"I don't believe a word he says" - Alexis McEvoy
Nothing seems to sum up these local elections better than the words of Alexis McEvoy, who was writing in the telegraph after her defeat as a Conservative councillor. Understandably, and with exact harmony with most of the country, she pointed out that she cannot trust David Cameron. You just don’t what he is going to do next, and can’t take anything he says seriously.
Yet, these same words could easily be applied to any of the three main political leaders. You have Ed Miliband, the new man at the helm of New Labour, who is yet to actually tell us what he really stands for, Nick Clegg, who is following liberal with the inconsistency of a water butt in the winter, and the Prime Minister himself, who really doesn't understand what his party or country wants.
This top level of politics really is a bit of a mess.
So, what is the general public response to these political classes? They are going to dump them unceremoniously off a cliff. The rise of UKIP, drawing votes from across the political spectrum, is a story of honesty and almost, dare it I say it about a politician, integrity. Even their name simple sums up what they stand for; the ability of Britain to stand on its own two feet, and you can hardly blame people for voting for them.
A lot of UKIP’s policies are a mess, and I couldn’t agree with them less on some key issues, but you have to respect the fact that they have shown the political elite exactly what it means to connect with voters. They have not challenged the status quo is a way that has brought devastating instability, but they have certainly made people wake up and see there is now another choice.
If we look at the people that have been voting for UKIP, we find that it is likely to be those places where there are fewer university graduates, higher religious observance and more elderly people, the sort of voters that have been put off by the failure of the three main political parties.
The Conservatives are attempting to staple liberal measure to their banner, the Lib Dems are positioning themselves at the centre-ground of politics, where there is no room for them, and Labour are desperately casting around for what could be interpreted as a sensible economic policy. Having abandoned the roots of their parties, it is hard to see why they are surprised that they are losing popularity, or, in the case of Labour, not enjoying the success that they promised,.
UKIP are still a protest party, and the main political parties still have the opportunity to do something about them, but it is looking increasingly like a protest might turn into a revolution, like that which was seen with the Reform party in Canada. Hopefully this will be the election when people wake up to what it means to be an ordinary person, with ordinary beliefs.
At least UKIP have a sense of humour.