Archive for the 'Farage' Category

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For a party with less than one MP UKIP sure knows how to hog the headlines

Tuesday, February 28th, 2017

The big difference between Clacton MP, Douglas Carswell, and just about anybody else who has run for parliament for UKIP is that he’s shown that he can succeed under first past the post – the electoral area where UKIP has been an almost total failure.

If it comes to a fight between Banks and Carswell in what becomes of the Clacton constituency after the boundary changes then Carswell should do it even if a CON candidate is on the list. He’s got the name recognition and FPTP campaigning expertise as his performance in the 2014 by-election and GE2015 showed. The Tories threw an awful lot to try to regain the seat at GE2015 but fell quite a long way short.

Carswell understands data and my guess is that he and his team have a pretty good idea of his support base – the basic requirement in an FPTP election where it could be tight. The provisional boundaries plan has Clacton being linked to Harwich where Carswell was first elected an MP.

It might, of course, be that Carswell rejoins the Tories before the next election or maybe just stands as an independent.

Mike Smithson




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Extraordinary. Trump wants Farage to be Britain’s Ambassador to the United States

Tuesday, November 22nd, 2016

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What does Theresa May do about this?

Perhaps the most extraordinary development of Trump’s victory in British terms is the Tweet, from the President-elect, giving his view on who he wants as Britain’s man in Washington.

I can’t see this being looked at favourably at Number 10 but it does put the the PM in a quandary. It is vital for so many reasons that Britain has a good relationship with the new administration but having Farage there would be extremely difficult.

It would also be politically humiliating for Mrs May to follow this course.

What’s also extraordinary is how Twitter is being used. In days gone by there would be all sorts of discreet soundings in both London and Washington over who would take on this job but the idea of this being carried out on social media is a graphic example of the new world we are in.

There’s a form of blackmail in Trump’s Tweet. If May doesn’t agree then the implication is that Britain will have far less influence and certainly less knowledge about the thinking of the Trump administration.

    Whatever you’ve got to admire the chutzpah of Nigel Farage in all of this. His link with the incoming President is going to be a constant irritant to ministers.

It will be interesting to see how the bookies price this one. Expect some betting markets to be announced this morning.

Mike Smithson




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Could it, should it, will it soon be Lord Farage?

Wednesday, November 16th, 2016

Farage

An intriguing part of PMQs today was May’s response when asked if UKIP leader Nigel Farage will be given a peerage – this starting speculation that he will be. The PM’s response was “such matters are normally never discussed in public”.

But there is a strong case for UKIP should have some peers created for it. The party came top in the 2014 Euros with 27% of the vote and most MEPs. At GE2015 it chalked up 4m+ votes but the only recompense was the CON defector, Douglas Carswell was re-elected.

Farage himself just missed out in Thanet South – an issue that remains highly topical as those who saw Michael Crick’s report on C4 News last night will recall. There has been an ongoing investigation by the Electoral Commission and the police into whether the Tory party’s officially declared expenses in the seat were accurate or not in particular for the lack of inclusion of the costs of basing in Ramsgate some top CON officials.

Crick presented what appeared to be strong evidence evidence that the constituency campaign was led by Nick Timothy – now Theresa May’s top aide.

Giving Farage a peerage might just preempt some of the inevitable outcry if the investigation goes badly for the Tories.

I’m expecting Lord Farage betting markets in the next day or so.

Mike Smithson




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The latest Farage farrago, Douglas Carswell is accused of helping the Tories defeat Farage in Thanet South

Thursday, August 25th, 2016

Can or will Douglas Carswell remain a UKIP MP if senior Kippers are making these allegations?

Forget traingate this is the political story of the week, although I can sympathise with those who say a UKIP internal squabbling story is up there with a dog bites man story, but this story has achieved that rare feat, leaving me lost for words.

Senior members of Ukip have accused the party’s only MP of helping the Conservatives defeat Nigel Farage in South Thanet in the general election last year, according to Ukip’s main donor, Arron Banks.

Farage, then the leader of Ukip, was beaten by the Tory candidate, Craig Mackinlay, after a controversial campaign in the Kent constituency.

Banks’s company has written to Kent police with the allegation that Douglas Carswell, the Ukip MP for Clacton, helped the Tory campaign retain the seat. It details allegations that Carswell downloaded Ukip data for South Thanet and passed it to the Conservatives, enabling them to do “push polling” of key voters.

Push polling is when an apparently unbiased telephone survey spreads negative rumours about a candidate.

Carswell defected to Ukip from the Tories in 2014 but has had a fraught relationship with both Banks and Farage.

According to the letter, Carswell was granted access to the Ukip database but then only accessed the South Thanet data.

A letter sent to the police by Precision Risk & Intelligence, where Banks is chief executive, claims that “we have evidence of excessive spending by the Conservatives and secretive dealings between them and a senior Ukip representative to collude against Mr Farage”.

It should be noted that Douglas Carswell has quite pithily denied these allegations, he said “There is no basis in these claims whatsoever. We should just be relieved that those responsible for the disastrous campaign in South Thanet were not responsible for the successful referendum campaign.” 

But given that these allegations it might be worth looking at this market being offered by Ladbrokes on Douglas Carswell resigning the UKIP whip in 2016.

Carswel Whip

Given the time constraints it is no bet for me, even given Carswell’s past form for leaving political parties and the allegations made against him this week, the bet will not pay out if he is expelled from UKIP. UKIP does have a history of kneecapping* the internal opponents of Nigel Farage, as Suzanne Evans, the Lady Jane Grey of UKIP, can attest to.

TSE

*That’s a metaphorical kneecapping, not a literal one.



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Nigel Farage: the Comeback, Comeback, Comeback Kid?

Monday, August 15th, 2016

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Ex-UKIP leader Farage on Vladimir Putin’s Russia Today

He appears to be planning a FOURTH return to the UKIP leadership

When Farage quit the UKIP leadership many were speculating that this was not the last we would see him flying the UKIP flag and there’ve been hints that this is the case.
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In an interview on Russia Today suggested that he in fact might return as UKIP leader if Brexit is not delivered as he would like. He added that hoped he doesn’t have to but he would consider “plunging back in”.

If he did then it would be his fourth non-consecutive term leading Team Purple.

He first resigned the job in 2009 so that he could fight the speaker, John Bercow, in Buckingham. This proved to be a disaster in many ways. In the election, in which the mainstream parties did not stand, he was pushed into a poor third place on 17% behind a prominent pro-EU Conservative. On election day itself, of course, the private plane he was flying in towing a UKIP banner crashed and he was badly injured.

His next resignation came in the immediate aftermath of GE2015 when his party secured only one seat, the CON defector Douglas Carswell, and he himself was beaten by the Tories in Thanet South. That resignation lasted the weekend and by the following Tuesday he was back in the job.

In the current leadership race Farage’s favoured contender, Steven Woolfe, did not get on the ballot after a ruling by the party’s NEC.

Mike Smithson




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Now Farage quits and this time he says it’s for real

Monday, July 4th, 2016



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Boost for Farage in the Ipsos satisfaction ratings on the day before the big vote

Wednesday, June 22nd, 2016

And Corbyn drops to new low with LAB voters



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Thursday could end up becoming a referendum on Nigel Farage

Monday, June 20th, 2016

Nigel Farage unveils new  racist  Brexit campaign poster   YouTube

If it does is that good or bad for BREXIT?

I’ve just returned from three weeks in Spain – a holiday that was fixed well before the referendum date was announced and TSE, as usual, has been in charge of the site during my absence. Although I’ve continued to be very active on Twitter I have been viewing things from afar.

    What has struck me on my return is how the total dominant feature of the campaign has become that featured in the controversial poster above and the focus on UKIP leader himself, Mr. Farage.

The Survation finding in its Mail on Sunday poll yesterday that 43% found the poster inflammatory against 28% who said it was fair is perhaps a pointer to the split on what could be the iconic image of the whole campaign.

What’s interesting is how the other side of the LEAVE campaigns have been trying even more to distance themselves from the poster and Farage. Chris Grayling in his Sky interview went to great lengths on this yesterday suggesting that the official OUT campaign recognises the danger.

It is always said that referendums end up being about something other than that which features in the question on the ballot paper. It was beginning to look as though this would be about Cameron but my sense now is that he is much less of an issue and that it centring around Farage – a Marmite politician who totally polarises opinion.

YouGov’s next tracker on which politicians voters most trust on the referendum could be highly illuminating.

Today’s news cycle has started with ex-CON chairman Baroness Warsi quitting VOTE leave and will then turn to the special sitting of the Commons on Jo Cox. Both of these have the potential to reinforce the focus on Farage and his unequivocal positions which resonate very strongly with many but which are also alienating to others.

The question is the extent to which this will drive turnout on Thursday. What we do know is that many in the older age groups who are more likely to vote are very supportive of the UKIP leader. But will that be countered by those who are opposed, making an extra effort to vote? I don’t know.

Before I left for my vacation at the end of May the widespread consensus was that if we were talking about immigration in the final week then REMAIN would win. I’m not sure that that perception still holds.

The one hard bit of information is that turnout amongst those registered to vote by post looks set to be higher than general election levels which, probably points to overall turnout levels on Thursday exceeding the 66% of GE2015.

Mike Smithson