Monday, 26 May 2014

Enough of the UKIP earthquake already

And enough of the vacuous "Labour not doing very well" drone.

Of course they aren't. They were only ejected from office in 2010, remember, and the time before that it took them 18 years to get back in! So it's pretty impressive that they are in a position to win just 4 years after Gordon Brown, the financial crisis, the dodgy dossier, ID cards and all the other reasons people voted them out.

Labour can also stop panicking and wailing. Several councils won, almost 300 new councillors, Hammersmith, Cambridge ... and as for the UKIP threat in the north, consider this, from the Guardian:

Labour has gained full control of Bradford council after winning seats from the Tories and Lib Dems and fighting off attacks from Ukip, which took just one spot in the West Yorkshire administration. 
George Galloway's Respect party made no gains in the city, despite Galloway touring the city in an open top bus in support of his eight candidates. 
Respect has no representatives in Bradford's town hall since its five sitting councillors – elected in the euphoric aftermath of Galloway's byelection win in 2012 – quit the party last year. They now sit as an Independent grouping. 

Bradford - with experience of high immigration, riots, ethnic division, it's history as a BNP stronghold - you'd have thought, would have been one place where the UKIP would be very strong

It's actually been a dreadful night for the anti-EU crowd. Hot on the heels of the worst financial disaster since the Great Crash, and the prolonged death rattle of western Europe's economy, the far right have managed to win a couple of elections.

It's hardly Nuremburg, is it?

(The rally, I mean, rather than the trials)

I proclaimed earlier Farage needed to get 30%.  He failed.

(Technically, I didn't do anything of the kind, but I did predict 30%, and if you aren't living up to my expectations, you are wicked, naughty and wrong)

I know other parties failed worse, but the interest in their success or failure isn't so high.  There will always be Tories and Labour.  The UKIP will survive only as long as it keeps moving forward and upward.

There will be an almighty fuss for 3-4 weeks because the media like a good exciting story, and Farage is happy to give them plenty of frothy head, never mind the dead rats and turds floating in the glass ...  Polls will soar into the low 20s.  Once or twice, they will get to within margin of error boundaries of the Tories ...

Then everyone will realise that nothing is fundamentally different, the European parliament just doesn't matter and the 'breakthough' meant nothing; the sliding share of the vote at the locals is a harbinger of 'Peak Farage' has already arrived.  Before the end of the year, a steady slide into to the high teens will begin.

The main parties will start to concentrate energy on suppressing the upstart.  Some truly unpleasant characters will start to emerge in the new ranks of councillors and the media - sensing new good exciting stories, will turn.  Farage will become shrill and desperate.  Unfortunate interviews and increasingly shrill public pronouncements won't mask the gradual ebbing of support and (more critically) interest.

They may still get one seat at the general election, two if they are lucky.  but that will make them as about as important, interesting or challenging as ... oh, Respect.  Or the Greens.  Or possibly the Lib Dems, the way things are going for them.

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