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.

There are relatively few Ukip friendly Liberal Democrat held seats, as the two parties tend to appeal to very different demographic groups – Lib Dems often do best in seats with large populations of university graduates and middle professionals. However, as our table below reveals, there are pockets of Ukip potential in Lib Dem areas, particularly in the South West where the Lib Dem held seats tend to have very white, and very grey haired, electorates.

Ukip are unlikely to run strong campaigns, or enjoy strong support, in all of these seats. Few have the concentrations of “left behind” voters necessary to make them attractive targets, although some have large and active local Ukip branches which could produce strong vote shares. Ukip victories in Lib Dem seat are unlikely, however. In order to find seats that Ukip actually has a chance of winning, you would need to look at both demography and the local political context, such as whether the vote is split across three parties, whether Ukip is targeting the seat and has been recruiting support through local elections.

Although Ukip wins are unlikely, Farage’s insurgency may have a critical impact on the local balance of power. In many of these seats, the local opposition is Conservative, and a strong Ukip showing could help many Lib Dem MPs if it eats into Tory support. In some of these seats, both governing parties’ vote may fall sharply next year, as Lib Dem voters decamp to Labour and Conservative voters defect to Ukip, and the local winner will be the candidate who goes backwards least.

There are reasons for Lib Dems to hope that Ukip could help them in some of their key South West battles with the Conservatives Ukip support in such seats will tend to draw more heavily on middle class, socially conservative Eurosceptics, who are likely to have a Conservative leaning, as the struggling working class “left behind” voters who find the party most attractive nationally are less dense on the ground.

Liberal Democrats should not place too much faith in Ukip insurgencies, however. The Lib Dems have won many recruits from voters looking to reject both of the main governing parties. Now that the Lib Dems are also a party of government, such supporters may defect straight to Ukip as the new party of protest.

The top 20 most Ukip friendly Lib Dem seats are listed below. The overall ranking of each seat in the full Revolt on the Right database is provided in the final column.

Top 20 Lib Dem seats for Ukip
ukip lib dem seats

* Robert Ford and Matthew Goodwin are the authors of 'Revolt on the Right' (2014). Robert is Lecturer in Politics in the School of Social Sciences, University of Manchester; Matthew is Associate Professor in the School of Politics and International Relations at the University of Nottingham.

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42 Comments

  • Matthew Huntbach 5th Sep '14 - 8:33am


    There are relatively few Ukip friendly Liberal Democrat held seats, as the two parties tend to appeal to very different demographic groups

    There was a time when we very much DID appeal to “left behind” voters. We did well in the less well-off parts of the south because of this. It was the bedrock of our support, what we relied on to win and hold seats in what outsiders think of as “true blue” areas. We could win this vote because the Conservative Party most certainly is not the party for those at the lower end of the economic scale, but we were able to put across a more people friendly and less arrogant image than Labour, and many of these places where we did well on that front are places where there is very little Labour Party activity.

    If we now consider that sort of vote not even worth bothering with, well, we have actually thrown out what used to be the bedrock of our support. UKIP may be getting their vote because they can see no-one else interested in them, an they are taken in by its superficial image as created by the right-wing press, but the reality is that UKIP has NOTHING WHATSOEVER to offer these people in terms of concrete policies that will make their lives better.

  • Jenny Barnes 5th Sep '14 - 8:48am

    The Lib Dem protest vote could very well go to the Greens, rather than UKIP; Green policy is closer to what LibDem policy used to be than UKIP is. That assumes voters pay any attention to policy, ofc.

  • SmokedKipper 5th Sep '14 - 9:16am

    OMG, Robert Ford and Matthew Goodwin are absolutely milking their book to death! Who’s to say it’s even a valid analysis of UKIP, which is still evolving and has become the third highest polling political party in Britain.? Even if you believe the Goodwin & Ford critique of UKIP is entirely correct, labelling millions upon millions of ordinary people as “the left behind” is very, very foolish.

  • The trouble with professors who look at politics from the ivory towers of academia is that they base their conclusions on past election results rather than the politics of next May. As a result they often sound like generals gearing up to,fight the last war. For example their honestly intended statement — “…Lib Dems often do best in seats with large populations of university graduates …” which seems to be totally uninformed by the student fees debacle and catastrophic loss of trust in Clegg. It is not just existing students that feel sold,down the river but university graduates of earlier generations who are appalled by what Clegg did, not to mention the parents of students who see their children disappearing under a mountain of debt. Do the professors really think that the seats with large numbers of university graduates will vote Liberal Democrat whilst Clegg remains leader?

    Their conclusions about the West Country also seem awry — perhaps they have not factored in what happened in the European Parliament election in May? We were wiped out. A decline in our vote in the West Country next May and an increase in the UKIP share in those seats will help the Conservatives who unlike the Liberal Democrats will hang on to their traditional voters. Too many of our voters have already gone either to the Greens or UKIP or maybe even to their back garden to sit out the next election until Clegg has gone.

    The conclusion for our party is to follow the advice of Bill le Breton in his posts this morning in the Clacton thread.

  • Joe Otten, would you give us your definition of ” hard left” in this context?

  • @SmokedKipper: analyses like the one from these guys should of course be subject to critique and challenge (which as academics I am sure they would welcome), but if you think there are flaws in it, you should say what those flaws are and why you think they are flaws. Simply saying, “they could be wrong”, is of course correct but is not exactly evidence-based. And, yes, they are milking their book to death, but it’s a good book (I read it not long after it came out).

  • The forecast from the elections etc website http://electionsetc.com/2014/09/05/forecast-update-5-september-2014/ is that we will have 26 MPs after May.

    This seems nearer the mark than Ford and Goodwin.

  • Tony Dawson 5th Sep '14 - 10:13am

    This is a fantastic article as it displays, for all to see, the difference between people who understand real politics and geeky statisticians who are paid public money to contemplate their navels in academia.

    In places where Lib Dems win elections, there are potentially LOTS of crossover votes with UKIP. These are identical-type people who would never dream of voting Lib Dem in 90 per cent of the country. The reason is nothing to do with the way individual voters might feel about particular issues but they are about the hierarchy of issues held by each of those voters. People who are dead against immigration, for instance, will vote for a Lib Dem MP not because they have been converted away from that view on this policy but because they have been persuaded or convinced, due to other considerations about other areas of policy or action, to trust their local Lib Dem team and particularly their Lib Dem MP.

    Incidentally, UKIP came second and pushed the Tories into a poor third place in this year’s local elections in Southport. I do not anticipate them coming second (or first!) at the coming General Election.

  • stuart moran 5th Sep '14 - 11:28am

    Joe Otten

    So how does it feel to be part of a ‘hard-right’ Government? – this is how some of us see it – shows how silly throwing such labels about is

    I am no supporter of the Greens but calling for a ‘living wage’ is not what I call ^hard left’

  • Nick Collins 5th Sep '14 - 11:40am

    It is indicative of how far to the right the LibDems have moved in the past few years that one of their spokes-people can seriously describe The Greens as “hard left”.

  • Joe Otten 5th Sep ’14 – 10:04am
    John, can we say hard left is approximately Tony Benn at his worst?

    Joe, from my perspective Tony Benn was at his worst when he was the Secretary of State for nuclear power stations back in the 70s. His policies are now being put into practice by Ed Davey.

    I am guessing this is not quite what you meant?

  • Matthew suggests :
    “…..UKIP has NOTHING WHATSOEVER to offer these people in terms of concrete policies that will make their lives better…….”
    Errr…how about :
    ~The opportunity to get out of the mess which is the EU
    ~To save our EU contribution of £55 million (per day !!), to spend on our public services and affordable homes, and infrastructure.
    ~To create an Australian model of immigration control at our borders.
    ~The return of sovereignty to make our own laws, instead of the 70% made in Brussels.
    ~To put in the ‘trash can’, the Europe Arrest Warrant, that’s used to arrest and incarcerate loving parents who only want the best for their children.

    ( I’ve got tons more,… if you want them, but unfortunately, I don’t know what the word count limit is on the comment threads ?)
    But my take away from this article is :
    1. Your clear acknowledgement that there exists ‘left behind’ voters.
    2. That you have nothing to offer the ‘left behind’ voters?
    3 Thank goodness we have a new party that speaks for the ‘left behind’ voters?

  • stuart moran 5th Sep '14 - 12:03pm

    As a former Lib Dem voter it is the views of people like Joe Otten who ensure I will not vote for them again in the foreseeable future

    It seems from the numbers of LD->Green defectors that a not insignificant portion of LD voters in 2010 were or are ‘hard left’

  • paul barker 5th Sep '14 - 12:18pm

    It seems to me that this particular bunch of “Ivory Tower Academics” have already had a concrete effect on British Politics. Their analysis put Clacton at the top as Britains best potential seat for UKIP; I would be surprised if that didnt influence Carswells decision. Lots of other Tory MPs & a few Labour ones will be studying these figures with interest if Carswell wins.
    For anyone who wants the stats on Tory & Labour seats they are on Conservative Home & Labour List.

  • stuart moran 5th Sep '14 - 1:44pm

    paul barker

    An interesting theory on Carswell

    If Carswell really thought he was likely to lose his seat if he didn’t jump ship then the Tories really are in grave danger from UKIP

    I am not so inclined to think that though

  • Stephen Campbell 5th Sep '14 - 2:03pm

    @Joe Otten: “The Greens were in the news today with their conference starting, the line seeming to be that they are unashamedly hard left”

    I wouldn’t call our policies “hard left” at all. Rather, more social democratic/light socialist. There used to be a consensus in this country which accepted those policies. Based on polling these policies are again becoming more popular as polls consistently shows growing support for renationalisation of the trains and utilities for example. Nobody wanted the NHS “reforms”, but you voted them through. The Greens are actually listening to people and offering a clear alternative, which is something you lot used to do. 30 years of Thatcherism has been great for the rich, the powerful, and those with property and capital (upper middle classes). For the rest of us, it’s been an absolute disaster. No amount of wishy-washy “Fairer society, stronger economy” will fix this, let alone bring back millions of ex-Liberal Democrat voters.

    But then again, you’re a supporter of an economically hard-right government which has been more Thatcherite than Thatcher herself. And your party still acts like it has all the answers, instead of actually listening to what the public want.

    And we in the Greens did get more votes than the Liberal Democrats in the European elections. Under a form of PR which Liberal Democrats used to push for, I might add. I agree with @Stuart Moran: the Lib Dems should stop sneering at other parties as if you’re God’s gift to politics and start some soul searching. You could begin with asking yourselves why millions of people who used to vote for you no longer do so.

  • Jenny Barnes 5th Sep '14 - 2:05pm

    “hard left”? I think there are many goods and services that are not best provided by the market, and that renewable energy/ reduction in fossil fuel demand is one of those. Health and education , justice also spring to mind.
    The Green Deal/ Investment Bank shows no signs of delivering the well insulated housing stock we need. If it was a publicly funded rollout of high quality insulation for all homes, whether rented , owned or whatever, then it would get done, those houses losing most heat (rather than with the best off owners) would get done first, maximising the benefit to the whole country, and reducing our fossil fuel demand. If that’s socialism, I’m for it.

  • @ Jenny
    “The Green Deal/ Investment Bank shows no signs of delivering the well insulated housing stock we need.”
    Very interesting. A few years ago, I helped a friend put together a business plan to import Chinese solar panels to the UK. (The *very same standard* of panels that we use today !). We calculated that we could get containers of solar panels onto Southampton dock for (….25%….!!), of the cost at the time.
    Except for one stumbling block.
    Can you guess where the stumbling block was, in getting much cheaper solar panels on to UK houses?
    Yet another reason to vote Ukip?

  • Matthew Huntbach 5th Sep '14 - 3:50pm

    John Dunn

    ~The opportunity to get out of the mess which is the EU

    So that we can come even more under control of the hard right politicians in Westminster and their fat cat funders? No, I don’t think this does anything for the “left behind”.

    ~To save our EU contribution of £55 million (per day !!), to spend on our public services and affordable homes, and infrastructure.

    In terms of the overall government budget, that’s a relatively small amount of money. Once you take away the benefits we get from EU membership, it becomes? Well most economists and business people have predicted that leaving the EU will have a damaging effect on our economy, so what’s lost to us will be more than what’s gained.

    ~To create an Australian model of immigration control at our borders.

    I am more sympathetic than most Liberal Democrats to concerns about immigration, however, the EU is not the only source of immigration to the UK.

    ~The return of sovereignty to make our own laws, instead of the 70% made in Brussels.

    If there are these 70% laws made in Brussels how come political discussion in the UK isn’t all about them? How come it tends to be on tuition fees, the bedroom tax, privatisation of the NHS etc? Maybe these 70% laws are actually good for the “left behind” and the fat cats who fund UKIP don’t like them because of that.

    ~To put in the ‘trash can’, the Europe Arrest Warrant, that’s used to arrest and incarcerate loving parents who only want the best for their children.

    Is that ALL it’s used for? If you are talking about a recent case that was in the news, I think you will find it’s the British government that initiated the warrant on the very real fear that a child was being caused harm by parents who were acting against his best interest. Of course, the same system could be used to arrest and incarcerate hardened criminals, real child abusers etc.

  • Matthew Huntbach 5th Sep '14 - 3:56pm

    John Dunn

    1. Your clear acknowledgement that there exists ‘left behind’ voters.

    Yes, I was brought up by low waged parents in a south coast council estate. These “left behind” voters are the sort of people I grew up among. Doing something for them, reforming politics to give them a voice, has been one of my prime motivations for being involved in politics. It still is.

    2. That you have nothing to offer the ‘left behind’ voters?

    Who is “you”? I am not an official spokesperson for the Liberal Democrats. I am still a member, but I have been heavily critical of its current leadership, and have stopped doing work for the party while it remains in place.

    3 Thank goodness we have a new party that speaks for the ‘left behind’ voters?

    What new party? UKIP speaks for the fat cats who fund it, and only issues propaganda to try and fool “left behind” voters to support it. The fact that it has just been joined by a right-wing Thatcherite MP, throwing out the ordinary guy who was the UKIP candidate for Clacton without even telling him in advance, shows what UKIP is really about, and how it will treat those who have been fooled into giving it support when the fat cats want their way.

  • Matthew writes :
    “No, I don’t think this does anything for the “left behind”.

    O.K.,..So what do Lib Dems intend to do for the ‘left behind’? Be very specific, in policy terms, because you have less than 9 months to get that message out to the ‘left behind’?

  • Hard left? But then Joe’s from the hard right -or am I wrong?

  • Matthew Huntbach 6th Sep '14 - 9:02am

    John Dunn

    O.K.,..So what do Lib Dems intend to do for the ‘left behind’? Be very specific, in policy terms, because you have less than 9 months to get that message out to the ‘left behind’?

    Why do you keep writing “you” as if I am an official spokesperson for the Liberal Democrats? I am a member of the party yes, but I am so unhappy with its current leadership that I am not currently an active member.

    As I have already said, I joined the Liberal Party because I felt it was the one that offered the most to the people in the south coast council estate where I grew up. I was influenced by the by-election in 1973 in which Des Wilson was the Liberal candidate and I felt here was someone who knew and understood us and could put across a different view of the south from the “true blue” one that outsiders have. Then, as now, Labour never seemed to be interested in us – they were a party of the inner city and the north, they abandoned us to the Tories by their support of the electoral system which gave the impression that the whole of the south was 100% Tory. The Liberal policy of land value taxation tackled the way in which the poor in the south were badly affected by high house prices. The Liberal model of politics encouraged active participation which I think is essential for people to have the voice they need, it was very much against the top-down model of the Tories and the block vote and underneath Leninist model of Labour.

    I have written about these things at length in various places in Liberal Democrat Voice. To the extent that the Liberal Democrats have drifted away from what attracted me to the Liberal Party in the first place, I have urged and argued for it to return. However, even now I do see the Liberal Democrats as a party which is considered with ending “enslavement by poverty, ignorance and conformity”. Unlike the Tories and UKIP, it does not support economic policies which benefit the rich at the expense of the poor, and I have argued against the “Orange Book” influences which have the capacity to undermine that. The Liberal Democrats still have an interest in correcting imbalances in wealth through consideration of property taxation and taxation on unearned wealth – something which the Tories are utterly opposed to. The Liberal Democrats support electoral reform – STV will give a voice to the “left behind” and end the illusion that just because the south elects almost all Tory MPs under the FPTP system, its people are all Tories and the sort of wealthy sort who benefit from the Tories.

    Labour has nothing to offer. All I hear from Labour is “nah nah nah nah nah, dirty rotten Liberal Democrats, rolled over and propped up the Tories, nah nah nah nah nah, vote for us next time”. They seem to think this is enough to replace having an actual detailed set of policies and the need to explain those policies and win committed support for them. Oh, no, they just want to retain the two-party system which means they can win just on the pendulum swing, and they don’t have to bother building up real committed support, and they don’t need to bother with people living in places that are supposedly “true blue”.

  • Tim13 5th Sep ’14 – 11:34pm
    Hard left? But then Joe’s from the hard right -or am I wrong?

    Joe seems to have gone a bit quiet since I made the point about Benn and nuclear power stations.

    To be fair to him I expect he is far too young to remember such inconvenient truths. But it would be interesting to have a real clarification from him about his definition of ” hard left”.

  • “The fact that it has just been joined by a right-wing Thatcherite MP, throwing out the ordinary guy who was the UKIP candidate for Clacton without even telling him in advance, shows what UKIP is really about”

    Roger Lord is now supporting the Lib Dem candidate for his old council seat. So I don’t think he could have been trusted with the news beforehand, do you? Good riddance to him if he places his own personal ambition above the cause.

    The defection has to be kept secret for maximum impact. Which it got. The media strategy was a public relations tour de force. A triumph, as neutral political commentators (eg Adam Bolton) have observed.

    And what are you suggesting Matthew? That Nige should have turned down Carswell’s offer to defect because a untrustworthy maverick chosen to contest the seat in different circumstances (very UKIP, you have to love it!) might not be happy and wouldn’t do the decent thing and make way for the sitting MP with a a strong personal vote?

    That really wasn’t a serious option.

  • Christine Headley 8th Sep '14 - 12:14am

    Greens = Trots on bikes. They look cuddly now, but their core ideology doesn’t match ours.
    They outnumber us on Stroud District Council, where they have had representation for more than 25 years.

  • Christine Headley
    That may be true in Stroud although as you say they are entrenched on the local council and I am surprised that Stroud is a hotbed of Trotskyism. 🙂

  • Matthew Huntbach 8th Sep '14 - 11:14am

    simon

    Roger Lord is now supporting the Lib Dem candidate for his old council seat. So I don’t think he could have been trusted with the news beforehand, do you? Good riddance to him if he places his own personal ambition above the cause.

    Oh, that’s a line that fat cat right love to use to attack democracy, I’ve had it thrown at myself so often during the times I was a Liberal Democrat activist: “Oh, you’re only in it for yourself” (as dictated to them by Rupert Murdoch). Well, actually, no. My political activity has always been motivated by having grown up in the poor south and wanting to see a fairer society in which the people I grew up with have a voice and a chance. The allowance I got during the time I was a councillor was much less than I could have earned had I used my time and talents elsewhere, and will never compensate financially for what I lost in promotion opportunities in my day job due to the time I spent as a councillor. This is not something I would have done if I were in it for the money.

    The Liberal Democrats are still the party which more than any other speaks up for poorer people in the south, and has the policies they need. The EU is a distraction, it is not the cause of these people’s dissatisfaction, no, the cause of that is Thatcherite economics, which UKIP supports in a more extreme form than the other parties. It just uses the EU to whip up cheap sentiment. So, sure UKIP is trying to take the vote which once went to the Liberal Democrats, and our disastrous leadership is letting them do it. However, there are still plenty of decent Liberal Democrat activists out there, who it can bee seen work hard for the sort of people currently being tricked into voting UKIP by Murdoch and the like. I suspect that Roger Lord’s eyes have been opened by the way he was used and then thrown away in order to make sure an extreme right-wing Tory stayed as an MP. What has happened to him is a foretaste of what will happen to all those poor people tricked into voting for UKIP.

    I hear Jacob Rees-Mogg is leading the call for a pact between the Tories and UKIP. Jacob Rees-Mogg, now are you going to tell me he’s a man of the people, a voice of the left behind, a fiery fighter on behalf of the ordinary bloke against the establishment? Whereas I, with my working class background, and fairly modest income am somehow a voice of this establishment?

  • Matthew Huntbach 8th Sep '14 - 2:09pm

    simon

    And what are you suggesting Matthew? That Nige should have turned down Carswell’s offer to defect

    So it was all up to “Nige” was it? Where’s the democracy in that? Where’s the voice of the “little people”? Shouldn’t it be up to the local members of the party to say who is to be their candidate? I think it should have been put to them, and they should have made the decision. I do not agree with the idea that what a party says and does should be dictated by its national leader. I do not agree with the idea of top-down leader-oriented parties, where those running them are stuck in their Westminster Bubble, and members are just meant to be unpaid salespeople, tugging their forelocks at the great and good who lead them. UKIP claims to be on the side of the people against the political establishment, but here we see clearly what I have said all along, that’s just a sales pitch to trick the plebs into giving it support.

    The fact that it’s Carswell defecting, and the other MPs said to be considering it or wanting to make pacts with UKIP are also on the far right of the Conservative Party, people who want to take what Thatcher did and so so much more of it – cut what the state does for the poor, give more power and money to the super-rich, privatise everything so that global corporations and foreign governments can buy up control of our country says it all. I am suggesting that your party is very, very far removed from what its naive voters think it is about.

  • ” I am suggesting that your party is very, very far removed from what its naive voters think it is about.”

    And I am suggesting to you that your comment, quoted, is self culpatory. Who are you to tell voters they are “naive” because they don’t agree with you or your party?

    If they want to vote for us, not you, the legacy parties, the fault is not in them, or in us, but in you.

    You are a bright guy Matthew, and a decent one too. Think about it. Wonder why.

  • ”There was a time when we very much DID appeal to “left behind” voters. We did well in the less well-off parts of the south because of this. It was the bedrock of our support, what we relied on to win and hold seats in what outsiders think of as “true blue” areas. We could win this vote because the Conservative Party most certainly is not the party for those at the lower end of the economic scale, but we were able to put across a more people friendly and less arrogant image than Labour, and many of these places where we did well on that front are places where there is very little Labour Party activity.“

    This, so much this! I find it painful that far too few Lib Dem actually realise that one of our few voter sets in many of the seats we won were these groups. People who the Tory majorities in the areas where they lived liked to forget even existed.

    These are the people we as a party should be helping, not forgetting.

    @John, Matthew answered most of your points, but I will add one thing: The UK system is actually much stricter than the Australian model. However, even if this were not true, I am not sure that you would be so happy with that model if you actually understood it. It makes me laugh how UKIP supporters bang on about Australia’s amazing immigration policy despite the Australians hating it. They have exactly the same debates about Immigration that happen here.

  • Simon, Matthew is not calling you naive for not voting the Lib Dems, (he is rightly one of the party’s biggest critics), but for voting an extremist right wing party in protest of right wring politics.

    If Nigel and friends are so willing to cast aside one of their candidates for power, what will they do to the rank and file supporters is a question many should be asking themselves! (That – and why they think it is OK to racially abuse their own supporters.)

  • ”There was a time when we very much DID appeal to “left behind” voters. We did well in the less well-off parts of the south because of this. It was the bedrock of our support”

    Not any more, Liberal Al, my friend, not any more.

    The UK political world has moved on. We are confronting a loss of sovereignty, the destruction of national self belief, globalisation and the consequence of uncontrolled immigration and austerity. The question you as a party have to decide is this. Will you move on with it or try to provide yesterday’s answers to tomorrow’s problems?

  • Moving on a little from the main subject of this thread, UK friendly UKIP seats, lets talk more about UKIP friendly LABOUR seats. To whit, Heywood and Middleton.

    The media is obsessed with the “Jocky horror show”, understandably enough, and after that, along with the conferences, the circus will move on to Clacton.

    But arguably Heywood is more interesting. A 6,000 Labour majority close to an area where the rotten local establishment has been tolerating the groomers and rapists. (Rochdale).

    Two new UKIP MP’s on the same day would really make the Westminster bubble and its media mates splutter on their breakfast cornflakes, ne c’est pas?

  • Malcolm Todd 11th Sep '14 - 9:38am

    UKIP leadership don’t seem to share your enthusiasm for two by-elections on the same day, simon: http://www.itv.com/news/granada/2014-09-10/ukip-accuses-labour-of-shoddy-politics-over-heywood-middleton-by-election-date/

  • All’s fair in love, war and politics, Malcolm. Obviously Labour are running scared (what else is it, honestly?) and it would have been better for us to have built on the momentum of Clacton; plus of course our resources are stretched.

    But I don’t blame Labour, it is a very sensible scheduling decision from their point of view. I still think it will be an interesting by election. Something is afoot in this country, will the voters of Haywood let it pass them by? Will they continue to vote in their thousands for the same corrupt local politicians and councillors who have betrayed them?

    We will see.

  • Haywood is win win for us, anyway. We were FIFTH in 2010, so no-one can make a case for us to be even close in normal times. Of course we aren’t living in normal times, but still it is a big ask, huge.

    You guys got over 10,000 votes last time. How many of your voters will come over to us I wonder? This really will be hard data to test whether Matthew or my contention holds true. That we now speak for the dispossessed and left behind, and the Lib Dems don’t. We can revisit the subject afterwards!

    There could be a lot of anti UKIP tactical voting also?

    No, all things considered, Labour have played a blinder in the scheduling. They really should hold.

    But we kippers can dream. 🙂

  • I think that the most likely win, for UKIP, in the South West will be North Devon.
    With the highest % of UKIP vote on your list, 7.2% (more than twice the national UKIP vote at the last GE), a winning poll at the recent Euro’s and the UKIP Chairman as PPC, showing a higher profile to the electorate, could make this a very winnable seat for UKIP.

  • Darren Reynolds 20th Oct '14 - 11:07am

    We *might* not win Burnley in May, but it won’t be lost to UKIP!

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    @Graham Jeffs The local authority / constituency boundary problem will be around until there is wholesale reform of our fossilised political system. In some ...
  • Mary Fulton
    I'm not sure it is wise to compare funding levels to the year just before the liberal Democrat's backed the Conservatives to impose austerity budgets. We should...