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, Political editor Article written by Nick Robinson Nick Robinson Political editor

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  • rate this
    -16

    Comment number 163.

    UKIP has just made racism acceptable.

  • rate this
    -14

    Comment number 42.

    Midterm blues,we have seen this many times before.UKIP's day in the sun will quickly fade. Keep a perspective on the vision of a Britain with a Conservative majority, of fiscal responsibility, not the madness of Labour borrowing until it squeaks. The Lib Dems have always been the epitome of the bleeding hearts and have failed in Government, they do not have the guts to make tough decisions.

  • 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

  • rate this
    -10

    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
    -9

    Comment number 247.

    Facts about Farage:
    - Son of wealthy stock broker who also went to public school
    - Earns 92000 euros a year as MEP, not including the extra money he is paid for being on Committees.
    -On Fisheries Committee and accepts salary, but has not shown up to a meeting in over 3.5 years!
    -In European Parliament sits with parties which have repeatedly been accused of being racist.

 

Comments 5 of 294

 

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