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They’re saying they want to get it to number one…
As this video of Michael Gove wandering through James Delingpole’s garden went viral yesterday, Guido wondered if James, who joined UKIP but then failed to pass the party’s selection process, might be heading home to the Tories. He certainly seems to be enjoying Owen Paterson’s return to the limelight, and his tweets on UKIP have been very critical of late:
The way UKIP is playing the left's outrage game over Lord Freud makes me want to resign my membership.
— James Delingpole (@JamesDelingpole) October 16, 2014
He tells Guido:
“It’s a great rumour. I think where UKIP and Conservatives are concerned I’m going to remain bisexual. Basically, I f**king hate politics.”
Having it both ways…
Night of the long knife for UKIP in Thurrock? Following their council defeat last night, the party has announced that their parliamentary candidate in South Basildon and East Thurrock has been deselected. Kerry Smith told his local paper he is “in the dark” about the decision, which a UKIP spokesperson says is an “internal matter”. A UKIP source tells Guido they do not have a big name lined up to replace him, rather that Smith “was not the right man” to fight the seat. Curiouser and curiouser…
UPDATE: Smith tells Guido:
“Obviously they are covering up what they’ve got planned. If I was a bad boy they would have put something in writing. I really don’t know. If you’re going to hang someone out to dry you would have the cross ready made.”
UKIP have been given a wake up call in Thurrock, losing heavily to Labour in a council by-election last night. Despite constituency polling putting UKIP’s parliamentary candidate Tim Aker in first place in the seat, Labour won West Thurrock and South Stifford by a thumping 50% to UKIP’s 35%. Thurrock is right up there among UKIP’s top target seats, where incumbent Tory MP Jackie Doyle-Price has a majority of 92 and the Labour candidate, carpet-bagging former SpAd Polly Billington, is struggling to make an impact. UKIP should have won Heywood and Middleton but fell 600 votes short because they just didn’t have the resources on the ground. At every test so far, UKIP’s field operation has been their biggest weakness and the old parties will be clinging to that next year. If the promised earthquake is to happen in May, they need to get their act together and start spending big bucks on their campaign infrastructure.
UPDATE: UKIP sources say Labour were so scared there were shadow cabinet ministers out in Thurrock campaigning for a council by-election.
An oriental co-conspirator points out that PUKI is Filipino for vagina…
Sobering polling for the Tories from Lord Ashcroft today, who has a snapshot of voting intentions in ten Tory-held marginals with Labour currently in second place (plus Corby, which went Labour mid-term). Nine of the eleven are Labour gains. Ashcroft concludes “swings to Labour appear to be related to the UKIP presence”, finding:
“UKIP could hamper Labour in Tory-held target seats by diverting voters who might otherwise switch straight from blue to red – though the evidence so far is that this effect is not yet strong enough in these seats to counteract the erosion of the Tory vote.”
No doubt Conservative Party internal polling will show a Conservative overall majority #comfortpolling
— Lord Ashcroft (@LordAshcroft) October 16, 2014
28% of UKIP voters polled say they’d prefer a Labour government, 35% want a Tory win…
UKIP’s first elected MP used his PMQ to call on David Cameron to keep his promise on a “real” Recall Bill. The Tories had been encouraged to not barrack Douglas Carswell out of respect for the people of Clacton. “I look forward to having them in the House of Commons,” said Dave. Talking about debates on Recall rather than UKIP MPs…
Incoming kitchen sink. The Tories are offering a massive choice to the people of Rochester: which Kent(ish) female councillor would you like to be their candidate?
“Kelly Tolhurst is a life-long resident of Medway and was elected to the council in 2011. She is the cabinet member for school improvement. She now runs her own marine survey business in Rochester and has served as a local councillor for over three years. In a statement, the Conservative association said she had “seen the strain that excessive immigration has put on housing and our local services.” Anna Firth lives in Sevenoaks with her husband and three children and was brought up in Essex. Formerly a barrister, she now serves on the Sevenoaks council. She was shortlisted for the Thanet South constituency but lost out to Craig Mackinlay. She is a governor of Tonbridge Grammar School for Girls.”
While every voter in the seat will be invited to take part, the pool is somewhat limited. Labour already have a female candidate in place and knocking on doors.
Dates for your diary:
October 23 – candidate announced.
November 20 – polling day.
November 21 – panic stations for someone.
UKIP remain bookies’ favourite but plenty of time for the wheels to come off…
A cursory nod from the Tory chief as UKIP’s first elected MP is sworn in…
Tory MP Tells Leftie Jon Snow to Retire | Guardian
Russell Brand’s New Book “Sub-Undergraduate Dross” | Telegraph
Tory MP Barrister Represents Monaco Billionaire | Scrapbook
MOBO Singers Slam UKIP | ITV
Could UKIP Keep Britain in the EU? | Iain Martin
Why Piketty is Wrong | ConHome
Guido Whips Politicians Into Shape | Guardian
Milburn Levelling Down | Kathy Gyngell
Crosby and Carswell Make Friends at Guido’s Dinner | Mail
Mrs Danczuk Beats Mensch to Win Guido | Telegaph
PM Congratulates Blogger Who Destroyed Minister | Mail
Rob Colvile reviews Russell Brand’s new book:
“Oddly, the person I feel sorriest for isn’t Brand himself – although he certainly comes across as a rather pitiable figure, projecting his own brokenness on to the world around him – but Johann Hari. Drummed out of Fleet Street for plagiarism, the former Independent columnist has washed up as “my mate Johann, who’s been doing research for this book”. For a genuinely talented polemicist, it would have been a humbling experience to have to treat this sub-undergraduate dross as the scintillating wisdom of a philosopher-king.”