December 1st, 2012

Through The Wardrobe

The Lib Dems used to get the bulk of the protest votes but now they're in government they don't. In fact being in government has cooked their goose (and serve 'em jolly well right). Those of us who used to turn to them because they seemed to be untainted by the evils of machine politics are unlikely to be fooled again. Now- to judge by the latest three by-elections (all of them won by Labour as it happens)- the protest votes are going to UKIP. I don't suppose this means the floating voter has suddenly swung rightwards, only that there'll always be room in the system for a third party that (a) possesses a degree of credibility and (b) is unlikely to get into government. 

In the good old days a vote for the Lib Dems was essentially a vote against politics as usual. It was a fantasy vote- a vote for a better world that was never going to happen- for Narnia if you like. UKIP is the Narnia party now. If Farage wants to maintain his current buoyancy and (maybe) pick up a few parliamentary seats- he'll need to avoid any engagement with the real world. An alliance with the Conservatives (which some right-wingers are talking about as a future dream ticket) would instantly destroy him. His role now is to keep alive the dream of a purer, cleaner politics. No-one- apart from the clots who make up his tiny core vote- actually wants to see him in power.