The Lib Dems stumble while UKIP surge

Written by Total Politics has a free weekly Friday email bulletin. Follow this link to register. on 18 April 2012 in Diary
Nigel Farage's party is going from strength to strength, but will their success be at the expense of the Lib Dems?

A YouGov poll has revealed that the Lib Dems, that once-proud member of the elite 'top three' group of politicial parties, has fallen out of favour with the electorate and has now slumped to fourth. Against all the odds, the ‘fruitcake’ party, UKIP, have pipped the Liberals at the post – much to the disappointment of Nick Clegg.

While mayoral candidate Brian Paddick busies himself with a vanity trip around the capital, his fellow party members find themselves in disarray. Desperate would-be councillors are scrubbing their leaflets clean of mention of their leader as they try to win over Lib Dems supporters of the past.

The scars of the coalition are plain to see. Signing their souls away to the Tories has left the party more unelectable and spineless than before. Who could trust again a party who left their principles at the No10 door just for a taste of power?

UKIP, as mentioned in a previous post, have always been the ones to watch. While the odds haven’t always been favourable on any political form guide, the party are coming along strong. So disillusioned with the samey-samey politics of the spot-the-difference political crowd, voters are finally choosing to back a different horse entirely... with UKIP fast emerging on the outside rail.

And who can blame them? By the performance of our ‘favourites’ in the past, why would we want to take another chance on In By A Whisker or Rudderless Ship?

Here we have a former favourite and winner riding on the back of anger and disappointment with the reigning champ. People are so fed up with U-turns, backtracking and media bites that Labour have opened up a lead – towering at 43% in the polls compared to the current government’s dismal 32. 

And not many are willing to take a wager on Becauseicouldntsaynotopower anymore, as the recent poll suggests. So much so that the Lib Dems, who once relished 25% after a successful stint in the leader debates, have fallen to a feeble 8%.

It will not be a political death that many will mourn when the party finally stumbles.  But it is one that we should try to avoid. It will be a sad day in politics without a left-wing party in the mix.  Whilst I may not agree with their crackpot policies, everyone should have someone to vote for... even if it is 100-1 outsider Nick Clegg.

Tags: Coalition, Lib Dems, Nick Clegg, UKIP

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