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FPP politics, in a country as conservative as Britain at least, requires historical incumbency. The libs aren't going away : on balance, it suits the two bigger parties to have a buffer between them.
The inertia in FFP is huge. The historical precedent of the emergence of Labour, pushing the libs into third party status, was only possible because it coincided with the introduction of universal suffrage.
It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue
- Queen Elizabeth II
However the Green Party has not, so far at least, demonstrated any major increase in support since the coalition was formed. They are not challenging for the status of the English third (and Welsh fourth) party.
I would have thought that UKIP have wider, but thinly spread, support. They also do not seem to be mounting a serious challenge, at the UK Parliament level, to the Liberal Democrats third placed party status.
They're supported by head-banging elderly tabloid readers, and they have a veneer of sophistication which the various overtly racist parties have never been able to acquire.
If Cameron had drifted leftwards there would have been some high profile Tory defections. Now that the coalition is creaking the risk seems to be lessening, but there could still be some UK IP scalps in a general election - especially if the Cleggeron attempts to patch things up by making someone like Cable chancellor.
Without some defections, any constituency that looks like tipping to UKIP will see huge investment from Tory funders to make sure that the Tory wins...
As such, it's very hard for UKIP to gain MPs as they have little support in non-Tory areas.
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