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I remember being told that, during election season, there is a truce declared by the parties about defacing each others' posters.

I wonder if that applies to UKIP.

Posters are ceasing to be useful messages these days, too prone to internet mickey-taking and graffiti improvements.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Thu Apr 1st, 2010 at 11:14:14 AM EST
I wonder, though, who would deface a UKIP campaign poster?

This is a marginal seat, currently held by Swimming Pool Stu, that is, the Conservative Stuart Jackson MP, who feels entitled to categorise his outraged constituents as "whingers and moaners".

Heck, I should be out campaigning for UKIP in order to split the Tory vote...

by Sassafras on Thu Apr 1st, 2010 at 11:48:18 AM EST
[ Parent ]
What are the prospects of the UKIP seriously splitting the Tory vote and effecting the general election outcome?  I haven't seen any decent opinion poll data and their likely impact at constituency level.  Are they seen as an acceptable alternative to the BNP by people concerned about immigration?  Are they seen as a viable alternative to the Tories by right-wingers who don't like Tory toffs?  Where will the right wing working class vote go?

notes from no w here
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Fri Apr 2nd, 2010 at 07:07:53 AM EST
[ Parent ]
They wouldn't have to split the Tory vote by much in this constituency.  The (current, Conservative) MP's majority is less than 3000, and he wouldn't have his seat but for a personal vote against the previous, deeply unpopular, Labour MP.

As ever, in the UK, a lot is about class.  The BNP is working class, and even unpleasant rags like the Daily Mail therefore feel obliged to rail against them. UKIP is a more Daily Mail demographic, the "acceptable" face of racism. But, yes, I'd say they're more a threat (in terms of vote transference) to the Tories than to Labour.

by Sassafras on Fri Apr 2nd, 2010 at 07:25:45 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The UKIP is usually only successful in European Parliament elections where it takes a chunk of the most rabidly Eurosceptic Tory vote. Unless Euroscepticism becomes a campaign issue I don't see the UKIP becoming an effective spoiler against the Tories.

The BNP is a different beast, polling consistently across elections.

I'd say there's also a class-based distinction with the BNP appealing to a "lower" class than the UKIP. The latter is more nationalistic and less openly racist.

The brainless should not be in banking -- Willem Buiter

by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Apr 2nd, 2010 at 09:40:45 AM EST
[ Parent ]
UKIP have stated that they will not contest seats with euro-skeptic conservative MPs. But even if they do contest them, you have to remember that most seats in a general election the total vote of all other parties combined does not equal the winning candidate's. The incumbent party will win in that seat nearly every time, some seats have remained politically static for centuries.

Only 100 - 150 seats are really in play with perhaps half that number changing hands, and in such circumstances people like their vote to count and so will not vote for marginal parties.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Fri Apr 2nd, 2010 at 10:24:22 AM EST
[ Parent ]
So is there any analysis anywhere of the 100 seats in play and the likely players, swing factors, local issues, strong candidates and any opinion polling data?  It seems quite difficult to get hard data or real local analysis on UK politics other than the bland national polls and dodgy conversions into likely seat numbers.  How do people decide who are the real players at local level and ths avoid wasting their vote?  Is tactical voting really all that prevalent and isn't the relative abstention rate the most likely swing factor in many instances?.

In NI I wasn't able to find a single poll in advance of the Europeans on which to base informed comment!

notes from no w here

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Fri Apr 2nd, 2010 at 10:41:20 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm sure that information is available to the parties and any other interested party who can stump up the cash for the private polling info.

Also I'm pretty sure the media know exactly which seats are in play during an election. But everybody in the game wants to maintain the fiction that every vote counts and so you'll never see anyone discuss the fact that 450 - 500 seats will return the same party as currently holds them, the same party that has held them for several parliaments.

So, the only way to know is to trawl through websites such as the BBC and, wherever there's a majority of less than 5,000 for the current govt, make an assumption that it's in play. Any seat with a majority of less than 2,000 is definitely gonna move over.

I don't know about tactical voting, I know I have tried hard to talk to people about the necessity of voting against what you hate, but many prefer to vote for the party they like believing that democracy is compromised if they think too hard about being effective.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Fri Apr 2nd, 2010 at 03:44:48 PM EST
[ Parent ]

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