March 2023
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Can UKIP win Westminster seats in 2015?

(Here’s a piece I wrote for the London Evening Standard yesterday)

With Nigel Farage deciding not to fight in the Newark by-election, this has given the three establishment parties yet another stick with which to beat UKIP. And the insults are flying thick and fast.

The main parties are hoping to portray Farage’s decision as cowardice. But for UKIP the Newark by-election was a bear trap. It would have created a massive media circus distracting from UKIP surging into the lead for the May 2014 EU elections. Plus, if Farage had contested the seat and not managed to overturn the huge Conservative majority, the main parties would have been given yet another weapon with which to attack the new upstart contender threatening their grip on power and privilege.

But behind all the heat and bluster about Newark, there seems to be real fear now amongst the main parties that UKIP could actually cause a political earthquake by winning seats at Westminster in the 2015 General Election.

Of course, the British ‘First Past the Post’ system makes it extremely difficult for a new party to break through. But there may be some parliamentary seats where the barrier of ‘First Past the Post’ can be overcome.

Clearly, Tories or Labour or even LibDems are going to be almost invulnerable in any seat where they’re currently getting 50% or more of the vote.

But in any seat where two of the main parties are close, the maths can suddenly turn dramatically in UKIP’s favour. For example, if we take a close marginal like Romsey and Southampton North where the LibDems won almost 44% of the vote, the Conservatives 43% and remaining parties 17%. In such a seat, if UKIP could just take about a quarter of the votes from each of the other parties and encourage a few people, who have given up voting because ‘they’re all the same’, to vote, then they would win the seat with just 30% of the votes. And there are at least sixty five such ‘golden opportunity’ marginal seats spread all around the country.

UKIP’s polling figures keep rising and are now up around 38%. But UKIP could win most of these ‘golden opportunity’ seats with around 30% of the votes in the 2015 General Election. Even if UKIP’s support fell back in 2015 to around 25%, the party could still win about thirty seats at Westminster.

The main parties keep claiming that the EU elections are a distraction and that UKIP voters will abandon UKIP come the 2015 General Election. But the maths suggest that UKIP may be here to stay.

So, can UKIP win Westminster seats in 2015? Yes they can.

And here’s a (possibly over-optimistic) chart produced by some psephologists predicting how many Westminster seats UKIP could win in the 2015 General Election at different levels of the vote (click to see more clearly)


If this is anywhere near accurate, it’s no wonder that corrupt, expenses-thieving, arrogant, self-serving LibLabCon are desperately afraid of UKIP and are doing everything possible to smear their new rival.

1 comment to Can UKIP win Westminster seats in 2015?

  • Paris Claims

    Ukip will no doubt attract support from people who previously have voted for the mainstream parties, however there is a huge untapped mine of potential votes amongst those who have given up voting. The reason for not bothering to vote is generally “they’re all the same, there’s no point” is losing traction as Ukip are (hopefully) different.

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