Tuesday, 28 February 2017

The End for UKIP?

by Henry Percival

Recently, things haven’t been going well for UKIP. They won a single seat in the 2015 General Election, Nigel Farage resigned, rejoined and then resigned again. Dianne James ruled the party for 18 days and only just last week Paul Nuttall lost out on a chance to become an MP in the Stoke-on-Trent by election.

The defeat in the by election was quite a significant one from a political point of view. UKIP placed as 2nd favourites to win the election by bookmakers. This is due to Stoke-on-Trent having one of the highest ‘leave’ percentage for constituencies across the UK in the EU referendum last year. Almost 70% of people voted ‘leave’. With this in mind, many people, including myself, expected UKIP to win the seat. Then when it was announced that their leader, Paul Nuttall was going to stand I thought that they had every possible chance of winning. 

This wasn’t to be however, with Labour’s Gareth Snell winning the by-election and taking the seat in House of Commons. The result continued the streak that UKIP have never had a leader in the House of Commons. Following the result of the by election, Nuttall decided to jet off on holiday, missing an interview with Andrew Marr. At the moment, the only way that Paul Nuttall can get into the House of Commons is if he goes on a tour of Parliament - once he’s back from his vacation that is.  

Another problem for UKIP is that they haven’t really got much to stand for now. Their main ideology is Euroscepticism. One of the main reasons for the recent EU referendum is due to the work of UKIP. But with the result of the referendum going UKIP’s way, what can they campaign for now? Could they become the United Kingdom Party? To me that sounds like another BNP type party and we don’t really need or want another one of those. Well UKIP have answered this question. When Paul Nuttall was elected as the new party leader, he said that he wanted UKIP to become the new party of the working class. This was a clever move from Nuttall considering the disarray that surrounds the Labour party at the moment.

Finally in more recent days, Nigel Farage has said that the party is in open civil war and that they should throw out their only MP, Douglas Carswell. This is following leaks of emails sent by Carswell, mocking Farage. Farage has since stated that since he first joined UKIP, he [Carswell] has “sought to split and divide UKIP in every way imaginable”. He called on leader Paul Nuttall to sack him. Farage also believes “ there is little future for UKIP with him [Carswell]  staying inside this party. The time for him to go is now.” For the time being however, Carswell is the only UKIP member of Parliament. Something that Farage never achieved might I add.

Who knows what the future holds for UKIP? Only time can tell.

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