After the by-elections… February 28, 2017Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.
On the Today programme this morning Matthew Goodwin, who co-wrote Revolt on the Right, the most authoritative book on the rise of Ukip, with Rob Ford, expanded on the same point made by his co-author. Goodwin said:
Today some people have been saying the Ukip ballon has completely popped. We still have a second-placed radical right party in a Labour seat with 25% of the vote. That is a significant issue for all the main parties to think about.
But also, let’s assume Theresa May wins back half of the Ukip vote. Labour MPs today are cheering the demise of Ukip. What does that mean for Labour? It means that around 45 seats will go to the Conservatives pretty quickly at the next election quite easily, because you have Labour MPs on small majorities where Ukip has around 15/20% of the vote. So Theresa May’s strategy right now, I would suggest, is spot on.
This is one of the more pernicious aspects of FPTP. UKIP don’t have to win, or come close to winning, or can in fact see their vote eviscerated by the Tories without any benefit to Labour. Imagine 45 seats transferring from the BLP to the Tories.
And Phil makes another point which is crucial. There’s little purpose in the BLP becoming a Tory/UKIP lite in relation to Brexit matters etc. That side of the political terrain is already well covered. Pulling back support from there is the name of the game.