- What’s happened to Kilroy-Silk’s “bloody rightwing fascist nutters” ?
With Robert Kilroy-Silk due to launch his new Veritas party tonight the full extent of the damage his departure has done to UKIP is only now becoming clear.
All the data from Sunday’s three opinion polls has been made available and shows that Mori had the party on 2% while with Communicate Research and ICM the UKIP shares was down to just 1%, or less than the party achieved at the 2001 General Election. Compare that with the dizzy heights of the Euro Elections when UKIP edged the Lib Dems into fourth place and picked up nearly a sixth of the entire vote. Only YouGov – which has consistently shown bigger UKIP figures – still has the party at 4%
It’s been a downhill struggle for UKIP since their main financial backer, Sir Paul Sykes, pulled out in October because, apparently, he was not happy with the direction the party was going in.
- Robert Kilroy-Silk, meanwhile, has said he left UKIP because its leaders “went awol” instead of capitalising on their success in the euro elections and, in a BBC film on Monday, described some of its members as “bloody rightwing fascist nutters”.
The big mystery is why UKIP failing fortunes have not seen much better figures for the Tories. It will be recalled that for the first five months of last year Michael Howard’s party had been doing reasonably well and YouGov had had them at 38-40%. Then the Sykes-backed UKIP campaign for the Euro Elections began to develop traction and since then it’s been a torrid time for the Tories.
The hope amongst many Tory activists had been that they would return to their previous position once the UKIP phenomenon had burnt itself out. It has but the Tories are still behind in all the polls.