GRAPHS: Labour 20 Points Clear in Key Marginals

Two more Survation polls on key marginals out this morning. If the trends in the three constituencies polled so far turn out to be representative, it is pretty clear what the consequences are for the Tories. In Great Grimsby Labour are 20 points clear, as UKIP rise to second place on 22%:

In Dudley North Labour have another 20 point lead, with the Tories down 12% on 2010 and the LibDems on 2%, almost competely wiped out. UKIP are up on 23%.

More worryingly for the Tories, 70 percent of UKIP voters say they did not vote Tory in 2010. So they are aren’t exactly going to come home. The UKIP effect on 2015 is becoming ever clearer…

WATCH: UKIP Rap (If You Dare)

Via @davidcoburnukip

UKIP on 30% in South Thanet

Retiring Tory MP Laura Sandys was well-liked in parliament but an arch-Europhile and a dripping wet, so South Thanet always offered potential for Farage. Now she is standing down there is no incumbency factor either, and a seat-specific poll from Survation has the Tories down 20 points in third place on 28%.

Labour are up in first in 35%, though it is UKIP’s 24 point increase to 30%, just 5 points behind Labour, that is interesting. Arguably most worryingly for Cameron, 78% of UKIP voters said they wouldn’t vote Tory even if there was no UKIP candidate and 52% said they did not care if Miliband became PM. Voting purple puts red in, and the Tories are so far completely failing to convince voters of the consequences…

Via Survation and Mike Smithson.

Ex-UKIP MEP's Missing Money Mystery

West Midlands MEP Nikki Sinclaire has been taking full advantage of the media limelight ahead of her new book coming out. But has she said too much? The Times reports:

“She claims to work 70-hour weeks and pointed out that she has donated £120,000 of her own money to her party since 2009. Last year, however, she was arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to defraud the European Parliament, allegations she denies, and remains on bail.”

£120,000 donated to her party, she says. Well according to the latest Electoral Commission figures, Sinclaire has made five donations since 2009, totalling just £28,583.61. That money went to UKIP, of which she was still a member, and the ‘Solihull and Meriden Residents Association’, which is itself registered as a political party. What about the other £90,000?

Perhaps the accounts of Sinclaire’s breakaway party, ‘We Demand A Referendum Now’, will clear things up? Up until December 2012, the latest accounts available, the party had total donations of a mere £566.56. Indeed that was the total income of the party for that financial year. The Electoral Commission website meanwhile says the party has never received any registrable donations. Guido is sure there is a perfectly innocent explanation, but where is the missing £90,000? Very odd…

UPDATE: Nikki’s office gets in touch, claiming that the £120,000 figure is what she calls a “subsidy” rather than a donation:

“Ms Sinclaire was misreported in The Times, something that has been discussed with the reporter in question, Lucy Fisher, who is issuing a correction. Ms Sinclaire told Ms Fisher that she subsidises her work to the tune of £120,000. In terms of her work, this £120,000 was audited as article 28, permissible expenditure by the EU.” 

A UKIP Policy We Can All Support

Meet Caroline Jones, in the running as a UKIP MEP candidate for Wales. A bubbly character, Caroline really wants your vote, though this unfortunate typo in her personal manifesto perhaps betrays her true motive of wanting the Brussels high life:

The only way to do it.

Vote… Ukig?

You’ve got to applaud the originality of this group of excommunicated UKIP councillors. Booted out by the party for apparently blowing the whistle on the party’s selection process, Chris Pain and pals have set up the United Kingdom Independence Group, or Ukig. The original UKIP are taking the whole thing well by responding with legal action. Still, you haven’t matured as a party until you have your very own breakaway group…

Westminster's Longest Serving Press Officer Departs

He’s had the hardest jobs in politics for a decade but now UKIP head of press Gawain Towler is heading back to Brussels. He will also stand for election in 2014. Putting out fires since most other spinners were still at school, Towler dealt with fruitcakes, loonies and Nigel Farage on a daily basis for years. Westminster will be darker without his signature red trousers, and farewell to the cravat/bowler hat/tweed look. Towler was of course the face of UKIP’s “For Him” clothing range that included the dressing gown above.

Guido hopes internal politics are not at play here.

Farage and co are vulnerable without him.

Pro-EU Group British Influence’s UKIP Charity Stitch Up Party Demand Charity Commission Investigates

The cross-party pro-EU group “British Influence” – backed by Danny Alexander, Kenneth Clarke and Peter Mandelson – has written privately to a charity to ask for their help campaigning against UKIP in the European elections next year. That despite campaign director Joe Coney knowing this to be a breach of strict laws against charities getting involved in party politics. He wrote “We realise that your charity status means that” – as a charity you – “can’t campaign…”.

As Guido revealed in yesterday’s Sun on Sunday, inevitably the email leaked to UKIP and now party chairman Steve Crowther has asked the Charity Commission to investigate. All British Influence will say is that “This was just a clumsily-worded email”.

Godfrey Who?

It’s like that UKIP conference awkwardness never happened judging by last night’s council by-election results. Their vote held strong, coming in at 22% in St. James on Tendring and 32% in Storrington on West Sussex. Up north they polled 25% in Barnsley, which is worth noting considering they didn’t even run a candidate last time round. The big result of the night came from Crockenhill and Well Hill on Sevenoaks, where UKIP’s Steve Lindsay gained the seat from Labour.

UKIP are forever banging on about how their vote is not just made up of disaffected right-wingers, but Labour supporters and voters in the north. Last night they held strong in the south, improved in the north and gained a seat from Labour. Where the Tories held seats they did so with a reduced vote share. Maybe they have a point…

Godfrey Bloom Quits UKIP


Godders has quit the party and announced he will stand as an independent:

“I have felt for some time now that the ‘New UKIP’ is not really right for me any more, perhaps, than New Labour was right for the Denis ‘The beast of Bolsover’ Skinner. However our message is clear. Self- government. Our wonderful and loyal membership will win through with their dedication and hard work. It has been a pleasure to work with them for 15 years. May I take this opportunity to express my sincere thanks to the thousands of people who have supported me with messages of goodwill in the recent months and particularly in recent days. There have been simply too many to make a personal response. I shall sit out my term as an independent and give my wholehearted support to Jane Collins, who is almost certainly going to be the next UKIP MEP. I shall of course retain my membership. Onwards and upwards!”

Now he’s free to speak his mind guess we’ll find out what he really thinks…

UPDATE: Nigel Farage responds:

“Whilst it’s very sad that it has come to the point that Godfrey is no longer an MEP for UKIP, he has made the right decision. He has been a hardworking and loyal MEP for UKIP, however as the party professionalizes and becomes a far more disciplined machine Godfrey has decided he no longer fits in. He is still privately a member of UKIP but will sit as an independent MEP and will no longer be spokesman for the party. I of course wish him well as does the party at large.”

A Sign From God-frey

As Farage announces he will be urging UKIP to suspend the whip from Godfrey Bloom, the truck driving past said it all…

WATCH: Godfrey Bloom Hits Michael Crick on Head

Godfrey Bloom’s UKIP women fringe was always going to eventful. Kicking off by declaring “this place is full of sluts”, when picked up on the comment by a hack told him “you’re a sad little man”. Bloom then got Crick’d, who asked why there were only white faces on this year’s conference programme.

24 interviews in 24 hours and Farage still isn’t the main story…

UPDATE: Farage responds: “hitting Michael Crick over the head? Tempting.”

Sweaty Farage Speech Reaction Round-Up

Not his best speech then.

UKIP Conference: It’ll Be All White on the Night

Via @wallaceme
[…] Read the rest


Bonkers Barroso: It’s EU or War

Who could have guessed Jose Manuel Barroso’s State of the European Union address would turn out to be a rant against Eurosceptics and Tories. Former communist Barroso reckons a Tory can never be President of the European Commission. As European Conservatives and Reformists leader Mark Callanan says: “a bit rich coming from an unelected bureaucrat”.[…] Read the rest


UKIP Candidate Guilty of Electoral Fraud

Hugh Mennie, who ran to be a councillor in Cambridge in May, has confessed to forging three of the eight signatures on his nomination form. His lawyer managed to come up with possibly the worst ever excuse for trying to rig an election in mitigation:

“He was running out of time to submit the form.

[…] Read the rest


Coulson: Kill UKIP

Just what Dave needs. His old pal Andy Coulson is back again, making the second of a series of interventions in GQ magazine. This time he is offering his wisdom on the Tories’ UKIP problem:

“UKIP has become a club for disgruntled, invariably older Tories fed up with the leadership’s attitude mostly, although not entirely, towards Europe.

[…] Read the rest


UKIP MEP Candidate Says Support Assad

The award for the stupidest comment of the day goes to UKIP’s MEP candidate for Northern Ireland, Henry Reilly, in this now deleted tweet:

Psycho-analytic screening for candidates went well then…[…] Read the rest


Former UKIP Deputy Leader’s Case Against Party Dismissed

Some good news for UKIP regarding their internal squabbles at last. Guido hears Mike Nattrass, their former chairman and deputy leader who took them to court over not being selected as an MEP candidate, has had his application dismissed. Judge Purle QC ruled that the process was fair, designed to be fair, and that there was no evidence the rules had been broken.[…] Read the rest


WATCH: Farage on Syria

Only one leader coming out against intervention so far. Nigel Farage asks whose side we are on, whether firing cruise missiles into Damascus will make anything better and why we should trust the government when they say there is “no doubt” Assad is responsible.[…] Read the rest


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