The big challenge now for UKIP: Securing enough votes in single seats well in excess of anything its achieved before

June 9th, 2014

Getting even a single MP might be beyond the purples

There’s been lots of betting interest since EP14 and Newark over what UKIP will do at GE15. Will this be the election when the party that won the Euros actually gets it first MP or MPs?

We’ve been over this many times but it is hard ask for Farage’s team to get enough votes in at least one of the 650 seats that puts them over the line. As we all know Westminster seats are decided by first past the post.

    To put it into context. The lowest vote share achieved by a winning candidate at GE10 was the 29.4% for the LD Simon Wright in Norwich South. The biggest percentage that UKIP has ever chalked up in any Westminster seat, was the 27.8% at Eastleigh back in February 2013.

We are told that UKIP, aware of the problem, is trying to find its own Norwich Souths where high vote shares won’t be needed and victory might be possible with, say, 30-33%. In seats like this two or even three of the main Westminster parties would slugging it out. A danger for the purples is that a rallying cry for their opponents in targets seats will be “we are the only party that can stop UKIP” in an effort to win over tactical votes.

Given all the media attention that the leader gets Farage, himself, would appear to have one of the best chances and he’s expected to announce shortly where he plans to stand.

In a bet placed in May 2013 I’m on UKIP at 8/1 to win at least one seat In a bet placed with Hills and reported here in March 2013 I got 8/1 on UKIP securing more than one MP at GE15. I’m not confident that it’s a winner.

Mike Smithson

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