Tuesday, 18 November 2014
The Ukip delusion
Some interesting findings here from the Ashcroft Poll. The only thing more unpopular than Farage is Clegg and Clegg's numbers are improving. It may be that in the age of four or five party politics this index is a more reliable indicator of overall sentiment.
L.Ron Farage is riding high within the cult but their own personal estimation of him does not, as they imply, transpose to the rest of the public. There is a gulf between reality and the view from the Ukip bunker. I think this demonstrates quite clearly why Ukip shouldn't be let anywhere near a referendum campaign.
Not that this will send any signals to Ukip who can only see in terms of the immediate polling objective, unaware that their success is an independent variable to EU sentiment. So what you can expect is for them to win Rochester hands down and be even more insufferably awful in the public sphere and further beyond the reach of reason than every they were. The message they will take is "steady as she goes". Having learned no lessons and shut themselves off from criticism, they're in for a shock when they finally collide with reality.
While nothing seems to dent Ukip in any big way, a number of factors they lack the self-awareness to acknowledge will be eating away at the base of the cliff. And like coastal erosion, eventually the forces of nature will have their way. With Lunchtime O'Flynn and Raheem Kassam steering the Ukip ship, there's a certain inevitability to it. It won't be any big blunder that will hurt them. But over time, they're painting a picture of a rootless party that doesn't know what it wants. It is this that will feed back into public sentiment more than anything and the steady drip of unforced errors will be their undoing.