

Although you are probably not an avid reader of the Lib Dem Voice website, this letter may get to you through the usual ‘viral’ internet ‘system.

The opinion surveys suggest that there are three main reasons for people like yourself voting UKIP.

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged and | 107 Comments

Opinion: Get your hands off my pint, Nigel

BeerDespite some of the quite appalling statements they’ve provided us with in recent weeks, I’m getting fed up of hearing UKIP supporters described as nutters. I’m no psychiatrist: it’s hardly my place, or that of anybody else, to decry someone as a nutter. But more importantly than that, I’m fed up of it because it’s insulting to everyone who supports UKIP, and it gives them a cast-iron reason not to place their cross elsewhere.

As a recently-selected Lib Dem PPC, I obviously don’t agree with UKIP. I’m pro-Europe, primarily because I’m …

photo by: psd
Posted in News and Op-eds | 13 Comments

LibLink: Catherine Bearder MEP – UKIP’s utter contempt for the electorate

Nigel Farage, Leader, UK Independence Party (UKIP)Following Nigel Farage’s eventual decision not to run in the Newark by-election, Lib Dem MEP for the South-East of England Catherine Bearder shared her thoughts on UKIP’s approach to holding public office, over at the Huffington Post:

Following hours of umming and ahing, Nigel Farage finally declared that he won’t stand for election in the upcoming by-election in Newark, desperately insisting that he is still “a fighter”. It is remarkable that the very man who claims he is not your typical politician, that he

Posted in LibLink | Also tagged and | 11 Comments

Opinion: What are the Lords Spiritual for?

house of lordsIn a week when the Prime Minister has been stung, twice – once by a malevolent jellyfish and then by public reaction to his observation “Britain is a Christian country,” there has been much analysis of polling and census data in support or denunciation of his statement.

Cameron supporters point to the 2011 census, where 59% ticked the box to describe themselves as ‘Christian,’ while his detractors preferred a YouGov poll where the question, “are you religious?” saw only 29% of respondents answer in the affirmative.

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged and | 6 Comments

Danny Alexander: UKIP is wrong on jobs, wrong on prosperity and wrong on security

Danny-Alexander

Today, The City UK publishes two reports which, they say, “show that leaving the EU poses very significant risks to the UK’s future, undermining economic well-being and the ability of business to grow and compete in world markets.” All in all, “A Legal Assessment of the UK’s relationship with the EU – a financial services perspective” and “Analysing the case for EU membership – How does the economic evidence stack up? predict a quadruple whammy of higher prices and unemployment, lower growth and wages should Britain leave the EU. That’s before you …

Posted in News | Also tagged , , , and | 5 Comments

Ukip examined: who they are, what they stand for, and what it all means for British politics

revolt on the right ukipI’ve just finished reading Revolt on the Right, Robert Ford and Matthew Goodwin’s fascinating book analysing the rise of Ukip and what makes the party and its voters tick. Mark Pack has already written a very good review for LibDemVoice here. Here’s my take on some of its key insights.

Who votes for Ukip? The ‘left behind’

For a start, it debunks the myth that Ukip is a party of disaffected, well-to-do, shire-Tories obsessed by Europe and upset by David Cameron’s mild social liberalism on same-sex marriage. Yes, there are some Ukip voters like that, but they tend to be its peripheral voters, the ones most likely to give the Tories a kick in the Euros next month then return to their traditional True Blue ways in time for the general election. Ukip’s core vote in reality is made up of what the authors define as ‘left behind’ voters, overwhelmingly comprising older white working class males with no formal educational qualifications.

Posted in Books and Op-eds | Also tagged , , , , and | 83 Comments

Coincidence or not? Ukip put candidate named House to take on Eastleigh’s Lib Dem council leader Keith House

keith houseThe Eastleigh News reports what might be accident or might be design – Ukip’s decision to put up a candidate called House against the Lib Dems’ long-standing council leader, Keith House:

Eastleigh’s ruling Lib Dem leader Keith House faces an unusual challenger in next month’s local elections – the Ukip candidate shares the same surname and is alphabetically listed above the Lib Dem by one letter.

John House comes from Chandler’s Ford, some way away from Hedge End’s Wildern ward, which raises the possibility that this is a tactical move by

Posted in News | Also tagged , and | 4 Comments

Opinion: Britain needs jobs, not UKIP/Tory insults

Workers bankers london bridge - some rights reserved by zoonabar

Over 4 million British jobs depend on exports to the Single Market.

Those are the words of the Centre for Economic and Business Research regarding their recent report into British Jobs and the Single Market.

When we talk about this issue UKIP and the Tory Right throw around words like “liar”. When people do that it usually means they have lost the argument.

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged and | 14 Comments

LibLink: Where would you rather live – Great Britain or little England?

clegg farage lbcNick Clegg asked this question in The Guardian yesterday, and robustly attacked Ukip’s position:

The isolationists have been allowed to peddle their myths unchallenged for decades. Of all Nigel Farage’s far-fetched claims – and there are many – the most outlandish is the idea that Ukip’s call for an exit is the insurgents’ battle cry. European withdrawal is presented as a great revolutionary promise, held in stark contrast to the status quo upheld by a homogeneous political elite.

Posted in LibLink | Also tagged and | 24 Comments



Recent Comments

  • User AvatarTim13 30th Sep - 11:55pm
    RC What you say about the NE economy would turn people (sorry, already has turned people) there against us, not in favour. The electoral figures...
  • User AvatarCaron Lindsay 30th Sep - 11:49pm
    You need to tell us where, Suzanne. It's a thread about Conference. How can advertising a fringe be off topic?:-) And the reason half the...
  • User Avatarsuzanne fletcher 30th Sep - 11:07pm
    all good advice. I'd emphasise that it really is ok to just start up a conversation with anyone at all. I went on my own...
  • User AvatarRebecca Hanson 30th Sep - 10:57pm
    @ David, "From a distance it now seems that the tightening of standards over the last four years has meant teachers have to be on...
  • User Avatarjedibeeftrix 30th Sep - 10:46pm
    on that subject: http://i.dailymail.co.uk/i/pix/2012/10/09/article-2215070-156C345A000005DC-652_634x228.jpg "This is sure to leave many middle-earners scratching their heads, wondering how on earth the hundreds of pounds taken from them...
  • User AvatarConor McGovern 30th Sep - 10:45pm
    Well done Julian. not that Theresa May will take any notice. She's in thrall to the same interests as the rest of the British political...