This wave of protest . . . sends a shockwave. UKIP leader Nigel Farage
I find so much of interest in the UKIP breakthrough in UK local elections that I will post a few updates here . . . and perhaps gloat a little.
Hey @david_cameron Those "fruitcakes, loonies and closet racists" just kicked your butt. #UKIP
— Mark (@WannabeAnglican) May 3, 2013
That quote is from the Prime Minister himself recently, by the way. He is slightly more humble and respectful now.
The UKIP has responded well to the belittling attacks. After being called “clowns” by Tory Ken Clarke, Nigel Farage retorted, “Send in the clowns!”
As for Mr. Farage, a party leader who regularly goes to the pub for a pint is my kind of guy. And it’s clear he was won many over in part by not taking himself too seriously. (I do disagree with him on returning smoking to pubs, however.)
I should note that something I posted earlier may be in error. The Daily Mail had the UKIP starting out the night with no seats, and that’s what I posted. But the BBC had the UKIP at 7 seats. I suspect that is correct. Nevertheless 7 to 144 at last count is not bad.
The BBC’s projected popular vote is impressive as well.
Lib Dems 14%
So the UKIP has not only become the UK’s 3rd party of choice, but is on the heels of the Tories.
By the way, I’ve read somewhere recently (I’m sorry I forgot where.) that the UKIP is taking votes from Labour as well as from the Tories. I was skeptical when I read that, but the results are bearing that analysis out. In the current political atmosphere, there is no way the Tories would have almost half the vote without the UKIP. It is now clear the UKIP vote is not all ex-Tory.
An amusing anecdote:
In Dorset, Ian Smith became UKIP's first ever councillor despite not campaigning or even turning up to the count.
His name did not appear on any leaflets, he does not own a UKIP rosette and only agreed to stand three weeks ago.
He only found out he had been elected by email this morning. 'My initial reaction was "my goodness!" I was shocked but I'm very happy,' he said.
And this is gloatworthy:
Labour girl who called UKIP disgusting gets 14%, UKIP win with 47%. #Winning democracy.kent.gov.uk/mgElectionArea…
— Michael Heaver (@Michael_Heaver) May 3, 2013
Nigel Farage over a pint (of course) on how attacks from Tories backfired:
[Farage] said that criticism from Ken Clarke last weekend had added "three per cent to our vote share", adding: "I am going to invite him to be my guest speaker at our annual conference. Please please Conservative party, keep the abuse coming."
And do watch the interview. It gives a good idea of the appeal of Mr. Farage.