UKIP and the mystery of the wasted vote

The Eastleigh elections are over and as everyone predicted the LibDems held the seat, the much more interesting part of the results was how well UKIP did and well done to them for it. The part I found really the most fascinating about it all was the reactions of so many politicians and political commentators (of which I suppose I’m technically one, and if anyone wants to pay for this drivel…). There was so much talk of UKIP taking away the Tory vote, and the right wing vote being split as if the major political parties are somehow owed our vote. We had commentators urging UKIP supporters to vote Tory to stop the LibDems winning, perhaps if they’d urged UKIP supporters to vote UKIP or Tory supporter to vote UKIP then the Tories wouldn’t have “split the UKIP vote”, as Nigel Farage put it. I’m going to keep links to a minimum as almost everyone is spouting the same lines:

  • It was a protest vote
  • UKIP and the Tories now need to do a deal
  • LibDems voters just voted for the rosette

Perhaps for some people it was a protest vote, though the number of returning not voted for ages voters suggests it’s a hell of a protest if so, but so what the protest says quite clearly “we want more policies like UKIP offer”. Perhaps if the other parties listened to such protests rather than dismissing it as a mere “protest” that will evaporate come a “real” election they might actually get more support. This lack of attention to why people make “protest” votes is the only thing that makes those votes wasted, and as UKIP showed enough protests can give the complacent major parties quite a shock – a bit more protest and there’s no reason why the smaller parties can’t severely upset the apple cart. All it would take is people voting according to principle and not being scared into voting just for the big three lest their vote be wasted.

Talking of principle why would UKIP want to do a deal with the Tories, I can’t think of a more certain way for them to lose support. Currently UKIP can claim to stand for principle and not grubbing for power, with the ConDem coalition we’ve seen how deals with the major parties work out why would UKIP want to get embroiled with that. I’d like to hope that UKIP are actually a party of principle and whilst I may not always agree with those principle I’ll at least know what they stand for – which I know isn’t the case with the incumbent parties. Keeping clear water between the grubby dealing of Westminster and themselves can only be a good thing for UKIP to do, and after yesterdays results the question would have to be why do a deal with the Tories anyway?

The last commonly seen comment I’ve seen about what would the LibDems have to do to lose, I find equally as dismissive of the voters as those expecting us to vote only for the main three. If Chris Huhne had been the LibDem candidate people would have had a point, but just because he was a wrong-un doesn’t mean that people who support the policies of the LibDems should stop supporting them, nor should a new candidate be punished for the misdemeanors of the previous incumbent. Of course I’d argue that anyone voting for any of the LibLabCons are voting to support corruption, destruction of our country and economy but that’s a different question. Who do these commentators thing the LibDem supporters of Eastleigh could vote for instead of the LibDem candidate? Labour? Tory? Beer, Baccy and Crumpet?

The Tories are worried that their Message is muffled, I’d suggest that it’s quite the reverse we’ve seen what they stand for in Government and it’s not a lot really and we’re fed up with that. When you’re in power the way to get your message across is to act on it, you don’t get to just make promises and not act on them, so actions speaking louder than words I’m sorry Mr. Fabricant we’re getting the Tory message loud and clear and we don’t like it anymore than the Labour or LibDem messages – maybe it’s time to stop trying to tell us your message and listen to what the rest of the country is saying. If you disagree with our message then respond to it and explain why your way is better, but really try listening first and stop insulting us.

Meanwhile UKIP aren’t splitting the vote for the “Right”, they providing an alternatve for people who are fed up with the soft principle free middle ground.

Update Oh and for how effective small grass roots parties can be really it cant hurt to look at the recent results in Italy I’d hazard a guess that there were a lot of people saying that a vote for Beppe was a wasted vote.

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