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

    Comment number 114.

    I think the UKIP phenomenon is due to the feeling many have that the political class does not represent them or their views; talks a language which they don't understand describing a country that they do not recognise as their own.
    For many, representative democracy is dead and needs to be revived. They do not feel any affinity towards the main political parties any more.

  • rate this

    Comment number 113.

    These results will not affect our lives at all because we are locked into a mindset of economic entitlement.

    Our economy is in tatters thanks to the profligacy of Labour and we cannot get out of this mess.

    The Far East and the BRIC countries have lower labour costs and less expensive working conditions-we cannot compete!

    Whoever is in power cannot stop our slide to third world status.

  • rate this

    Comment number 112.

    Talk politics all day when anyone who has any common sense knows that if immigration isn’t stopped in its tracks the country will go bust. This isn’t racist it’s just a fact. You could get a five year old to do the sums don’t need top economists. In the final analysis ask yourself where these political heavyweights will be when we are rooting in the bins for food scraps. answer: Long Gone.

  • Comment number 111.

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

  • rate this

    Comment number 110.

    If UKIP are clowns, what does that make the baying rabble that perform every Wednesday at Prime ministers question time.

  • rate this

    Comment number 109.

    Quite funny watching the right tear themselves apart in the competition to see who can be the biggest golf club bore. Long may it continue and before you know it, Labour will be back!

  • rate this

    Comment number 108.

    What makes me chuckle is that most of these UKIP Voters were the same ones 2 years ago who voted against AV which would have given UKIP 100 parliamentary seats going by yesterdays voting.
    Just shows yet again the British Public are so easily swayed by the media rather than stopping to think. Just like they did when they voted for UKIP.

  • rate this

    Comment number 107.

    Ivan The Cerebral
    3rd May 2013 - 22:04
    "...The people have spoken..."


    No Nick. 30% of the people have voted. A quarter of those voted UKIP.
    subtle - but it doesn't work, those that didn't vote didn't vote for the other 3 either, then news is with 4 parties UKIP gets 25% of the votes cast.

  • rate this

    Comment number 106.

    When will David learn that insulting people is not going to win him votes? UKIP won on their standards and commitment to the voters, the Tories just tried to put them down and thought that was enough. UKIP put the UK before the German led EU, and that is what won them these votes. David, if you don't buck up, start packing, number 10 has a new resident coming!

  • rate this

    Comment number 105.

    Tories 25% of vote, 1116 councillors, 18 councils
    Labour 29% of vote, 538 councillors, 3 councils
    UKIP 23% of vote, 147 councillors, 0 councils
    LibDems 14% of vote, 352 councillors, 0 councils
    14 councils no overall control.

    Do we need to call in the Electoral Commission or some UN observers? No wonder the Tories just love FPTP.

  • rate this

    Comment number 104.


    if ukip continue., we'll end up getting milliband and balls, ... Cameron needs to grow a pair ..stop pandering to the centre...
    You mistake your man, it's not about Balls (well it might be for Labour) but for Tories, Cameron is NOT a tory - he's a Blairite - he's doing to the Tories what Blair did for Labour - replacing conviction with expediency - the self serving kind.

  • rate this

    Comment number 103.

    How long will it be before we're saying the FOUR main parties have let us down......?

  • rate this

    Comment number 102.


    30% voted. UKIP got 25% of voted means 7.5%.

    So 92.5% did not vote for UKIP.

    Same applies to other parties as well!"

    This could not be further from the truth! In fact, 22.5% didn't vote UKIP. The 70% that didn't vote at all really couldn't care less who was on their council... So yes, the people have spoken - and if this 70% can't be bothered to speak back, well then it is their loss.

  • rate this

    Comment number 101.

    Immigration from Europe is a very serious problem. There was a time when British young people found jobs in bars and shops to help support them selves through college. Labour are the clowns for ignoring the problem and the Tories and Lib Dems are the clowns for being so slow to deal with it. Allow free movement in Europe, but introduce work permits for non UK nationals.

  • Comment number 100.

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

  • rate this

    Comment number 99.

    Just watched Teresa May on BBC Breakfast. Still avoiding issues and burrying her head. Tells Louise Minchin that the people can see that the Tories are dealing with the issues. Well Teresa, don't the election results tell you that the issue are exiting the EU so that we can deal with controlling our borders and deporting undesirables and illegals and immigrants who are not and have never worked.

  • rate this

    Comment number 98.

    The UKIP vote is a protest vote that won't be repeated at a General Election. Then, voters will chose to show their disapproval of what's on offer by not voting at all. The main problem is that Ed Milliband is a hopeless leader of the Labour Party - unions kick the country in the guts once more. I have not seen democracy in Britain more threatened than it is now - but don't blame the voters!

  • rate this

    Comment number 97.

    The result that's telling to me is the turnout - or rather lack of it. That in itself surely shows the peoples desire to express a 'none of the above' vote.

    In my local area, the turnout was just 28%. That means that, assuming there was a small percentage who were simply physically unable to vote in any way, that around 60% or so of people eligible to vote just couldn't be bothered.

  • rate this

    Comment number 96.

    No Nick, "the people" have not spoken. A very small minority of "the people" have spoken. Why any of the rest of us (the people, that is) care what they have to say is beyond me. So long as we (the people) exercise our right to vote, all will be well. Once again, the real headline has been ignored...LOW TURNOUT LEADS TO INSIGNIFICANT PARTY HAVING AN IMPACT. Now that is worrying Nick.

  • rate this

    Comment number 95.

    30% voted. UKIP got 25% of voted means 7.5%.

    So 92.5% did not vote for UKIP.

    Same applies to other parties as well!


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