Wednesday, June 03, 2009

UKIP, the Greens, the BNP and "Others"

Tomorrow is the European elections and although in many ways they do not really matter (the government remains the same whatever) they will be real test of the country's political leanings.

These have been extraordinary times. Not only is a tired discredited government clinging onto power and almost certainly in its dying moments. but the expenses scandal has meant that Labour, Conservative and Liberal Democrat politicians are all widely mistrusted.

The real contest tomorrow seems to be between UKIP, the Greens and the BNP. The traditional three parties will be aiming to hang onto as many of their supporters as possible but they all seem likely to lose some ground. The Conservatives will be doing badly if they are not the party with the most votes.

As for the three newcomers:

UKIP- an eccentric but broadly harmless party with strong reservations about the EU. Their expense claims in Brussels look far from angelic but do you begrudge them the money more than some other politician who would have done the same ? They seem likely to do well from a protest vote although they lack the structure and discipline to be a serious political force in national politics.

The Greens- Green supporters always seem a little too pleased with themselves for my liking. However for the Euro elections a vote for them may be relatively harmless. They are relatively "nice" people and as long as they don't get too much power it doesn't hurt to have a few of them as MEPs. Likely to do well amongst Waitrose shoppers and other slightly smug characters.

The BNP- less savoury but potentially a force to be reckoned with. They are far more visible than at any time I can remember. Certainly in our part of London you are just as likely to bump into a BNP stand as a Salvation Army band on a Saturday morning in the High Street. Unlikely to score as highly as the above two but may win their first MEPs. Increasingly popular with white working class voters who are fed up with the educated middle classes telling them what to think. That is not a reason to vote for them but for put upon people they do represent the ultimate two fingered response.

The overall winner is likely to be the Conservatives but the result will show they cannot take people for granted. I very much hope to see independent Conservative voices like Daniel Hannan re-elected.

No comments: