“Anyone but UKIP”

SW_UKIPI think it is fair to say that for some in Southend West 2015 will be the UKIP election. I do not refer just to those who, for one reason or another, are opting to vote for them this time. UKIP have managed to motivate a significant group who could be labelled as “undecided, but definitely not UKIP”.

This is not confined to die-hard Tories anxiously eyeing the rise in the right-wing UKIP, it applies to many who are concerned about a party that is so fixated on Europe and immigration.

I cannot say for certain, but there is definitely a protest vote at work here too. I can only advise voters to be careful that their protest does not have unforeseen consequences.

One really interesting conversation started something like this: “I usually vote Green, but I am going to vote UKIP or BNP this time”. I did point out that going from Green to UKIP was quite a stretch (I also stated that I thought it unlikely the BNP would be standing). It was a good chat that on reflection reminded me how in many ways the far left represented middle class views of working class aspirations.

With just over ten weeks to go I have to say that recent conversations have shown me that there is still much up for grabs. Whilst there is a reasonable showing for Labour, it is those who are undecided who form the biggest chunk in my small and imperfect survey.

I realise that some will not believe me, but the Lib Dem and Green vote is almost non-existent. I accept it might be a peculiarity of where I am working, but I can only report on what I find. My perception is also of a strengthening Tory vote (although still not strong), and a weakening UKIP vote (although still in significant numbers).

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5 Responses to “Anyone but UKIP”

  1. brianotridge says:

    All parties have a “toxicity” level and the British Future “State of the Nation” survey elicited those figures for us, showing them to be remarkably level across the parties, albeit the worst were Lib Dems and Greens where 53% would never vote for them. However, those were nationwide figures and there will be local variations.

    The polls consistently show the Eastern Region to have a higher than average UKIP level of support, and in the Euro elections Southend Borough returned the 60th highest UKIP vote of 381 Councils across the UK.

    While I acknowledge there are those who would never vote for us, I have met an awful lot who have enthusiastically said they are, and Julian must acknoweldge there are a lot in Southend West who would never ever vote Labour.

  2. Euro elections don’t equate to a general election Brian, you and I both know that. Last year was characterised by very low turnout, and the central issue was that of your party. This year people will be deciding a government, not making a protest.

    The Liberal Democrat vote has collapsed since they showed themselves for lackeys to the Tories. There are plenty looking for a strong, progressive choice this year: Julian is the only one offering that option in Southend West.

  3. brianotridge says:

    Matthew, you believe what you want to believe, I will believe in what I want to believe. At the end of the day, when the fat lady sings, we will all know. I am pretty certain that at worst I will come second to Sir David, at best… well, who knows how many seats UKIP will win nationally.

  4. I cannot say for certain, but there is definitely a protest vote at work here too. I can only advise voters to be careful that their protest does not have unforeseen consequences.

    Sometimes if protest votes (previously for Lib Dems, Greens or BNP) are ignored, voters might choose to give their protest vote to someone who scares those “elite parties” that seem to have an effective monopoly on ineffective government. The prospect of “unforeseen consequences” (particularly in the eyes those “elite parties”) just makes the protest look more potent.

    You write letters – and are ignored
    You march – and are ignored
    You riot – and things start to change

    You “protest” vote Lib Dem – and are ignored
    You “protest” vote BNP – and are ignored
    You “protest” vote UKIP – even the threat of doing so makes the Tories change and Labour “trim”!

    If you don’t support the elites, your options are fairly restricted. The two main ones are not engaging in the process and not voting, or holding your nose and voting for something unsavoury. After all if you don’t support the elites – you probably view them as rather unsavoury already.

  5. Pingback: The Potency of Protest Votes | Outside the marginals

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