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

What a difference a day makes

In just 24 hours, Sir Malcolm Rifkind went from angry defiance to a grim-faced acceptance that he would have to quit his job as an MP and chairman of the Intelligence and Security Committee.

Read full article

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  • rate this

    Comment number 194.

    We need jobs desperately. If that fact is ignored then more and more families will lose thair homes and face social disruption. Nothing causes more social problems than a family which has lost its financial stability. The breakup of the family unit spells total disaster for this country. Who cares which party gets the biggest share of the vote. The people are in dire straits now.

  • rate this

    Comment number 193.

    In UKIP's local New Forest West manifesto was stopping the ridiculous highly subsidised wind farm swindle and being favourable to carbon reduction and power effective nuclear development. .

    This is good sense.

  • rate this

    Comment number 192.

    Did you know that the ethnic and cultural background of Britians small towns and villages is very different from the major urban areas?

    Some people find it surprising that UKIP's vote reflects that bias. . . .. .

  • rate this

    Comment number 191.

    185 Murray - UKIP/Farage is pro-british. Most would think this would be ideal for someone wanting to be british PM.

    As per UKIP manifesto, Immigrants may continue to come where there is real need for their skills, but we are not running an open house.

    No referdum was held before the floodgates opened, so the real question is should we have ever faced this situation without a democratic vote.

  • rate this

    Comment number 190.

    Tories may be worried, but they still have more than twice as many councillors than Labour and 15 more councillors.

    So the question must be why is the Labour recovery so slow? probably because they have no alternative to the cuts agenda, so it's cuts or even more debt. Labour's financial approach is like that of the US, kick the can down the street a bit further.

  • rate this

    Comment number 189.

    The Conservative and Labour's long term in office was awful and now the Lib dems have joined the ranks of them.
    Once in in they are in power they simply don't care what the electorate think.
    So there is only UKIP left to vote for while the majority simply don't bother voting at all.
    Spin,lies,manipulation people see through it and i think the majority are bored of it.

  • rate this

    Comment number 188.

    Neil Hamilton (UKIP) for Chancellor? He is very good at handling money.

  • rate this

    Comment number 187.

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

    Don't be so coy. Its clear from YouGov's polling, the Survation poll, Lord Ashcrofts polling from 2009 and Rallings/Thrasher's analysis, as well as IPSOS/MORI polling going back 30 years; they want immigration seriously reduced.

  • rate this

    Comment number 186.

    Mmm Nick, a real political force? Not really, they won a tiny percentage of seats compared to other parties, and even independents. They may have arrived as a popular force, but as we know numbers of votes cast seldom turn into polictical influence. For example, the SNP dominate Scottish politics but have barely managed to claim 10% of the available Scottish seats at Westminster.

  • rate this

    Comment number 185.

    I wonder how many jobs in Nigel's Kingdom are secured when he openly berates the stupid Belgians, Poles, Germans etc in the European Parliament? When you look outwith the EU, the UK currently exports a disproportionately small amount to our former colony in India. Nigel's anti foreigner rants contribute to students from such countries not coming to the UK and building future relationships.

  • rate this

    Comment number 184.

    'You used to be the funniest Socialist on these blogs.' - Devils Advocate @ 146


    Past tense noted but thank you anyway.

    Little point doing comedy on here these days because real life politics is supplying all the laughs one could possibly want.

    Like, all those people actually voting (!) for Farage and UKIP. That's a joke and a half, that is. Who can possibly compete with that? Not me

  • rate this

    Comment number 183.

    Cameron has lost a lot of dedicated councillors because of his rude, insulting and childish insults about a rival party. UKIP should send thank you notes to him and Clarke for showing voters how pathetic mainstream senior politicians have become.

  • rate this

    Comment number 182.

    I'm not trying to insult anyone - but fact is, I've read UKIP's policies and yes, they are a bunch of clowns. If they ever get any real political power in this country, we will be bankrupt in a week.

  • rate this

    Comment number 181.

    O.K., as one of the many who voted UKIP I think I can fairly state that my vote was no protest nor a vote for "none of the above". I voted UKIP because they represent my views, simple as that. Xenophobic I am not, but I want to be out of the EU before it completely bankrupts the lot of us. The EU is incrementally forcing us to be uncompetitive on the World stage. Trade is our future, not past.

  • rate this

    Comment number 180.

    Someone (Ukip) ? has to take over soon. The dole que gets longer, civil servants, council workers, no real growth, people getting food parcels . The real disappointment is that the level of debt is not improving despite the hardship which the people ( who are after all the country ) are having to go through. Shame on this government.

  • rate this

    Comment number 179.

    Technically I do not think Farage is a "nationalist". Based on his speeches and open public debates surely he is an imperialist. His existing UKIP manifesto pledges the deletion of the elected parliaments in the extremities of his Kingdom. UKIP policy is to reduce devolved democracy in their Kingdom and centralise it (where it is easier to control).

  • rate this

    Comment number 178.

    @ 173
    If the only policy of UKIP that I liked and supported was to disentangle the UK from the EU they would still get my vote. But they do have some other policies which strike me as common sense, such as traditional ways of training nurses, smoking rooms in pubs (I'm a non-smoker), ditching the high-speed rail link and 3rd runway at Heathrow. However, I oppose their stance on Law & Order.

  • rate this

    Comment number 177.

    What the results mean are that Miliband is stuffed. His hopelessly inept performance in a blouson 'hello Sir!' to a man leaning out of a window, has only gone to show what a vacuous, ineffective and charisma free loser he is. The labour party hasn't got a cat in hell's chance. His performance on radio 4...

  • Comment number 176.

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

  • rate this

    Comment number 175.

    The Ukip manifesto doesnt matter as none of the parties ever stick to them anyway.


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