Even at a time when Brexit totally dominating the news we are not seeing much of Nigel Farage who appears to be keeping a low profile at the moment. He’s opposed to the deal which has not endeared him to many of the party’s followers.
His big problem, of course, is Johnson who appears to be dominating the pro-Brexit end of the market. He’s the one taking the battle forward while Farage has become an isolated figure of late.
Given we are very close to an election the question is whether his party can win seats – and if so how many. Winning first past the post elections is something that Farage’s parties have found to be very difficult. Even in June a fortnight after their Euros success Farage’s party failed to take what appeared to be an easy picking in the Peterborough by-election. He himself has stood for parliament seven times without success and now his objective is Thurrock.
An issue is that a party without the very lumpy vote distribution of the Tories or LAB is going to find FPTP elections very difficult. At GE2015 UKIP chalked up 12.9% of the GB vote with UKIP’s Douglas Carswell being the only MP retaining Clacton which he’d held at the 2014 by-election.
This brings me to my latest general election spread bet. The current SportingIndex speads are above and I’ve just sold Brexit party seats at the 4 level. This means I win my stake multiplied by how far short of 4 the party gets in terms of seats.
My view is that it is very hard seeing a pathway to it getting anywhere near that even if it retains it current polling shares.