|Source: UK Polling Report|
In my last post I commented at length about the increasing popularity of UKIP, with particular reference to the upcoming European Parliament Election. Well, UKIP have now overtaken Labour as no.1 party in the pre-election polls for the second time this year, as the graph above shows. The first thing to say about this is that it is by no means conclusive – Labour could quite easily swing back into first place again, and it would not be at all surprising if the two parties switched positions several times between now and the 22nd of May.
That said, though, it doesn’t spell fantastic news for the political mainstream. Taking a look at the wider trends, it would appear that the fluctuating-but-steadily-rising level of support for the far-right party have not been overly damaged by the latest spate of scandals. And they’ve been particularly bad this time around, including a UKIP candidate telling Lenny Henry to ‘emigrate to a black country‘ and one of the handpicked stars of their first EU election broadcast, Andre Lampitt, launching a tirade of disgusting online abuse, of which perhaps the most shocking example was the claim that ‘slavery was an act of war’ and that ‘you lost stop being so damn jealous and move forward’.
The fact that BNP leader Nick Griffin defended these comments should really speak for itself.
So, if Farage and his party can not only withstand negative publicity on this level but actually make political gains whilst it is going on, questions surely have to be asked about just what can stop them. The inexorable rise of the Eurosceptics across Europe poses perhaps the biggest threat to a united, strong and prosperous Europe – and UKIP are no exception. Indeed, their gloss of respectability which groups like Le Pen’s Front National and the BNP themselves have been unable to acquire, despite considerable popular support, makes them perhaps the most dangerous threat to the EU of all.
But perhaps it’s not all doom and gloom. Another clear trend revealed by the graph is the improving fortunes of the Green Party. This is not entirely inexplicable – the Greens not only have a eurosceptic streak to them, albeit not nearly so pronounced as UKIP’s, but they also represent the same anti-establishment sentiments the ‘kippers do. In addition, and most critically, their policies actually make sense and don’t include a flat rate of tax – a policy which would spell doom for the working poor and set the upper-middle classes and landed gentry rubbing their hands together with glee.
To sum up: UKIP are on the rise, the ‘big three’ have taken a hit and the Greens – challenging the Lib Dems now for fourth place – are set to do better than ever. Something to think about, at any rate.
This is entirely unrelated but very interesting. No-one else seems to have picked up on this, but yesterday on the Andrew Marr show, this little exchange was heard:
And you’re going to get Boris back in the House of Commons to lead you.
Well that would be wonderful
Freudian slip, perhaps? Time will tell… Meanwhile, Cameron had better watch out…