UKIP are not taking over the world.Posted: October 10, 2014
I haven’t switched on the tv so far today. There are a few reasons for this, one of them being my new German cast recording of Wicked that arrived today (Keiner weint um Hexen!) but also, UKIP won a by-election, meaning they now have a seat in the House of Commons.
Or did they? I mean, they did, but how did it happen?
Douglas Carswell, MP for Clacton, defected from the Tory party to UKIP, which then triggered a by-election. Which he won. The turn-out for the by-election was 36%, which automatically puts 64% of Clacton voters in the “not UKIP” camp. The other aspect I will freely admit is pure speculation on my part, but I wonder how many of those UKIP voters weren’t actually voting for UKIP, but were just voting to keep the same MP they’d always had? I grew up in a very safe Tory seat, and the MP (who is still there) has been MP since I was in school.
I’d wager, quite happily, that most of those voters just wanted consistency. They wanted the same guy they’ve had. They weren’t voting for UKIP, they were voting for Carswell.
So the news is, actually, sitting MP retains his seat. The BBC would have you believe that UKIP is about to take over parliament but honestly, it’s just not that big.
On the other hand, Caroline Lucas – who became an MP on her own Green Party manifesto – has been the sole sitting Green MP for four years. But that’s not radical, so the BBC don’t care about that.