Could the former TV star be the joker in the pack?
A completely unknown factor in the coming General Election is the impact of Robert Kilroy-Silk, the former Labour MP turned TV presenter turned UKIP MEP and now possibly leader of his own new party.
According to the Guardian’s Backbencher column “…Kilroy’s increasingly desperate search for a political home may be about to come to an end. Having been narrowly rejected by both the English Democrats and the New Party – a tax-cutting, British trucker-loving outfit whose logo depicts five blue people conducting a seance – Kilroy is apparently now hoping to lead a putative party called Veritas, set up by four disaffected members of the New Party’s national executive.”
Until we get a clearer idea of his plans it’s hard to assess the impact – but it’s certain that one or more of the existing parties will be hit in some way. Kilroy-Silk and his group will attract votes from somewhere. There are lots of uanswered questions: Are they going to contest a number of seats and what will be the policy programme.
A populist right-wing grouping appealing to the Cs and Ds could affect all the main parties – syphoning off the protest vote that the LD might have been hoping and eating into the core support of both Labour and the Tories.
An early loser could be UKIP which looks set to suffer by not having their publicity and vote magnet who showed his worth by attracting the most votes for UKIP in the East Midlands region at the Euro Elections. The idea that it could win at least one Westminster seat now looks very remote and the party will not command anything like the same degree of attention.
But how big a figure is Kilroy-Silk? What impact can he have in a General Election campaign?
We’ll know soon enough.