Saturday, 23 February 2013

UKIP: The Never Ending Problem

UKIP is an interesting idea. It is a party that started off with one issue, British Independence, and then built a whole range of policies around it. They think of themselves as the new conservatives, serving the need the mainstream have failed to represent, being radical in the face of apathy.

Yet the defection of their last female MEP has hit the party hard. She has accused Nigel Farage of being a "Stalinist" and "anti-women", which is not exactly the image that the party has been going for. By choosing to side with the Conservative party, which has its own set of problems at the moment, she is illuminating the problem that UKIP is just a Tory split in disguise.

It started off as a eurosceptic alternative to Labour and the Conservatives, but has become more of a refuge for the defectors who are unhappy with Cameron, rather than a new cutting edge party. The reason it exists is so that people can vote Conservative without actually having to vote for Cameron. By moving the other way, Marta Andreasen has shown that if a Conservative leader can properly pull the party together, then UKIP are toast.

Marta Andreasen was drawn to the Conservatives because of Cameron being more less of a bully than Farage. Many do not agree with her, but when Cameron's successor takes over, since his time at the helm seems to be limited, they are likely to be someone who focuses on uniting the party. This will mean better management and understanding of members wishing, as well as an appeal to the traditional votes. Suddenly the defectors will return, and UKIP will be the one who's members are slowly fading away.

In order to ride the wave of dissatisfaction with the Tories, UKIP tried to become the new centre-right party, but must eventually face  the Conservative machine fighting back.  They are at risk of falling as fast as they have risen, and have to become more innovative and unique if they are going to survive.

They need to make sure that they have a competent leader, who is not pushing women away from the party, before they do anything else, however.

No comments:

Post a Comment