In happier times – Farage with his CON defector in 2014
But no by-election, he’ll remain in Commons as an independent
This lunchtime’s announcement from Douglas Carswell, the MP for Clacton, that he’s to leave UKIP is hardly a surprise. He had been largely detached from the party for months and and it really became a question of not if he would leave the purples but when.
He always appeared uncomfortable with UKIP’s emphasis on immigration and campaigned in the referendum with Vote Leave.
But he is not as some had expected re-joining the Conservatives. He said that he will remain as an MP as an independent. I guess is that he might well join the blues again possibly before the general election.
Given that he resigned and fought a by-election two and a half years ago after he defected to UKIP he would have found it difficult to go directly to the Conservatives and not do the same. Becoming an independent is less of an issue.
All of this highlights what has become Ukip’s bugbear – its abject failure to be able to secure seats under first past the post. Almost the only elections where it has been successful have been there’s does a proportional element – for the European Parliament and, of course, the list seats for the Welsh Assembly.
The UK leaving the EU in 2019 will put an end to its MEP representation and the next Welsh elections are not till 2021. That’s a long time for the party to go through.
So Britain’s most dysfunctional party becomes even more dysfunctional.