29% of those who’ve served as UKIP MEPs since 2009 have either been expelled or quit
This afternoon’s big news from UKIP has been that Diane James, who won the November leadership contest only to pull out after 18 days, has now quit the party. She wants to remain as an MEP and is hoping to sit as an independent.
She came to the forefront in February 2013, when she got very close in the Eastleigh by-election beating the Tories in the race to fill the seat vacated by Chris Huhne.
Her decision this afternoon brings to nine the number of those who’ve served as UKIP MEPs since the 2009 Euro election having been forced out or going of their own accord.
Quite what is happening to the party, which continues to poll in double figures, is hard to say. Clearly Nigel Farage was a massive personality and his decision, once again to step down as leader, has left a massive hole at the top.
Meanwhile the latest ICM poll has found that 58% to 20% of those sampled said Farage should not be given a peerage. This includes 25% of GE2015 UKIP voters.
New ICM poll sees CON lead drop to 14%
CON 42% (-1)
LAB 28% (+1)
UKIP 11% (-1)
LD 9% (+1)
GRN 3% (-2)
— Mike Smithson (@MSmithsonPB) November 21, 2016
This means that the Tories have been in the 40s in every single published poll since conference season in September Corbyn was re-elected LAB leader.