06 May 2005

Disappointing but significant

About 2.5% of voters believed strongly enough that the UK should be independent that they voted UKIP. (I don't have final figures yet).

That's disappointing -- I had hoped for something like twice that -- but it's still significant. Look at the seats that the Conservatives could have won with UKIP's votes:

From Labour:

Battersea
Crawley
Dartford
Gillingham
Harlow
High Peak
Hove
Medway
Portsmouth North
Sittingbourne & Sheppey
Staffordshire Moorlands
Stourbridge
Stroud
Thanet South
Warwick & Leamington
Watford

From the Liberal Democrats:

Carshalton & Wallington
Eastleigh
Hereford
Romsey
Solihull
Somerton & Frome
Taunton
Torbay
Westmorland & Lonsdale


That wouldn't have changed the overall outcome, but it would have left Tony Blair with a very slim majority, and the Liberal Democrats with practically no gains since 2001. These votes are there for the taking: when are the Conservatives (or Labour) going to pick them up?

Update: Harlow gets added to the list. A pro-independence Conservative party could probably have cut Labour's majority to 34.

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