Send in the clowns ....and the loonies ....and the fruitcakes.

 

Those David Cameron once insulted - but now says he respects - have given him and the Conservatives a bloody nose. Indeed, all the leaders of the big political parties are nursing wounds after so many chose to vote for "none of the above".

This has been a very English anti-establishment revolt. After all, its leader Nigel Farage is an ex public schoolboy from Kent, the son of a stockbroker who also worked in the City of London. However, like Boris Johnson or Alex Salmond he has found a way to reach those parts of the electorate others cannot reach.

No-one can know how durable his success will be but this election will kill the widespread assumption that UKIP is more a pressure group than a party... that it matters only in European elections... that it is merely a temporary home for disgruntled Tories.

The immediate effect will be to add pressure on the prime minister to sound and act like the sort of Conservative his activists want him to be - tougher on immigration, Europe and crime.

Longer term, today's results leave the next general election intriguingly open - a split vote on the right of politics might allow Ed Miliband to become prime minister with barely more than third of votes. Equally, the fact that Labour are not attracting many of those who are rejecting the Coalition means that its demise is far from guaranteed.

The people have spoken. Now it's time for the political classes to try to work out what on earth they meant.

 
Nick Robinson Article written by Nick Robinson Nick Robinson Political editor

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  • rate this
    +5

    Comment number 74.

    and if one were to ask Cameron, Clegg, Milliband etc. what are they going to do differently to address the concerns of the citizens, they would say they are going to redouble their efforts to communicate their policies more effectively..

    In other words, they are not going to do anything different.

  • Comment number 73.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 72.

    The message could be "connect with your constituency"?
    If you did a quick poll in any office up and down the country, you'd probably find 60% indifference to politics. That 60% is up for grabs to the party which can connect. Perhaps UKIP have managed, against the odds, to tap into this. A simplistic message, an eccentric very British leader quaffing pints. The lesson is "Connect".

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 71.

    "Anti-establishment parties defy EU"

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-22396875

    This article misses out what might turn out to be the ,most important of the anti-establishment parties, the Alternative fuer Deutschland.

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 70.

    2.alunp
    With four parties collecting significant votes, first-past-the-post seems increasingly unsuitable. The prospect of a split vote on the right makes Tory opposition to electoral reform look less than smart. AV was a good idea .....
    =
    AV would guarantee Coalitions - and that is the problem, both sets of voters Tory & Lib dem feel betrayed by the deals that didn't go their way.

  • rate this
    +5

    Comment number 69.

    The UKIP vote is a complete rejection of EU membership and the Blair years of unfettered immigration. It is not a racist vote but a recognition that Britain is no longer the country that we grew up in due to the liberal views of some of the middle class.

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 68.

    Dont forget the king makers! We, voters in the middle are the voters maggie won over; that made Blair; that Cameron failed convincingly to win last time; as a silent but thoughtful, powerful group we say little but think deeply; by and large the UKIP voters seem to be the people we were worried about in the Tories - good riddance! Cameron could be bold and refuse to move right - but will he!?

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 67.

    UKIP are to Cameron what the Eurosceptics were to Major. Farage is as eloquent as Teresa Gorman on HRT. There are other, more offensive comparisons. Scrutiny for UKIP will be as irrelevant as scrutiny was for the men in striped blazers. This is merely one more stage in the breakdown in the Tory party after Thatcher achieved her radical reverse takeover in 1979. Each side wants to kill the other.

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 66.

    What they meant, Mr Robinson is quite simple: 'We're heartily sick and tired of the lying, duplicitious, corrupt, criminal expenses fiddlers of the three major parties patronising us with their bullshit, blagging ignorance and false sense of entitllement.

    We're not saying 'listening to us' we're saying: you had your chance, now bog off!!'

  • rate this
    +4

    Comment number 65.

    I would have voted UKIP but being based in London was not given the chance. I think the electorate is finally getting the message that the EU is a layer of unnecessary democracy and its legislation too much of a burden to bear for these islands. The UK needs to wrest back control of its borders, energy policy and agriculture & not be bullied by Germany on financial services amongst other things.

  • rate this
    +16

    Comment number 64.

    The comments on these HYS strongly indicate UKIP have really fuffled the feathers of a few members of the other parties.

    I listened to some old codger on the radio today saying he's voted for the Tories for sixty years and isnt for changing. In other words, some idiots will follow a party regardless of the policies of the day.

    Sheep.

  • rate this
    +4

    Comment number 63.

    UKIP are riding a wave - it is the post-Thatcherite, post-neoliberalism wave that has risen up since the old orthodoxies failed us so spectacularly in 2007-08. The big old parties are welded to those orthodoxies and so, for most rational voters, are associated with a failed political and economic model. We need a new politics and new economic ideas.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 62.

    NEWSFLASH!!

    Debate centred around UKIP attracts string of barely legible comments.

    In other news, bears steadfastly refuse to cease defecating in woodland areas and Vladimir Putin declares himself not a huge fan of gay marriage.

  • rate this
    -3

    Comment number 61.

    UKIP are a belief based party. Thus,talk big of truth, some people will follow them like sheep .But when it comes to actual evidence based policies , policies that are built upon the knowledge of science. The only Truth UKIP represents is the psychological fact that people whom are scared for the future make irrational decisions .

  • rate this
    +4

    Comment number 60.

    Milliband had the (risky) opportunity to dump neo-liberalism but bottled it & is left in "we're not Tories but I'm not sure who we are" land. The Lib Dems have committed hara-kiri by coalition despite succeeding in their aim of moderating Tory Government. The Tories are leaking to UKIP & can only plug the hole by jumpting to the right & losing the floating middle support that got them into power

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 59.

    MPs are elected by the people to represent the people, act on the peoples' demands,expectations,and requests for change.Today proves that current government is not listening correctly to the people - which is where UKIP have come with fresh,thought out ideas and viewpoints that concern the people the most. CONLIBDEM needs to listen more to the people.I'm voting UKIP next election for sure.

  • rate this
    -2

    Comment number 58.

    Look on the bright side - 75% did NOT vote UKIP

  • rate this
    +3

    Comment number 57.

    UKIP attract voters with simple statements.-" we will stop the foreigners from taking your jobs and undercutting your wagers ".This is striking a resonant chord with voters.Immigration IS changing their culture.The influx in some areas of large amounts of people from different cultures is creating anxiety.How much of the peoples anxiety will turn into irrational UKIP votes is anybody's guess .

  • rate this
    -2

    Comment number 56.

    Protest richly merited

    Visibility needs only a rallying cry. To be effective beyond mere leader change, needs diagnosis of real cause. NOT a new round of scapegoating, vain pretended palliation of symptoms

    Membership of EU as root cause of all difficulties, at first sight absurd, has traction via immigration, visible targets to blame for consequences of OUR inequality, OUR democratic deficit

  • rate this
    -10

    Comment number 55.

    If UKIP HAS an econ policy it's to give migrants' jobs to people with iron filings spray-on stubble,Queequeg bodies,skin haircuts & pit bulls on leather tong leads
    In justice, migrants shouldn't have to do that lousy work for us Nor should chavs It should be done by our hereditary workshy elite
    UKIP's quasi-elite choice is: Persecute chavs or help chavs to manage the new work lives of the poshies

 

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