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"Isn't there some statistical analysis that shows that UKIP's votes come from across the spectrum and not just disillusioned Tory voters?"

Damon, there has been remarkably little polling on this issue but in June 2004 The Telegraph commissioned a YouGov poll which addressed ‘Alternative EU Futures’ and analysed the reactions of the self-identified supporters of the 3 main parties (2001 election). I can no longer find the poll results online, but I made an analysis at the time and this is some of the data:

Of the 5 ‘alternative futures’ presented to the poll respondents the first two were broadly europhile (1. Do you believe in a fully integrated Europe; and 2. Are you in favour of the UK adopting the EU Constitution) and the remaining three broadly eurosceptic (3. Do you believe that EU integration has no gone far enough and should go no further?; 4. Do you believe that the EU should be reconstituted as a free trade zone? and 5. Do you want the UK to leave the EU?).

The percentage comparison of europhile to eurosceptic was:

Tory 9:85 (6% don’t knows)
Labour 38:53 (9%)
Lib Dem 41:52 (7%)

So voters of all three parties were more sceptic than ‘phile, the Tories being overwhelmingly so and the Lib Dems only marginally. Even for the Lib Dems, however, the poll found that 34% of Lib Dem voters thought that European integration has gone too far already and either want us out altogether (15%) or to rewind to a free-trade area (19%).

Obviously a sample of only one poll has to treated with some caution, but if we accept these findings it is clear that the hierarchy of each party is not only out of kilter with broad public opinion but with its own voters. It looks like a classic case of the political class finding a middle ground within itself that despises the common ground held by the rest of us.

In response to Richsrd and his question about UKIP MEPs performance:

It was Nigel Farage of UKIP who pointed out in the EP hearings on the new Commissioners that 2 of them had been convicted of fraud. It was Ashley Mote - whom I know well - who has caused the EU more problems over its endemic fraud than any other single MEP. Overall, UKIP and other MEPs - no longer sceptic but certain - do an excellent job in exposing what is going on, not only in the EP but in innumerable meetings across the counrty. I routinely circulate reports of their activities - and, incidentally, know all these MEPs and their motvation - to get out before thise shambles destroys us all.

In addition, from a friend who has lived on the continent for 30 years:


Idris,

I totally agree with your comment at the end of this long list of postings, most of them by Tories whose policy agenda vis-a-vis Europe I must say is based on what I can only described as wishful thinking and above all IGNORANCE of European continental REALITY. What they do not realise is that on the continent there are NO right-wing parties that are not 100% STATIST, that do not favour a deep involvement of the State in the ECONOMY as well as in everything else. Adam Smith has NO followers anywhere South of the channel. Free-market policies are considered anathema by virtually ALL segments of the political spectrum, from the Communist left through the Catholic centre to the Fascist right. It is a different political culture, you could say a different anthropology, from ours.

The only countries where the political culture is such that we could form an "alliance" as these Tories are suggesting, apart from maybe a few new East European countries, are Ireland and Malta, both former colonies of ours! The other historic EU members were all over-run in their day a) by the Holy Inquisition b) by Napoleon c) by Nazism or Fascism, in many cases home-grown. None of these experiences were good training for freedom and democracy.

The political classes of the other EU countries all clearly want full political union, and if that happens we will be swamped and forced to adopt their values, their cultures and their ideas of what is "normal" and "right".

Anyway, even if the Tory policy is to try to "renegotiate" the EU treaties, unless they adopt the POSSIBILITY of leaving the EU by unilateral decision, so as to be able to threaten it unless their demands are met, their negotiating stance will be essentially one not of negotiating, but supplicating, on bended knee. WHAT do all these Tories suggest doing if their demands for renegotiation are met by a curt refusal???

NB The Europol issue: this will be a watershed moment, when (armed) Europol officers step onto our shores, for they will be unlikely to leave quietly and in good order, even if asked to do so by our Parliament, whose authority they will refuse to recognise. What is the Tory policy on this very likely future event?

Torquil

What you Conservatives need to get clear is that the EU has already taken over most of our legislations (which is why Blair only talks about schools and hospitals), and that reform of the EU from within is utterly impossible.

So if you support staying in the EU, you might as well find a new hobby, because you will be serving no purpose.

Far be it from me to dissagree with Idris Francis but surely what the Conservative Party needs to understand is not the EU but the British electorate!
The Tories are seemingly determined to follow the Whiggs into oblivion and are working very hard towards that Common Purpose with the idiotic placemen Vapid Cameron, who in a position of trust drew up a Manifesto for the Tories under Michael Howard merely to use it to engineer his demise and trasdh every point in that manifesto.
Trust Vapid Cameron! - No thank you not even with the speaking clock.
I note already the Tories are moving yet closer to extinction so much so that we note Tory front bench are sent 'e'Mails and text messages giving them 5 minutes to genuflect to the new party policy as they scurry to find where they can hear it being uttered by the Common Purpose placeman. Even the media have appreciated this and no longer refer to the Tory Party Policy announcement it is now a Vapid Cameron speech to announce HIS policy!!
How sad!
I can't see the Tories gaining a single vote by this action in the long run and for every duped new supporter 2 reliable supporters will drop out - not to UKIP but to join the ever increasing army of Tory non voters. LENDING their vote to UKIP in EUropean elections but unwilling to actively vote against the Tories in the increasingly irrelevant Westminster elections.

What a bunch of extremely odd people.2% in the polls probably flatters them.I do not think the Conservative party really needs to take electoral strategy lessons from these weirdos!

Malcolm - look at the European seats that they cost us in 2004. They got around 15 to 20% in most regions. The Conservatives spent much more than the other parties on those elections. People will vote for UKIP if they think that it will make a difference. Don't be complacent!

The arrogant hubris of comments from such as 'Malcolm'represents the underlying problem of the Tory Party that has become so crano rectally retentive that it no longer remembers the smell of coffee.

It is no more than pique, I realise, that leads people like this to insult its own potential voters and perhaps explains why just so many people from the Tories lend UKIP their vote on matters that are of consequence, yet appreciate that now that Westminster is little more than a rubber stamping office of law that is imposed by the supra national EUropean soviet.

I can but assume that hemlock has become the fashion of Tories as they follow the 'white line' to oblivion!

The rush to the centre leaves a lot of the anti-tax, Eurosceptic vote for UKIP to target. UKIP's new chairman is David Campbell-Bannerman, is a former Tory PPC. He is a canny PR man and will exploit that opportunity to the full. If can raise the money, anything is possible.

The puerile self-righteous nonsense spouted above is typical of the lack of strategic and philosophical thinking in our party. Every opponent that can win seats must be taken seriously.

I have noticed a tendency in Malcolm to want to insult and dismiss all those he finds himself in disagreement with. It is interesting that this fascistic tendency appears (to my eyes at least) to be far more prevalent on the so called "left-wing" of the party.

Malcolm also seems to prefer personal abuse and dismissal ("I'm right, you're wrong") to reasoned argument and rationality.

I QUOTE:
>'I do not think the Conservative party really needs to take electoral strategy lessons from these weirdos!'<

Surely the track record of achievement would clear show how wrong this comment is. Clearly the Tories are unable to listen so perhaps it would not be wise to vote for them. With 160+ MPs since 1997 perhaps a listing of the achievement might be apposite prior to such a foolish comment.

Perhaps besides total betrayal of the electorate, in terms of the EU, a listing of the achievements rather than treachery and cost would be apposite. How would one balance the obscene costs caused by Major, who was so generously rewarded, or the unarguable treason of Heath & Ripon as Tories?

Is it that too many Tories are marching to a Common Purpose in the hope of directorships of The Carlysle Group or creation as olygarchs of the New Commune?

It is interesting that in a blinkered view those too stupid to see or even look would wish to paint those who had distanced themselves from such Tory corruption, dishonesty and betrayal - forefend a critic may be a friend looking for improvement in a dying body so that it may pass in peace rather than rally to fall in shame.

At least John and Lance understand.

The problem has been that many of those those who failed, especially under Howard, have remained in their posts at CCHQ.

We now have John "BSE Burger" Gummer in charge of quality of life policy and Ken Clarke in charge of democracy policy. The lessons have not been learned.

How many general elections did Thatcher lose? None - yet we are told by the wets and modernisers that she was awful and nasty.

"At least John and Lance understand."

I feel socially excluded!

Sorry James - you are included too!

That's alright then! I don't need New Labour inspired social services...

But more seriously, I am very concerned by the attitude of a lot of Cameron fans on this blog, who appear to think that driving out the party's right will somehow improve the party's prospects. So much for building a conservative coalition!

Too true! And many could be tempted by the new libertarian UKIP. Purges are always counter-productive and create a motivated faction of opponents.

Regarding the comments above.Perhaps I should not have described as weirdos,in fact those UKIP supporters I have met were generally very nice people although in my opinion misguided.I was however annoyed with the man who thinks it's clever to come on this blog and persistantly call our leader 'Vapid Cameron', I think that's pathetic.
Selsdon,I agree UKIP did well in the Euro election but I think you would agree most people in this country don't take the work of the European parliament at all seriously and are therefore happy to vote for a party they would never dream of voting for in a general election.This probably explains why UKIP performed so abysmally in the General Election.They have done nothing since and their coverage in the media (not just the BBC!) has been negligible as they have little to say outside the European issue.Of course I could be wrong but I would be amazed if they improved on their 2.5% share in the next set of local elections in May.
John Hustings, try to be accurate,I didn't say 'I'm right,you're wrong'.I did say Mrs Thatcher & Churchill were right (about the NHS) and you were wrong.I didn't realise you would think this 'personal abuse'.

UKIP has a deliberately policy of focusing its financial resources on the European elections - the PR list system works to its benefit.

UKIP did perform abysmally last May, hence the appointment of David Campbell-Bannerman and the new strategy. Another factor is the poor performance of Roger Knapman as leader. I understand that he is stepping down in the autumn.

UKIP will perform badly in the next set of local elections but that is not a key target.

The problem for the Conservative Party is that a resurgent UKIP could retain its European seats and cost them more seats at the next general election. That is more important than vote share in 2005 and 2006.

You should note that Mr Cameron has reduced down the areas where powers should be repatriated from Brussels. The EPP debate is a red herring.

"I agree UKIP did well in the Euro election but I think you would agree most people in this country don't take the work of the European parliament at all seriously and are therefore happy to vote for a party they would never dream of voting for in a general election."

I think the point is that people vote for UKIP as a protest vote, and that is as often as not directed against the Conservative Party for not delivering what people want. Rather more people feel able to vote against "their" party in European or Council elections, than do so in general elections (where they either don't vote or revert to type).

It's possible with more dynamic leadership in UKIP, and Conservative leadership that disaffects its own membership, that more people would switch at Euro elections to make their protest, and that more would stick with UKIP or abstain at the general election.

I stand by my nomenclature for the failing Tories and their leader Vapid Cameroon is most apt - perhaps foolish would be more accurate but would over emphasise his position relative to the vapidity of his position. He is prostituting the Tories to the short term.

Imagine putting Clark in charge [near even] a concept of democracy when he is a prime mover for denial of democracy and surrender to control of a foreign and unutterably alien concept of centralised and unarguably corrupt governance in denial of any principles of representative democracy.

Common Purpose in all its evil Aesopian language is marching to the destruction of these United Kingdoms and their total control by 'consultative' democracy through 'focus groups' of 'stakeholders' towards an 'Organised Civil Society' - how awesomely revolting: an ant colony!

The focus groups of stakeholders in the Tory party has decided that looking at those who DID vote for them and have decided that they can afford to lose the principled Tory core vote since it only accounts for at most 10 percent of Tory vote. Yes a vapid decision because it takes NO account of the HUGE voter pool of core voters who have drifted consciously FROM the Tories and are desperate to come back WHEN or more likely IF they get their act together.

Don't worry about how UKIP will do in Westminster elections - they will get no seats in the foreseable future and will find it fatally damaging to try for two reasons - consider how little relevance the Tories are with absolutely NO ACHIEVEMENT since 1997 despite 160+ MPs and as for the Lib.Dims. founded on dishonesty set up by the EU to destroy the centre ground of British politics their irrelevance is now total as Vapid Cameroon and Tiny Blur become increasingly interchangeable.

Imagine the damage UKIP could do itself by getting let us say 15 MPs initially, imagine if they only had one! He or she would be the party spokesman regardless how diabolical or useless they were. Look around the benches and imagine if there was no front bench and the House was run by some of the weaker more cookie back benchers with all but no ability!

Westminster sucess if not clearly planned with some control of the outcome - imagine had UKIP gained ONE MP at the general election and it had been Tom Wise, Michael Natrass, Derek Clark, David Lott, Jim Carver or the like!

We have already seen how small is the competence pool and how rudderless the Lib.Dims. are, where for a long time the sobriety of their leader was not relevant he was clearly head and shoulders above the rest of the fractured clique! Where is the ability beyond some 3, 4 maybe 5 people in The Blair Party and it is clear why Vapid Cameroon has been so elevated - just look at the rest!

It is not UKIP that the Tories need to address they are not the enemy, they are the Tory party on matters of sovereignty and democracy. They are your conscience as you prostitute your values in a vapid charge for power at the expense of principle and intelligence.

The greatest threat to the Tory Party are those in the Tory Party who have clearly decided to prostitute the party and put Party before principle. The Tories are a spent force under Vapid Cameron as already the Tory Party is taking a back seat to the pronouncements of New Controlled Puppet Man Vapid Cameroon a deeply unimpressive leader with 'no bottom' merely a cardboard cut out behind which these United Kingdoms can be further dismantled.

UKIP is no threat to the Tories at Westminster because the Tories are providing their own enemy and their own route to oblivion. UKIP may be quaintly naive in political terms but it is only a lunatic fringe who see Westminster seats as MPs as the route to GET BRITAIN BACK - MPs are clearly irrelevant now that every single department of the Civil Service is in fact answerable through common purpose to the EU and the clear majority of Law enacted in Parliament is carried out on the nod and rubber stamped FOR the EU.

Please don't waste time peddling the myth that the EU can be changed it is irresponsible to emulate Ken Clarke and not bother reading Treaties you sign. Read first EUropeaische Wirschaft Gemeinschaft of 1942 to understand The Treaty of Rome and read The Franco German Treaty of Elysee to underastand how the axis control of the EU is managed.

The EU is unreformable - Read Time magazine of March 16th. 1942 and many other publications of that period. Do not claim it was intended to be a Trade Agreement read The Times front page of 1953 Coronation week on the day the ascent of Everest by Tenzing Norgay and Edmund Hillary was announced.

I suggest the Tories wake up and dump Vapid Cameroon rapidly, extract their heads, smell the coffee and start to fight to get my vote back as the closest they come to that is The Cornerstone Group and even they are timid due to the corruption of the whips.

To win the next General Election is easy for the Tories but the way they are going they are doomed to fail as a party - though I concede Vapid Cameroon may well get elected as Prime Minister but of a rabble of intellectual and moral whores who have sold out principle.

Greg has something of a point. The Tory Party is keeping in with the Telegraph and (especially) the Sunday Telegraph. These - formerly "right wing papers" - are doing their best to alienate and thus discard their core readers, while vainly attempting to attract a larger audience of new readers.

Something similar is happening with the Church of England which, like the Conservative Party, is trying to re-invent itself to attract new recruits and thereby alienating their core constituencies.

As a result, more and more people are feeling disfranchised and unrepresented. Not a healthy situation. But hey! Who cares? They're only voters.

The parallel with the Church of England is apt. Like the Conservative Party it is controlled by a small self-appointed liberal elite which ignores and despises the views of its general membership and exercises power through a complex system of bureaucracy and patronage which ensures that dissidents are persecuted and marginalised. The turning point for the Chruch of England was the ordination of women to the priesthood in 1992; for the Conservative Party it was the fall of Margaret Thatcher in 1990. Millions of loyal Conservatives and Anglicans are now alienated and disenfranchised from institutions to which they have always given their faithful support.

On the contrary Richard, Greg post is a fine example of why UKIP is regarded at best as a protest vote party.
I can just imagine millions of voters reading a Time magazine of 1942 or The Times in 1953(I always thought pre 1966 The Times front page was just Ads)to check the real purpose of the EU.A reality check is needed.
To call people like Liam Fox,Oliver Letwin,William Hague and David Willets ' a rabble of intellectual and moral whores' is not only offensive but also complete and utter rubbish

As ever: poor Malcolm has not only completely missed the point but fails to realise it!

A perfect NEW Tory.

Millions of people drive cars down a motorway but as provenance that the road is properly constructed it is wise to see if the engineer is qualified!

I do not seek to confuse the Malcolms of this world - the cannon fodder or even middle England's voters and I wouldn't wish to ride the Clapham omnibus for fear of New Labour and Ron Davis!

I cite the various sources and referrences that naturally Ken Clarke and the Malcolms of this world will not have read to establish that I base my comments not on fluffy feelings and fashionable focus groups but on fact - perhaps Malcolm might care to check with Oliver Letwin or William Hague - when would he wish to organise the debate with Liam Fox or David Willets?

A measure of the calibre of those he names is their understanding of the amount one can change the EU. Perhaps Oliver might care to acknowledge from whence and how soon he and Bernard Jenkin were aware of the LIES of Tiny Blur in the September relative to WMDs and delivery.

Perhaps awareness would help the Tories and they might care to find the source of exposure of Tiny Blur's lies on the Drowning Street web site and the collusion in lies relative to taking Britain to war - where were the Tories? In fact where have they been since the shame days of Major?

It is the responsibility of the informed to LEAD - crano rectal retention and the prostituting of principle is not an option - the aim is NOT to get POWER at ALL cost to do so is merely to prostitute oneself intellectually and morally and if you believe that this is what Liam, Oliver, William and David are doing far be it from me to argue with you, you imply you are well informed!

I must admit I am surprised that William is riding this particular policy as I do believe that he at least has understood the EU rather better and I had not felt he would so liberally dispense with principle.

"John Hustings, try to be accurate,I didn't say 'I'm right,you're wrong'.I did say Mrs Thatcher & Churchill were right (about the NHS) and you were wrong"

And you are placing yourself on the side of Churchill and Thatcher. I don't really see the difference. It's still not a method of argument.

Just citing a famous name and saying what they (supposedly) thought is not much of an argument.

But your tone is extremely dismissive all the same.

(By the way, it's extremely contentious to cite what a politician says while they are in office as their own personal view, since -- as you must know -- much of what is said by politicians is said for the sake of expediency, not out of conviction. And even *if* Mrs Thatcher honestly believed the NHS was the best system in the 1980's (I am dubious), that does not mean that she will think that way indefinitely. Ditto with Churchill. Unless you could resurrect Churchill and ask his views apropos of the HHS today, it's rather unfair to cite his opinion as if it applied to the current system. Churchill only had experience of the NHS before it became the utter disaster it is today.)

"I didn't realise you would think this 'personal abuse'. "

I didn't think it personal abuse. I *did* see it as as embodying a kind of moral haughtiness typical of left-wing people ("even if the facts are not on my side, at least I am on the side of virtue" -- that type of thing). It was also extremely dismissive and unthinkingly ideological.

I also sensed on many occasions during our little debate that, rather than wishing to enter into a rational argument on the merits of the NHS, you sought to personalise it as much as possible ("it's just as well the party is a broad church" or, "I hope you don't campaign with views such as this").

But when I talked about "personal abuse" I was talking about your reference to "a bunch of weirdos" (not me). And that is not the *only* time I've noticed you using such sneering language about those who have the temerity to post on this site with views different to your own.

The point I am making is that it is not the *right-wing* posters on this site who are trying to purge the party of alternative views. It is the left-wing.

Just came back on here for a quick visit to discover lots of posts gone awol - seems like cameronhome.com are doing a Nu-Lab with anything that is even slightly off-message.
To answer whoever it was who made the comments about the mixed metaphors - this was deliberate - it is about the mixed metaphor that is the conservatives in curtisland. I am not surprised that they just didn't get it, this sums up the conservatives in a nutshell.

UKIP will rise, as the Tories will sell out to liberals.

UKIP will rise, as the Tories will sell out to liberals.

UKIP will rise, as the Tories will sell out to liberals.

UKIP will rise, as the Tories will sell out to liberals.

"UKIP will rise, as the Tories will sell out to liberals." - Cyburn

You're right. Hot air does rise.

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