Mass reports of defections from the Conservative Party to UKIP have been reported on social media today following the impending ‘coronation’ of Home Secretary Theresa May to leader of the Conservative Party and soon-to-be Prime Minister.
Following the news that Brexiteer Andrea Leadsom was set to withdraw from the Tory leadership race – leaving Ms. May to succeed David Cameron as Prime Minister on Wednesday – long-term Tory voters and members are tearing up their membership cards and joining the UK Independence Party (UKIP) seemingly en masse.
Life-long Tory voters were cancelling their memberships to join UKIP as early as midday, announcing their moves on Twitter and Facebook, ostensibly in protest at Ms. May’s authoritarian and anti-Brexit views. Some also protested about her term in office as Home Secretary, which has seen the curtailment of civil liberties, the praise of Shariah law, and the failure to abide by a 2010 manifesto pledge to drastically reduce migration into the UK.
— blinkeredbritain (@blinkerdbritain) July 11, 2016
Sad that Leadsom has quit. Dirty politics from some MP's and media. I have voted Tory for the last 30 years but will now be joining UKIP
— Steve Lawton (@stevel1955) July 11, 2016
Including those just embarking on joining:
Just cancelled my Conservative Party membership application
— Peter J Hallett (@goldfields10) July 11, 2016
How do I cancel my conservative membership? #boycotttories
— Stuart King (@vivacarpediem1) July 11, 2016
Many members clung on to their membership to vote for Ms. Leadsom, who seemed to be the grassroots’ favourite. On her withdrawal, she appeared to take supporters with her, many of whom blamed ‘dirty politics’ for forcing her out of the race. But no longer seeing the Conservative Party as their natural home, joined UKIP.
Upon her withdrawal, many Tories who blamed ‘dirty politics’ for forcing her out of the race decided the Conservative Party was no longer their natural home, and joined UKIP.
UKIP sources told Breitbart London that the membership department had seen a major influx of supporters on the back of the day’s events, but were unable to put a number on new membership applications.
I kept my membership of the party just to vote for Leadsom – as soon as I get home I'm burning my membership card and joining @UKIP
— Jack Hadfield (@ToryBastard_) July 11, 2016
@andrealeadsom I completely respect & understand your decision. Now I'm joining UKIP
— Richard Titmus (@TitmusRichamus) July 11, 2016
Tonight i shall be joining @UKIP
— #leadsomforleader (@no1confused) July 11, 2016
On Sunday, outgoing leader of UKIP Nigel Farage answered callers’ questions on LBC radio, discussing the future of the party.
My vote has now just changed to UKIP.
— SWAN,art50now (@JimSwanny) July 11, 2016
Brexit voters are expressing their concerns over the commitment of Ms. May, who supported the Remain campaign during the referendum, even following her speech earlier today, and her repeated “Brexit means Brexit” mantra, with many UKIP converts stating that she cannot be trusted.
On social media, the electorate stated concern over delays in triggering Article 50, the formal mechanism for leaving the European Union (EU), and Ms. May’s commitment to not reneging on the voters’ position to stop automatic free movement.
— Giles Damian Henry (@gilesdhenry) July 11, 2016
Some expressed their disillusion in the democratic process, believing that there would be more “gerrymandering by the elite and europhiles”, and that the only party that the only way British voters would “get what they voted for” would be to join UKIP.