When UKIP’s Suzanne Evans said we didn’t do well because London was ‘educated, young and diverse’, the liberal establishment seized on her words. They are now spinning the narrative that whilst peasants North of Watford Gap like UKIP, in trendy London, people are far too clever, young and ethnically diverse to fall for UKIP. This is a damaging narrative, and fortunately, completely untrue. Let me dismantle this narrative
UKIP did badly in London….right?
The way the press were talking, London was a graveyard for UKIP. As the London Evening standard boomed on the 27th May “London Rejects UKIP”. This is the opinion of the London elite. You are entitled to your own opinion, but you are not entitled to your own facts. What are the facts? Firstly, UKIP nearly doubled its absolute vote in London between 2009 and 2014, from 188,440 to 371,133. Doubling your vote is hardly a sign of being rejected. This is especially true in light of the fact the demographics of London had spent that five year gap shifting in the exact opposite direction of optimum conditions for UKIP. In terms of share of the vote, UKIP also saw its vote grow in London by a handsome 6% between the two elections. UKIP would have also added an MEP had it not been for the skewing of De Hondt mathematics London-wide by the ‘interesting’ way votes are counted in Tower Hamlets.
London is full of Young people and UKIP don’t do well with the young
London is a young city, and we are told that UKIP struggles with young people. Again, this is part of the establishment desire to insulate themselves from reality. It’s tempting for the establishment to believe that young people reject UKIP. Granted, UKIP doesn’t do too well amongst the young. This is true, but there is something the establishment don’t tell you – so does every other party. Eurobarometer found that just 38% of British under 25 year-olds had voted in an election in the last three years. It would appear that UKIP struggle amongst a portion of the population who don’t vote anyway, which is hardly a knockout blow for UKIP strategists. It’s particularly true when you consider UKIP do well amongst the older voters who actually do vote. So the establishment can hardly slam UKIP for failing amongst the young when their own parties don’t do well amongst them either.
London is full of Educated people and UKIP don’t do well with the educated
We need to be clear here. The Notting Hill elite smirk that educated must mean intelligent. Not necessarily, as anyone who has met a graduate can confirm. Educated in this sense is short hand for you have a degree, and having one gives you options. If you have a Masters in Computer Science, you can work anywhere in the UK with no problem, and earn a good salary. Large percentages of British graduates in London are doing just that. But other people are not so lucky. Not many lads and lasses in Skegness or Blackpool have degrees, and the towns they live in only have one big employer. If that employer prefers cheap foreign labour, then you are out of options. Many of the staff on the fairgrounds, caravan camps and guest houses in these resorts are migrants. It is no accident that UKIP has an unusually strong appeal in seaside towns.
Put bluntly, immigrants to London aren’t competing with educated middle-class graduates. Their attitude, though they would never publically admit it, is that if immigrants are only taking menial jobs from peasants in ghastly Northern towns, why should the left-wing luvvies care? But if the immigrants took jobs that they work in, it would be interesting to see. If immigrants were coming to London to work as left-wing NGOs staff, Guardian columnists or in visual and creative arts companies, and working for only 60% of the salary, you would soon see the attitude to immigration amongst the Notting Hill luvvies soon change. After all, those are our jobs! In America, there has been low level resentment amongst middle-class Americans about immigrants from India and China working in IT for low wages. Maybe if more and more migrants start competing with the luvvies fields of economic activity, we will see changes. UKIP does well with the ‘uneducated’ because people who lack degrees lack options if they are suddenly priced out of jobs by cheap labour. The ‘educated’ don’t suffer wage depression as a result of immigration so are less responsive to immigration-centric campaigns.
London is full of ethnic minorities and UKIP don’t do well with ethnic minorities
Yet another myth from the establishment. They want to paint themselves as being cool and at ease with different ethnicities, whilst UKIP members North of Watford Gap are evil xenophobes who hate change. Yet again, let’s cut through the left-wing luvvies lies and look at the concrete facts. Firstly, though the press tried to downplay it, UKIP actually did better amongst ethnic minorities than the Tories (winning 16% of the BME vote). Worth pointing out is UKIP’s new MEPs. In 2004, every single UKIP MEP was a white, middle-aged man. Just two elections later, they include a Pakistani Muslim, a mixed-race man, a Jewish man, a gay man and seven women. All done without quotas or positive discrimination. By contrast the Greens, the epitome of Notting Hill cosmopolitanism, elected three middle-class whites in the same election. UKIP’s ethnic minority membership, whilst still relatively small, is growing. The party is also reportedly planning a more active BME voter outreach in the coming months, using Stephen Harper’s Canadian model.
In short, London is young, educated and diverse. However, UKIP did not do badly in London, and when you look deeper, the narrative the left use to comfort themselves in the face of the UKIP earthquake isn’t true.