The ‘Others’

With the most recent polling showing the figure for the ‘other’ parties, a.k.a UKIP, the BNP and the Greens, floating in and around 10% (along with 2% for the SNP and 1% for Plaid Cymru), can we expect the next round of polls to show an increase and, if so, how big of an increase?

The ‘other’ parties hit an all time high in June’s Euro Elections, taking a whopping 35%+ of the vote, easily beating the Tories 27%, Labour’s 15% and the Lib Dems 13%. I doubt anything such as this figure could be reclaimed in the run-up to the General Election, but in the wake of the latest episode in the MPs expenses scandal saga, I think we can certainly see the ‘others’ polling at 15-20% over the next few weeks. It would be unlikely for this to hold going into the campaign-proper. I think we can expect the ‘others’ to take 10% of the vote at the GE, this would be impressive, especially in light of  the ‘others’ (BNP, UKIP and the Greens), taking 3.9% f the vote between them in 2005.

However, the big question is, can any of the others win? Well, as this blog has pointed out, Brighton Pavilion is very winnable for the Greens, so much so that we could even say that it’s a likely Green win. I also expect the Greens to poll well in Norwich South (the most interesting four-way marginal in the country and where Adrian Ramsay, the Greens candidate there, would most definitely give Charles Clarke a few sleepless nights), but also Lewisham  Deptford, Hackney North and Stoke Newington and Cambridge, a seat I consider a real dark-horse for the Greens in this election given that Tony Juniper, former Director of Friends of the Earth, is the most high-profile candidate in the constituency. 

Well, what about the other two, UKIP and the BNP?

Much has certainly been made about Nigel Farage’s bid to oust the Speaker of the Commons, John Bercow, in his Buckinghamshire constituency. However, in recent days the BNP have announced that they would be standing a candidate as well. This is likely to split the hard-right/xenophobic vote and Bercow is likely to return with an increased majority.

Attention has focussed on the BNP’s efforts in Barking, where ‘Nasty’ Nick Griffin can expect the hacks from the mainstream press running around after him, keen to snap his dodgy grin. Once again, we can expect to see the hard right/xenophobic vote split between Griffin and UKIP’s Frank Maloney, as seen here, ‘Fighting for Barking, Fighting for Britian’, apparently.

Stoke-on-Trent Central was also a prospect for the party, that was until national racist, Simon Darby, Griffin’s deputy, was  parachuted into the seat, pissing off local racist Alby Walker, who plans on standing as an independent.

It’s likely that UKIP, and perhaps even the BNP, will poll higher nationally than the Greens, the Greens are far more likely to take a Westminster seat (perhaps two, if they’re lucky). Even one Westminster seat would give the Greens a high enough national profile to dwarf the BNP and UKIP. It would be testimony to the fact that real hard work, at the local level, pays off. UKIP and the BNP will realise that you just can’t go somewhere and expect to win. Yes, I believe they’ll poll very well, but they won’t win any Westminster seats this time around, they’ll be lucky to even hold their council seats in Barking and Dagenham.

The ‘others’ are coming, but will they stay?

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3 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    Mark P said,

    It is somewhat bizarre as a pluralist that you fail to mention Salma Yaqoob and George Galloway, both Respect candidates with excellent chances. The SNP and Plaid who will do immeasurably better than the Greens in Scottish and Welsh seats (the latter after a number of years ago the Greens in Wales made the huge error of abandoning the successful Plaid-Green pact which secured the election if the first Green MP Cynog Davis and Peoples Voice MP Dai Davis fighting to retain his seat in Blauneau.

    Plural Progressive is a label I entirely endorse so why these exclusions?

    Mark P

    • 2

      Luke Walter said,

      Hi Mark,

      Thanks for the comment.

      It’s not that I have failed to mention either Salma or George (I am hoping that both are successful in their efforts) but, and I’m sure you’ll agree with me on this, Respect is not considered one of the ‘others’ when it comes to opinion polling, it is rarely featured in the breakdowns for obvious reasons.

      I will of course be covering Salma and George’s campaigns in the run-up to the General Election however, I should stress, I am not familiar with local politics in either one of their respective constituencies.

      I have not delibrately intended to exclude their efforts, there will be many other challenges from the left around the country which I would fail to mention, as I imagine most of the left blogosphere perhaps would.

      As a member of the Green Party in England I am supportive of greater collaboration between the Welsh Green Party and Plaid Cymru. Policy differences remain, this is true, but I believe they would be natural joint partners in any list election. However, this is for the Welsh Green Party to decide and they should neither be bullied or coerced into such a position.

      I choose to focus on politics local to me, sometimes I will cover national politics, but I intend to give this blog a local flavour to Sussex and the South East.

      I hope this addresses your concerns, but don’t worry, I haven’t forgotten about left challenges elsewhere.

      Thanks.

  2. 3

    Mark P said,

    Thanks. Theres no doubt Caroline winning the Pavillion seat would be a hugely important breakthrough.

    Mark


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