LORD Ashcroft’s latest polling shows just what a threat UKIP is to the established political parties. Because UKIP has learned the lesson of Britain’s first-past-the-post electoral system: to win a parliamentary seat, you have to become street fighters and mercilessly target individual seats.
The Green Party did in Brighton Pavilion and the result was that Caroline Lucas became an MP. She failed in 2005 but for the next five years, she was on the case at every opportunity and was rewarded by becoming the Greens’ first MP. UKIP are doing the same.
They have identified three Tory-held seats: Great Yarmouth, Thurrock West, and Thanet South.
If Labour is to form the next government, it needs to win Great Yarmouth and Thurrock West. But Lord Ashcroft’s Poll reveals these two seats could easily fall to UKIP. For the Conservatives, the loss of all three would mean it would be all the more difficult to form a majority Conservative government.
Conservative malcontents who think it is okay to give or lend their vote to UKIP must be in no doubt what the outcome will be. Labour will be propelled into Downing Street at the head of either a majority government or a coalition with the perfidious Liberal Democrats.
Writing in today’s Daily Telegraph, Robert Ford – Senior Lecturer in Politics at the University of Manchester, sums it up thus: “Those in Westminster who still think of UKIP as a passing fad need to realise that the street fight has begun in UKIP’s target seats, and the rebels are winning.”
Ashcroft reveals the paradox of Tories who are thinking of dabbling with the sweet talking Nigel Farage. “Only a quarter of UKIP voters said they would rather have Ed Miliband as PM, and nearly nine out of ten (87%) Conservative defectors to UKIP preferred David Cameron to the alternative.”
So why on earth would you want to vote anything other than Conservative? The prospect of not just Miliband in Downing Street but also having Ed Balls as Chancellor of the Exchequer and Nick Clegg remaining as Deputy Prime Minister should be all that traditional Conservatives need to put their X where they always done before.
**The views expressed in this Blog are those of constituency party chairman Graham Dines and do not necessarily reflect official Conservative Party policy either nationally or locally. Graham is a former political and parliamentary editor.