Sanity seems to be returning to British politics – if only in a small measure – with the revelation by The Independent that UKIP leader Nigel Farage’s personal approval rating has lead-ballooned.
According to pollsters Ipsos Mori, he’s now equal in unpopularity with David Cameron – which seems about right, considering their political similarities.
Voter satisfaction with Farage dropped 14 percentage points in the last month after a sex scandal involving UKIP’s now-suspended general secretary and rows over public breastfeeding, expenses and immigration.
Of all voters, 53 per cent said they were “dissatisfied with the way Nigel Farage is doing his job as leader of UKIP”, while 33 per cent were “satisfied”. With “don’t knows” taken into account, Mr Farage now has a similar net approval rating to comedy prime minister David Cameron: -20 and -21 respectively.
Among UKIP’s own supporters, Farage remains highly popular, with 92 per cent saying they were satisfied with what he’s doing.
But then, UKIP supporters are a rum lot. Earlier this week the Vox Political page on Facebook endured an influx of Kippers who were incensed that this blog had promoted a Political Scrapbook story questioning their party’s record on disability.
Not one of them had a reasonable case to present. They turned up, insulted the blog, the page and anybody on it who pointed out that they weren’t making any sense. They spammed the page with endless pointless images promoting UKIP and denigrating the other parties, and with long passages of policy declarations from the party’s website – none of which were relevant to the issues at hand.
Then the page’s administrator decided enough was enough and started banning them, so those who remained declared that they had demonstrated that anyone speaking against them was wrong, deluded or stupid and that Vox Political wasn’t worth the bother – which was enough to get them banned as well.
The general change of heart about Farage is therefore a great relief, as it indicates that people are coming to their sense. The alternative – if he had remained popular while his people have been carrying on like bulls in a china shop – would have been to lament to depths to which British political sensibilities had sunk.
The Independent reported: “At the weekend – as the Ipsos Mori poll was being carried out – UKIP’s candidate in a top target seat, Kerry Smith, was forced to resign after it emerged he had made homophobic and racist remarks and joked about shooting poor people.”
That’s right – and the controversy earned this response when Farage tried to justify his candidate’s behaviour:
“Nigel defends UKIP candidate’s language: ‘If you were going out for a Chinese, what do you say you’re going for?’
“I say ‘Chinese’ Nigel.”
With a leader like that, no wonder the rest of his party are hooligans.
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