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It means people in Clacton actually like Douglas Carswell and Lord Ashcroft was right in his tweeted appraisal of him:
Of course, that’s not what David Cameron has been saying. His mantra is – as many of you will be aware: “Vote UKIP – get Labour.”
He’s wrong, of course. People aren’t thinking in those terms at all.
They’re thinking: “Vote UKIP – get rid of the Conservatives.”
It’s just a shame that they are also wrong; Carswell is still a Conservative – all he has done is swap a conservative party for another conservative party, that is more extreme than the one he just left.
The other notable factor in yesterday’s by-elections is the BBC’s continuing (if tacit) support for UKIP – which can be seen most clearly in its references to the Heywood and Middleton election.
“Labour held on to Heywood and Middleton but UKIP slashed its majority to 617,” states the BBC report, which merrily misses the fact that UKIP remains unable to take Parliamentary seats from Labour.
Labour supporters don’t want UKIP.
Labour supporters don’t need a political party that is more regressive than the Tories.
Labour supporters agree with Ed Miliband, that UKIP “do not represent the interests of working people”.
Read between the lines. Who was UKIP’s candidate in Heywood and Middleton? The BBC report doesn’t name this person until very far down its story.
If you read the mass media coverage, you’ll think UKIP was the only party in these by-elections. Don’t.
If we are to learn anything from the result, it is that the Conservative Party is in deep, deep trouble.
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