Monday, 20 February 2012

Why Ukip languish in the polls

Exhibit 1 (and only 1 example is needed, really) Gawain Towler, Ukip Press Officer, posts on Twitter:
"@GawainTowler: I liked a @YouTube video New Project"
a link which appears not to be 'repostable', but one in which Lawrence Webb, the Ukip Mayoral Candidate, talks about third place being up for grabs as Ukip are on 6%, only 1% behind the LibDems.

6%?! Bearing in mind the political climate why the hell are Ukip not on 26% - more importantly, for a party that would have us believe they are a force in British politics, why are they boasting that third place is 'up for grabs'? Would not any political party, 'worth its salt',  not be proclaiming it could take 1st place - whether it believed that or not?

The mind 'boggles' - let alone go into decline. Who allowed such a 'message' to be produced? Where is the leadership, the strategy, the management? If a political party, one that maintains it could form a government, cannot put out a positive political campaigning message and do so competently - what chance does it have of convincing a country that it is capable of forming a government?

Just asking.................


Anonymous said...

I agree that UKIP are sadly lacking in many areas. That said in Nigel Farage they have an astonishingly good front man. I am in no way qualified to assess his back office skills. However his speeches in the EU parliament are electric. Sadly despite the fact that his analysis has proved to be spot on over the past 4 years he is consistently ignored by the Bilderberg group controlled media.

Its a chicken and egg thing! UKIP need far more exposure in order to attract people ( of quality) and money. No matter how persuassive Nigel is the mainstream media is not going to give him a chance. Within a peaceful democratic framework I am at a loss to know what the next step is?

WitteringsfromWitney said...

Anon: Agree NF is a brilliant 'front man', but what is the point of a front man if the basic message is crap?

It is not a 'chicken and egg' situation! I have attended many, many meetings at which NF has spoken including party conferences and each time the 'message' is EU, EU, and EU.

Ukip has many 'domestic' policies that would resonate with the public, if only the public were aware of them! Hows about changing the message - presenting those 'domestic policies', getting the people 'on-side' then telling them that those policies can't be implemented until we leave the EU? Two birds killed with one stone?

As Alexi would say: 'Simples'!

TomTom said...

Yes Anonymous, but I recall David Steel and David Owen having a significantly more prominent position in the polls and wonder why Farage cannot manage it.

DeeDee99 said...

TomTom, David Steel and David Owen only had a significantly more prominent position because of David Owen, ex Labour Foreign Secretary, Shirley Williams and the other SDP defectors.

The Liberals under Steel, were marginalised and semi-ignored on their own until they linked up with the SocDems.

If one or two prominent current or recent Tory Ministers were to join UKIP they would get more publicity.

Otherwise, I agree with comments that Farage is a very good frontman, but the strategy has been poor. It does seem to be sharpening up (the proposed new Party Constitution will help)but WFW, don't you think that sometimes it is better to be realistic about what you can achieve, than hubristic and being mocked for failing?

PeterCharles said...

DD99 and WfW are both right. One man bands never prosper. I am sure there are other worthy people in UKIP but until we can see them in the MSM arguing about real issues they will not garner any meaningful public attention.

I have said before that the EU is a long way down on the vast majority of people's concern. There is some kind of weird intellectual disconnect at play, the majority do not like the EU, they know it is the source of most of the regulation we are burdened with but they do not seem to think anything can be done about it, that it is somehow beyond control.

Few people will vote for a one issue party, unless it is seen as something vitally important and particularly important to them personally, and UKIP in its very name is a one issue party, despite having a full range of policies that never appear in public outside of the party website. Until that changes they wont be seen as relevant.

A few mainstream Tory defections would doubtless propel them into the political limelight and if they had the skills that could be a jumping off point for a much higher profile.

The name UKIP is their biggest handicap.

WitteringsfromWitney said...

TT, DD & PC:

TT poses a perfectly valid point which DD counters by claiming Owen etc already had the publicity due to their earlier political affiliations. I would agree that their 'attraction; did fail somewhat but then, as now, the press was just as much in the political pocket as it is now - Lab and Con saw that Owen and co were 'marginalised'.

In response to DD's question being realistic is what I am doing. To gain seats in Westminster Ukip have to get the electorate on board and just considering immigration and deportation, Ukip's policy would resonate with the public - but where have Ukip tried to actually sell that policy or any of their others? Banging on about the EU actually turns people off. Sell the policies, get the electorate on board and then explain that to provide them with what they want means we have to leave the EU - in other words reverse the presentation process.

PC is correct to when he makes the point about a social disconnect - and there again Ukip fail to join up that hatred with what can be done. I can but repeat, sell the damn policies and any referendum result would be a foregone conclusion, surely?

Chris Palmer said...

Haven't been on here for a while... or indeed political blogs at all...

Anyway, it doesn't matter what UKIP's message is or was. The actual message and PR surrounding it might make a small difference - but ultimately never more than a few percentage points (in what are misleading polls, since opinion polls tend to drive opinion rather than reflect it).

The problem for UKIP or indeed any other small party in the UK and with a FPTP system is tribal voting. People tribally vote Conservative and Labour, even though those parties often do not actually reflect their views in the slightest. Yet, because they have always voted for them, they will keep on voting for them. It is unreasoning and irrational - but that is how it works.

Unless you can collapse the Conservative party, we will never have a chance at political renewal in this country (whether you be a conservative or a libertarian or whatever.) Until the Tories collapse, UKIP and any other party will just be a waste of time also ran.

WitteringsfromWitney said...

CP: Hello, was beginning to wonder what had happened to you..........

I take you point about tribal voting although I would disagree with what effect a change of strategy might have on Ukip's standing in opinion polls.

Having said all that, perhaps Ukip could at least show they are making a fight of it?

Chris Palmer said...

Other tasks have become more important recently, such as finding a job (unbelievably difficult as it happens)...

I am not saying that a change of UKIP strategy (whatever that might be or entail) would have no effect - just that it would be very minor. So long as 8 million people tribally vote Tory and 8 million tribally vote Labour and 4-5 million tribally vote against Labour/Conservative (i.e via the Lib Dims), then where are the new UKIP votes going to come from?

As I said, until the Tories collapse (they being the most likely of the two main parties), then no "new" or "small" parties will gain traction.

TomTom said...

People tribally vote Conservative and Labour,

I think that is collapsing in Northern England as Labour did very little for people in the North and LibDems have saddled them with Tuition Fees and Conservatives are not really relevant.

There is fertile ground for new parties focused on Law & Order, traditional values, and regional policies - that would bring in Muslim voters too who would like some jobs and some law and order

cosmic said...

One mistake UKIP have made is not to cultivate pockets of regional support so as to gain MPs in Westminster. It doesn't matter what representation they have in the EP or what speeches they make there, because the EP doesn't matter.

I suggest the reason they are so much of a one man band is because NF doesn't like competition.

microdave said...

This link works: