1. UKIP are not just the “Conservative party in exile.” Some of their most significant winnings have been in the industrial north, in towns like Rotherham. Like Margaret Thatcher they have galvanised the working classes – see also their success in Essex – and stolen traditionally Labour votes.
2.CCHQ’s carefully orchestrated anti-UKIP smear campaign, which embraced not just all the right-wing newspapers but even their new friends of convenience at the Guardian, was a disaster. It almost certainly brought UKIP many more votes than it lost them, by making them seem unfairly persecuted, while burnishing their rebel image. Expect lessons to be learned and the attacks to be much more insidious and subtle in the run-up to the 2015 General Election.
3. The case for a UKIP/Conservative pact – as advocated by Jacob Rees Mogg, Douglas Carswell and Peter Bone – is looking stronger than ever. Grant Shapps ruled this out on the BBC Radio 4 Today programme this morning. But how long is Shapps going to keep his job anyway?
4. The Lib Dems are toast. At least the other two loser parties can claim some sops of consolation from this debacle – Labour for seizing Hammersmith and Fulham; Conservatives for capturing Kingston from the Lib Dems. But the Lib Dems this election has been a nightmare. Everyone hates them. And what reason would anyone not to hate these principle-free chancers?
5. No good deed goes unpunished: “In Basildon, the Tory council leader Tony Ball, who pushedthrough the controversial traveller evictions at Dale Farm, lost hisward to UKIP.” One of the tragedies of what – for all UKIP’s appeal to Labour voters – is really a civil war of the right is that sound politicians are being punished as well as rubbish ones. Bitter Conservatives shouldn’t blame UKIP: they should blame David Cameron and his “modernisers” who threw the baby out with the bathwater.
6. Labour’s poor showing will only increase demands for the defenestration of their appalling leader Ed Miliband, who remains the Conservatives best hopes of winning an outright victory in 2015. They’ve probably left it too late but I still think they should. He needs more than David Axelrod’s turd-polishing skills to make him look remotely electable.
7. UKIP are here to stay. Roll on the Euro Election results. Viva la revolucion!