Friday, December 08, 2006

Tory grass roots are revolting

The Tories have suffered a not insignificant defection to the UK Independence party.
Toby Horton, a Conservative party member for 40 years, who chaired William Hague's Richmond constituency while he was party leader, claimed that Ukip was the "party of real opposition" in Britain. "There is a real need in this country for a party of the centre right, and, if the Conservative party doesn't want to fill it, there is inevitably a vacuum that Ukip will fill." The defection of Horton - who was the Tory opponent to Tony Blair when he first became MP for Sedgefield in 1983 - is the third announced by Ukip this week.The tipping point for Toby Horton?
“The answer, in a nutshell, was Polly Toynbee. That was my tipping point."
Well, I agree with Horton about the Toynbee fiasco but not on Ukip where I tend to go along with David Cameron who famously remarked that "Ukip is sort of a bunch of ... fruitcakes and loonies and closet racists, mostly."
The fact is that Ukip takes its votes overwhelmingly from the Tories. The United Kingdom Independence Party took 622,000 votes at the last General Election. Although Ukip came nowhere near winning a seat, the Bruges Group said their support could have prevented the Tories from gaining 18 Labour- held seats and cutting Tony Blair's majority to a precarious 30.

What is to be done?


Ellee said...

UKIP will have its attractions for some, there will always be that group who don't like the way the Party is modernising, but I would urge them to give it more time before jumping ship, wait and see the policies as they develop in the near future.

Serf said...

Stop mentioning Polly for one thing.

Anonymous said...

I don't think UKIP will gain any ascendancy in the least except as a protest vote. I do however think that core Tory voters will abstain come election time, as will core Labour voters.

This can only be good for the small parties, but I don't think UKIP will be a gainer. Greens, BNP, Socialists and the Lib Dums to an extent will gain, IMO, and the main parties will lose.

I think the next election, unless Cameron turns it round drastically and stops being a Bliar clone, and also regains some of the core Tory values, will be either a very narrow win for the Tories or a hung parliament.

I go for a hung parliament myself because it would force the main parties to reassess their policies and look at what the people want instead of what they think the people should have.

Voyager said...

It is impossible to vote for any of the three parties in European Elections, the Tories have the least coherent policy of the three, with LibDems and Labour being repulsively clear as to intent

istanbultory said...

"...I do however think that core Tory voters will abstain come election time, as will core Labour voters...."

An excellent post- I agree with what you have put forth. I think Labour will have real trouble getting out its core vote at the next election. The Scottish elections next May will be ones to watch. Ukip is a one issue party populated by some rather (cough) flawed types. But in electoral terms, they are not going anywhere. I am not sure about the value of a hung parliament- wouldn't the result likely be a cosy, nasty little coalition between the Lib Dems and NuLab?? Look at Edinburgh.

Anonymous said...

Cameron will be eventually forced out by Hague when Cameron agree to do a deal with the Lib Dems over PR in return for forming a coalition government.

Another General Election will be held no later than 2011 and Hague will become Prime Minister with around a 150 seat majority in the Commons.

istanbultory said...

I can't see Hague emerging as PM but similarly I can't see Cameron successfully finalising a coalition agreement with the LibDems. Labour would surely be willing to offer an attractive package to the LibDems with ease. Our grassroots wouldn't go for it....