If you are not talking about the issues, people will drift off elsewhere

The UKIP bubble seems to be deflating.  That’s the impression we can take from a snapshot of YouGov surveys of voting intentions taken over the month of June.

Having started off the month getting support of between 13-16% and remaining consistently ahead of the Lib Dems, UKIP has now dropped back to 10% in the latest poll and fallen back behind the Lib Dems, with the four polls prior to that all showing a steady decline in support to arrive at this point.

From Mike Smithson's  (Political Betting) Twitter

From Mike Smithson’s (Political Betting) Twitter

The declining level of support correlates with Nigel Farage’s disingenuous comments over his Isle of Man based trust fund, and the all too common absence of any substantive comment or agenda setting from UKIP on the major issues that are catching the attention of likely voters.

UKIP can still be expected to do well in next year’s European elections because attention will be focussed on EU matters for a couple of weeks.  But if the party’s broader appeal is already waning after a proportion of voters used May’s county council elections to show their disdain for the main three parties, it suggests UKIP’s hopes of a breakthrough are just a pipe dream.

Leadership, of the paucity of it, is the main driver here.  It is all well and good for Nigel Farage to engage in vanity exercises in the media that pump up his personal profile – even if they make him look like a fool – but it is doing nothing to educate people or advance UKIP’s vision for a UK outside of the EU.  We can learn a great deal about the mindset of the upper echelon of the party when more time and effort goes into attempting to shut down discussion and debate rather than raising awareness of issues and provoking a conversation among voters that gets them talking about UKIP’s goals.  It seems personal agendas take priority in UKIP and ultimately, voters will not stand for that.

While not a popular view among a good number of this blog’s readers, the assertion that Farage is not helping UKIP move ahead but is a limiting factor, seems to already be starting to be borne out by the failure to capitalise on the recent increase in popularity.  The numbers were soft and those people needed to be given a reason to stay with UKIP.  But in the absence of a voice, they are already drifting away to find someone who is speaking.

Farage shows no sign of adjusting his behaviour or approach and UKIP will suffer for it.  The reality is that showing blind loyalty to the captain of the ship may be a jolly decent thing to do, but it doesn’t make any difference to the outcome if the ship is holed below the water line and sinking.  Ultimately the journey for that vessel is over.

7 Responses to “If you are not talking about the issues, people will drift off elsewhere”

  1. 1 James Murphy 28/06/2013 at 9:57 am

    Hear Hear! Once more for the hard of hearing: in politics you are dealing with the masses; therefore, the issues are not only substantive but also (largely) perceptual in nature. Fact is, Farage looks like a used car salesman trying to ‘do’ respectable – a spiv in a cheap suit, to be frank(!). He’ll never win over the swaying voters of Middle-England – and that’s th death knell for UKIP – whatever the purblind Faragistas of your blog may want to believe, AM!

  2. 2 wj (@wj557) 29/06/2013 at 9:02 am

    I agree AM – those of us who have been members for many years see only too well the lack of tactical advancement; one only has to note how the Tories can pull any economic rabbit out of the hat and guarantee a return of the wayward members of their flock.

    Labour defectors will also return to the fold, or simply stop voting, if they can not stomach Farage’s free-market thinking (Let’s face it – Farage’s libertarians are not going to feel comfortable with the closing of borders)

    I will not condemn Farage outright – he seems to have single-handedly brought the EU/democracy/immigration/migrant worker problems to the fore.
    I also consider him to have shown a lot of courage – he has put forward the arguments of a nation now cowed by the sheer thuggery of our three-party stitch-up.

    If Farage is serious about his wish for the liberty and democracy of this country he must now swallow his pride and ask for the help of those with a bit of tactical nous.

    Farage needs a bigger tent with the occupants pissing out.

  3. 3 ansel61Bruce 29/06/2013 at 10:12 pm

    Correlation is not causation. UKIP’s rise in recent years also correlates to the world’s deepening economic woes. Do they get the blame for that as well? You should know better than to make such a basic mistake.

  4. 4 Autonomous Mind 01/07/2013 at 9:15 am

    Cling to that, Bruce. Keep that blind faith in style over substance as the party begins to decline.

  5. 5 machokong 01/07/2013 at 6:58 pm

    Everybody knows that YouGov is a part of the MSM, who cares what they think, they tend to shape peoples thinking rather than reflect it. If you want to see what people are thinking then read the comments section at the Telegraph.

    UKIP are the beginning, like Ron Paul in the USA. Look what happened to Gillard in Australia recently, it’s all going right-wing, all round the globe.

    Wait until 2014 when the Romanians and Bulgarians come over, then we’ll see if UKIP’s long game approach pays off or not.

  6. 6 Richard Carey 03/07/2013 at 10:47 am

    I don’t think the current polls matter that much, as there are no big elections in the offing.

    Without disagreeing with what’s been said above, I think that the murder in Woolwich has had a big effect on the news over recent weeks, and I suspect the memo went out to UKIPers to stfu, for fear someone would say something controversial, and this caused them to drop out of sight and they haven’t found a way back in.

  7. 7 DavidinRome 03/07/2013 at 12:52 pm

    machokong wrote:

    “UKIP are the beginning, like Ron Paul in the USA”

    Er and when did he or any of his disciples get elected?

    Simply declaring YouGov to be part of the MSM is the typical act of the political ostrich. You can deny the rushing of the waterfall ahead for so long but in the end you will go over if you don’t paddle hard for the banks.

    Excellent blog AM – as always.

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