Has the UKIP bubble finally burst?

Has the UKIP bubble finally burst?

    Kilroy-Sillk to annouce his intentions tonight

With Robert Kilroy-Silk set to announce tonight whether he is leaving UKIP the opportunity to make a profit on the party doing badly has receded after its price has been marked down sharply on the spread-betting markets.

On Christmas Eve we suggested that a sell bet on the party at the then price of just one seat with one firm looked like a good profit opportunity because the only possiblity they had was Robert Kilroy-Silk.

Since then the MEP and former Labour MP and TV presenter has become even more detached from the party that so warmly embraced him only a few months ago before the Euro Elections. Now IG Index have reduced the spread to 0.2-0.8 seats.

Spreadfair, where punters offer prices rather than them being set by the bookies, currently have 0.5-1 seat but that level will surely go after tonight’s meeting.

    Without a charismatic figurehead to lead them the prospect for UKIP to secure a big vote share at the General Election is much reduced.

We stick with our prediction that UKIP will poll substantially less than the 2.6% secured by James Goldsmith’s Referendum Party in 1997. That came in spite of the party having a war-chest of £20m available which made possible a substantial national campaign. UKIP, by all accounts, has been struggling finacially since their main backer, Sir Paul Sykes, withdrew his support last October.

Last week’s council by-election loss by the party in Hull is a further sign that the UKIP bubble has burst.

Mike Smithson

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