Rise of Ukip shakes UK politics scene
Ahead of the 2015 general election, the UK politics scene is very much an open playing field with the “small parties” snapping at the heals of the big three. Cameron, Miliband and Clegg wipe their brows as Ukip and the Greens mount in popularity squeezing the vote of Conservatives, Labour and the Liberal Democrats
This May, Ukip proved great success in the local elections after almost a quarter of voters opted for them to act as their European representatives. This was the most success a new party received for the first time since World War II.
In momentum toward the 2015 General Elections, the yellow and purple party are proving formidable with their anti-Europe pro-UK campaign. Observer figures from October show 31 per cent of voters would back Nigel Farage if his party could win in their constituency. This weeks Ashcroft nation poll suggests Ukip are two points up from the previous weeks results receiving 18 per cent of the votes. The Green’s have also displayed party success on par with the coalition government’s Liberal Democrats, receiving seven per cent of the votes from the same poll. It begs the question, why are UK voters turning to the appeal of the small man?
As part of a research conducted by YouGov, it found that in March 2012, Ukip had just five per cent support ranking fourth place among the UK’s political parties. In just over two years, the party’s success has tripled, pushing the Liberal Democrats down to fourth position.
YouGov has found the proportion of Ukip voters coming from the Labour party has trebled since January 2013. In the party’s early stages in 2010, Ukip stole 60 per cent of their votes from the Conservatives. In 2014, now third in the UK political polls, the party has stolen 36 per cent of their votes from the Conservatives, meaning stolen votes from additional parties range more than before.
In an attempt to settle the impeding tremble of Ukip’s promise to deliver the UK independence from the EU, Cameron has imposed a referendum on the European Union to be held if re-elected in 2015. Ukip statistics reveal that the membership to the union costs Britain £120bn per year.
On November 28, David Cameron addressed the EU seeking reform on curbing welfare benefits of immigrants entering Britain “by restricting the ability of migrants to stay here without a job, and by reducing the incentives for lower paid, lower skilled workers to come here in the first place.”
The call was made following severe criticism after it was revealed net migration was up 100,000 more than the year before. Coalition partner Nick Clegg expressed fears that the number “damage’s public confidence in the immigration system by over-promising and under-delivering,”.
In lack of confidence and failing to see how Cameron will deliver has led party members to jump ship to Ukip.
Conservative defector Douglas Carswell became the first ever-elected Ukip MP by winning the Clacton by-election. Carswell described his decision in changing colours due to the lack of loyalty to “grass routes” conservatism and the lack of seriousness on matters of immigration. Ukip candidate Mark Reckless won the Rochester and Strood by election in November confirming their second seat in the House of Commons.
Two down on Ukip’s 271 seat list the party slowly creeps up the polls. As UK politics takes a turn, it’s unbeknown what to expect of the 2015 elections. If it’s anything to go by 2010 with a voting turnout of a mere 65 pr cent, the day could be a no show. One thing is certain however, dissatisfaction of the conventional three is triggering the rise of the small party.
In the run up to 2015, WNOL Investigates spoke with Natalie Bennett, leader of the Green’s, who’s party currently polls above the Liberal Democrats. In response to rise in membership to parties such as Ukip, Bennett told WNOL, ‘the idea that we really need to transform society that it works for the common good and not just the few, they’re (Labour, Conservatives, Liberal Democrats) not offering answers so people are looking for answers elsewhere.’
Read the full interview of Natalie Bennett and her comments in the run up to the election.