One greatest myth in British politics is that UKIP will hurt the most the Conservatives.
In fact, it’s the opposite, UKIP is beginning to hurt the Lib Dems and especially the Labour Party in their own strongholds in the North.
Why? UKIP had opened a breach which was unseen for ages. The party don’t have the coalition stigma related to the Liberal Democrats. It doesn’t have the Eton brand associated with the Tories.
The platform of the party is also popular among old Labour voters. Those Old Labourites feel at ease that the party have an anti-EU position shared by many old Labourites before the 1990’s, they are not fans of immigration and they love the socio-distributist economic policies. It’s the Labour Party of your father and grandfather. The Democratic Labour Party of Australian politics in British terms.
But the Labour Party is now in a crisis. It is seen as too London-centric, too metropolitan and too co-opted by -ism pressure groups. It have a leader who the father of a academic which is a career politician. Unlike the Blair era with new Labour, there is an alternative for voters who don’t like economic liberalism and social liberalism. And yet, the media doesn’t seems to understand that the most Farage looks outrageous, the more he will have support. People who vote UKIP don’t care about what »pundits » are saying. They want to give a middle finger to what they consider the establishment. Many people friendly to UKIP did not have a good option for ages, now they have one.
With an horrible voting system for leadership, Labour was able to have a compromise for leader which nobody loves, and a guy who was thinking he could win only by default of not being part of the 2010 coalition. And when Labour is trying to become the red UKIP (by talking about immigration for example), the party is bleeding on both sides. The question of immigration had become a massive dilemma for the British Labour Party and having an American campaign manager will not help anything.
And yet, in 2015, we could seen Conservatives which are seen as competent economically. Labour will then run on which platform in order to get 35% of vote? Unlike the Blair victories, we see the Labour of fear-mongering, the Labour Party of the 1980’s who has party cadres and members who are scaring swing voters away. And when they talk about subjects (such as immigration or bank-busting) nobody believes them based on the 13 years they were in power.
What could be seen as Tony Blair/Gordon Brown biggest heritage is to have put Labour as an electable party AND to have dynamited the party future by taking many things for granted when there were in power.