Media commentators that reside in London’s zones one and two will still be punch drunk this morning; confused as to why their narrative (that UKIP is the Tory party in the wilderness) and their remedy (label them all “racist” and scare us plebs from voting from them) has not been realised.
So, the line that will come out instead is that voters are in fact ‘protesting’, so UKIP is just a ‘protest party’. But a protest against what? The Tories are telling us that the economy is improving, they are cutting the deficit – we should all be happy right? They are still in denial.
Let me indulge them with a few thoughts to ponder whilst they sip their skinny lattes:
UKIP has a broader appeal across the political spectrum (and indeed socio-economic groups) than any other established party in the UK. UKIP has taken seats in Labour heartlands like Rotherham and Hartlepool in a way the Tory party could only dream of. And yet, we are also carving up the old Thatcherite strongholds like Essex.
If you like, UKIP is the Norman Tebbit party without Norm himself. Tebbit was one of those Conservatives that genuinely understood the pains and concerns of all voters – across the divide. He knew how to appeal to both the fruit ‘n’ veg market trader, and the city trader.
For the former, a tough line on law and order, the EU, and immigration. These appealed to those voters that Miliband took for granted. And for the latter, advocating low taxes, personal responsibility and self-reliance, and arguing against further EU regulation/integration has appealed to those that Cameron thought would always have to vote for him because they had nowhere else to go.
A handful of Tory MPs have since come out suggesting a pact with UKIP – alas it is too late. You cannot kick the house cat day in day out then expect it to jump up and purr on your lap when you tap your thigh.
The abuse and vitriol that UKIP supporters have had to put up with thanks to the Tory HQ ‘go nasty’ campaign (albeit channelled through their friends in the media) has now only cemented the views of even those on the ‘rapprochement wing’ of the party (as a former Tory Councillor I was one of them) that there will be no pact with the Cameroons.
When you label UKIP ‘racist’ you are directly abusing around a third of the population who sympathize with UKIP’s concerns of mass immigration.
We have already heard from senior politicians from all the old parties that they will ‘reflect’ and they will ‘listen to the message given to them by the voters’. We have heard it all before – they never do listen, nothing changes.
Over the next six months you will start to see a broader narrative from UKIP. Immigration is still a key concern we will highlight, but what you will also start to see is an array of fully funded policies in health, education, law and order, and taxation. It will be harder to label the party as single issue, and with a new rump of talented MEPs – harder for the media to label UKIP as a one-man band.
I leave you with this thought; If the established clique of old parties are worried today, then given what I see in front of me now as I sit on the party’s national executive, I would be truly terrified.