The Corby By-Election

With Nigel Farage and Corby Candidate Margot Parker

So it’s all over.  Months of work by a great number of people.  And the best ever UKIP result in a by-election.

We set ourselves the objective of gaining third place, and of maintaining our steady record of improvement in by-elections.  And we succeeded.  We also humiliated the Lib-Dems, who slumped to fourth place, and despite a couple of recounts failed even to save their deposit.  We gave the Tories a nasty scare.  And we scored 14.3% of the vote — the best UKIP by-election result to date.

This is all the more remarkable given that we didn’t even field a candidate in Corby in 2010, and had little infrastructure in place in the constituency.  Candidate Margot Parker did a remarkable job, ably assisted by Campaign Director Lisa Duffy, and helped by UKIP activists from the region, and from as far away as Orkney and Eire.

Of course the social media are alive with comments — some from people who ought to know better — that UKIP robbed the Tories of the seat.  We didn’t.  First of all because we were taking votes from both former Conservative and former Labour voters — as well as from previous non-voters, and even from former Lib-Dems.  I know — I was knocking on doors in the constituency.  And in the Labour heartland of Corby town, I’m told that UKIP came second.  And secondly, because even if all the UKIP votes had gone to the Tories, they still wouldn’t have won.

Most of all it was Louise Mensch who robbed the Tories of the seat.  An effete, self-regarding dilettante, she quit mid-term in a fit of pique, on a pathetic “seeing more of my family” excuse, explicitly denied by her husband.  She left a legacy of disillusioned Tories and angry voters.  Add to that the government’s “omnishambles”, its ill-advised initiatives, its energy policy, or non-policy, which is undermining industry and forcing pensioners into fuel poverty, and it’s not surprising there was a back-lash.

The Tories must be rueing the day they selected a Cameron A-lister, and wishing that they’d put up Chris Emmett, their by-election candidate, in 2010.  She’s a sound local girl, at one with grass roots Tory members, and she wouldn’t have quit mid-term.  I’ve known her for years, and I have a high regard for her.  Nothing wrong with the candidate — pity about the Party.  But she was on a hiding-to-nothing, served up as a human sacrifice on whom the bruised voters of Corby could vent their annoyance.

As for the Lib-Dems, they have always been a vote-dustbin for the disgruntled, none-of-the-above, a-plague-on-both-your-houses voter.  But by entering the coalition, they’ve sacrificed that modest advantage.  Indeed while most who voted UKIP actually believe in our policies on Europe, energy, immigration and so on, I suspect that we may now be the beneficiary of those “none-of-the-old-parties” votes.  The Lib-Dem candidate, with the inappropriate name of “Hope”, was by all accounts competent and articulate, if deeply misguided, but she was clearly stung by the humiliation of losing her deposit.  Her speech at the count was hurt and bitter.  She blamed Labour.  She blamed the Tories.  She blamed the coalition.  In short, she blamed everything except the Lib-Dems’ own ineptitude.

Later on Any Questions, Shirley Williams dismissed UKIP’s Corby result as “a flash in the pan”.  As Churchill might have put it, “Some flash.  Some pan”.

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8 Responses to The Corby By-Election

  1. Do you know what bothers me?
    You say the things I believe to be really true. John Redwood, whom I have been following for years, doesn’t quite get it.

  2. Avellana says:

    I have voted Liberal all my life until now. This time I had enough to witness their repeated broken t promises that enabled this feeble government to use prescriptive measures beyond understanding. Coalition opportunists.They revealed their worship of Greendom. With futile solutions to ‘beset themselves with dismal stories’ about the impact of climate change. They too, fed in the trough with the others who gained from the hyped taxation. Something akin to mid western born agains. Watched ineffectual as the people tried to let them know they were wrong. Shame on them, their weakness now revealed. I am proud to be in UKIP now
    and even prouder of the people who stand for election for this party. Well done Corby UKIP and those who organised.

  3. Congratulations on keeping the Tories out again. It’s all your party exists to do isn’t it? Are you looking forward to helping Ed Milliband attempt to get into Downing street?

    • neilfutureboy says:

      If one of the things the Tory party exists for is to maintain the corrupt first-past-the-post surely it is they who will, perhaps, be putting Miliband in to Downing St.?

      At the very least, if Tories believe in that electoral system as a matter of principle it is obviously immoral to complain when it works to what may be their disadvantage?

      “May be” because it is clear that, at least the leaders of the Tories, would much rather have a Labour government, continuing scratching of each other’s backs, than a reforming UKIP one.

  4. ogga1 says:

    Do you not read up on anything for a balanced view? now tell me if Miliband gets into number10
    the difference will be? they are all pro E.U and working for the betterment of a crime sydicate.

  5. neilfutureboy says:

    AQs an ex-LibDem myself I think UKIP could pick up a considerable part of the LudDim vote by emphasising our commitment to proportional represesntation. It is an obvious point on which the LabCons are clearly promoting a corrupt system; it would make us less “right wing” & it is the one policy on which all LD voters agree. Polls show a surprisingly large proportion of them are fairly scaptical about the EU but on PRthe voters are solid. The LD leadershi[p don’t particularly represent the voters and if the LD vote was obviously crumbling, might have some difficulty in persuading their voters to vote Tory rather than for the other PR su[p[porting party.

    With the byelection to replace Chris Huhne, in a seat which was a Con/Lib marginal this could be a key issue.

  6. Pingback: UKIP East Cheshire Info | UKIP East Cheshire

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