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UKIP And The Changing Face Of UK Politics

cameron_david_05 With the news that Anti-Europe party UKIP has come in second, beating the Conservatives, in the recent Eastleigh By-Election it should prove as a wake up to the "Big three" parties that they need to change and soon. I must state now that I am not a supporter of UKIP, in fact I have been told that I am actually quite liberal, but if they have the power to swing from cult support to rattling the cages of the Coalition then they must be doing something right by tapping into the general feeling of the country. Firstly, the parties in power always tend to badly in swing seats - since the Coalition came into power the Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats have not won a seat, the Conservatives lost the seat formerly held by Louise Mensch, the Lib Dems could lose the seat vacate by soon to be sentenced Chris Huhne. That said however, Labour did lose the Bradford seat to a rejuvenated George Galloway and the Respect Party. The UK Independence Party lead strongly, it pains me to say it, by Nigel Farage have become the Right Wing alternative for Eurosceptic Tories who do not like the Prime Minister's stance on Europe. This scepticism is in part based on a view that if it were not for the restrictions placed on the United Kingdom by the European Union this economy would be in a much better position than it is now. This view, true or false, has been taken and exploited by Farage to devastating effect - the Party is getting so popular it is staking a claim to have the Lib Dem's place as Britain's third party. One problem with that is that they don't have many MPs - none in fact. One major problem in UKIPs quest to become the new mainstream is their limited manifesto. Yes they may have a number of ideas of what to do, and for the more conservative amongst us they do seem very appealing. But, and this is a big but, reading through their manifesto it seems apparent that many of their plans are reliant on leaving the EU. The result being that if we end up not leaving the EU for whatever reason many of their policies would collapse. However, less of UKIP and their proposals and on to what Labour, The Conservatives, and the Liberal Democrats can do to tap into this popularity. The main bonus of UKIP is that it is fresh- granted the ideas have been around for a while now but it has now suddenly became very relevant, plus the fact they aren't the others always helps. Looking at Political Compass again, below, you can see that all the parties are basically the same right wing authoritarians as each other they just helpfully come in slightly different flesh covered packages. compass The fact is, unlike America where the two parties are very opposite Britain depends to merge closer to whoever is in power meaning that come elections it becomes a popularity/back stabbing contest between the party leaders. What Nigel Farage has managed with UKIP is to keep them sailing steady in a tide of political upheaval in this time of austerity and even the most ardent of their enemies has to applaud them for that. Maybe that is what the other major parties can pay attention to - stick to your principles and you shall be awarded. Even the Official Moster Raving Looney Party has managed that...
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Teesside University Student, Licensed Pilot and a motorsport fanatic. If it has wheels or wings then chances are I quite the look of it. Fan of the Indy 500, Daytona 24 hours, Le Mans 24 hours and the British Touring Car Championship.