Where’s Veritas going to get its votes from?
With the UKIP share down to just 1% in one of the weekend’s polls there are further blows for the party with news tonight that it has lost one of its two London Assembly members to Robert Kilroy-Silk’s new political party, expected to launch on Wednesday.
Mr. Damian Hockney said Mr Kilroy-Silk had made him deputy party leader of Veritas, Latin for truth and sources stated that around eight other members of London UKIP were also planning to jump ship.
The big question for punters is which of the parties will be vulnerable to the Veritas development?
The Tories improving position – reducing Labour’s margin by 4% on ICM in six weeks and now nearly level-pegging on YouGov – has been partially helped by the troubles at UKIP. Will they be now vulnerable to Veritas or will their latest policy statement on immigration help shore up the dillution of their right wing support?
Labour has escaped relatively unscathed from the UKIP phenemonon but could it now be vulnerable to losing votes at the margin to Kilroy-Silk’s populism? He was, of course, a former Labour MP and it was his anti-Tory rhetoric that caused some of UKIP’s backers to move away.
The Lib Dems might find their tasks more challenging in the face of the likely high-profile development of what will be presented as the party of protest.
UKIP itself has already suffered substantially from the Kilroy-Silk splits and the latest move indicates that this will continue.
A lot depends on money. UKIP’s June surge was supported by big campaign donations from the Yorkshire businessman, Sir Paul Sykes. Has Kilroy-Silk got a financial backer who can put the money in? We should know on Wednesday.
Meanwhile optimists on the UKIP Forum website are having a good discussion on whether 100/1 from William Hill on the party getting most seats at the election is a good value bet. Amazingly some participants seem to think it is. We beg to differ.