This is a special edition of our “Letters”, in the wake of the GE. The three letters published today are all looking at various aspects of the result of the voting on Thursday. The first letter is by our Associate Editor Gary Conway:
Since election night many in the media, and even Nigel Farage, have been saying that “Kippers voted Corbyn”. I refuse to accept this narrative.
Pundits have seen a drop in UKIP’s vote, a rise in Labour’s, put 2+2 together and made 5.
As we know, UKIP had 3.8 million voters in 2015.
On Thursday, the Tories got an extra 2.3 million votes. Now unless anyone is seriously claiming they came from the Lib Dems, Greens or were young, first time voters so enthused by the Tory’s campaign that they just had to register and vote for Theresa May, it’s reasonable to assume that 2.3 million were UKIP in 2015.
UKIP themselves got 600k votes. Again, reasonable to assume all these voted UKIP in 2015.
So that’s 2.9million of the 3.8million 2015 UKIP voters accounted for.
Many 2015 Kippers won’t have voted at all, not least because there was no UKIP candidate in 250+ seats. Some will have disengaged, thinking (wrongly) the Brexit battle was over.
A small number will have gone to Labour where they fielded a true Brexiteer candidate, for example Kate Hoey in Hammersmith. In the great scheme of things, not a huge number.
Not only do the numbers not support the narrative that UKIP voters moved in large numbers to vote Corbyn, the theory itself is laughable. We’re being asked to believe that UKIP voters would back the unpatriotic, terrorist sympathising, non-national anthem singing, hard left Marxist Corbyn. If they were OK with any of that, they wouldn’t have voted UKIP in the first place.
The reality is that 2015 UKIP voters switched en masse to the Tories. Many holding their noses while they did so. Had they not done so, the Tory offer was so weak that we would now have a Corbyn government.
UKIP voters saved the UK. Once again.
Respectfully, Gary Conway
The following letter comes from our contributor and reader Cllr Paul Foyster:
Alan Piper is right, even when you demonstrate very clearly that you are not racist or somehow nasty, large number of the public still believe UKIP is extreme right wing and unsavoury. The Establishment did a real job on us, helped by a small number of our supporters. Many members find this embarrassing and difficult to live with, it costs us a huge number of votes and may end up destroying the party.
That’s why it’s so important to be careful when dealing with militant Islam. Like it or not PC is now deeply entrenched in the national conscience, especially amongst the young. We must be fair and seen as fair and and not to have knee jerk reactions to Isis and similar attacks. Candles and toys may not help but neither does Muslim bashing. The problem needs addressing but whatever we do to combat terrorism must be be reasonable. Somehow we need to make decent Muslims do much more to stamp out extremism in their own communities and to try harder to join ours. Proper border control would be a great help, if we ever get it now.
I hope Nigel will stand for leader again but that alone will not save us. The organisation at the top is very poor, inflexible and bad at responding quickly to problems. We had too many carpetbaggers, useless paid hangers-on and big egos. Whilst many have now left for other parties to further their careers, it something we must avoid in future.
May made a ghastly mistake in calling the election and failed to apologise for the damage she caused. The subsequent watering down of Brexit that will follow offers a new chance for UKIP, as will the inevitable infighting in the old parties that will follow the election result.
Labour’s gains resulted from attempts to bribe people with non existent money, for example who would not vote for free university education? Tory arrogance and belief that they would scoop up UKIP votes and the deep chaos in UKIP post referendum also helped a lot. It’s a long time since we were a Conservative splinter group and I believe about half of our supporters voted Labour this time, in my constituency I know they did.
Yet again UKIP are in limbo with members waiting to see what happens next, we were told the way forward would be revealed at the conference, we certainly can’t wait longer than that, there will be another election soon. Too many members are now wondering if it’s worth bothering with UKIP. My message to the leadership, including Nigel, get moving quickly, produce a balanced plan we can all follow that’s not just about the EU or Islam, do much more to support local government candidates and sitting councillors (few of us can get to London and we are on the sharp end of the public misapprehension) and do all you can to promote party unity. This is the last chance for UKIP.
Respectfully, Paul Foyster. UKIP Branch Chairman and District Councillor.
The last letter is by our reader Roger Arthur:
As UKIP candidate for Horsham, I was the only one of seven PCs who voted to leave the EU, thereby representing over 20,000 who did the same. In 2015 the sitting Tory Remainer got a majority of over 26,000 over my 8,000 votes. (I was one of around 120 UKIP PCs who came second.)
This time there was no chance of letting Lab, Lib or Green in, even if the leavers who voted for me in 2015, did the same again. By doing that they might have warned the Tory Remainer against backsliding on Brexit. But they didn’t.
Instead they increased his majority by several 1,000 votes, while I lost my deposit. So at the next General Election they will depend on him totally, because I shall not be risking my deposit a second time.
UKIP was an insurance policy but, as in many other constituencies, with a big Tory majority, voters have failed to pay the premium, leaving them with no insurance against backsliding. Mr Juncker will be delighted.
Respectfully, Roger J. Arthur