UKIP came in third in the popular vote among the political parties but only won one seat in parliament in the 2015 General Election last May. (It’s the reason the party has decided to go to a proportional representation system advocacy but that really is not in the best interest of the libertarian euroskeptic party – but that another story!)
Now the party has a real chance to pick the Big MO back with a win or even a close second in the by-election in Oldham West. Oldham West is a northern England seat that would normally be solidly for Labour. But the election of their new (and radical) party leader Jeremy Corbyn has hurt Labour and now this election will show how much damage Corbyn’s election will cause.
In the online Sunnation, we have this article:
Patriotic voters are poised to give Jeremy Corbyn a bloody nose in his first major test at the ballot box.
Senior figures now fear they could even lose Oldham West and Royton, where they are defending a comfortable 14,738 majority.
And there’s more, here at the Telegraph (called by some in Britain the “Torygraph”) we have confirmation of this:
Labour support at the ballot box could be halved in the first electoral test for Jeremy Corbyn since becoming leader, private polling by the party has suggested.
However, the same canvassing returns in recent weeks found that just half those voters said they would now back Labour.
The result would mean that a majority of almost 15,000 could be halved in the Oldham West by-election on December 3.
Some party figures believe the result could be even worse. Ian Warren, an expert who advised former Labour leader Ed Miliband on how to fight Ukip before the general election, said the majority in the previously ultra-safe seat could fall to a low as 2,000 to 3,000.
So can UKIP actually win in Oldham West? Yes I think so. It would be a bit of a longshot but first, by-elections tend to have lower turnout than regular elections, the committed from the most enthusiastic parties tend to vote (that favors UKIP because Labour is divided and many will be discouraged from voting) and sometimes a by-election reflects national issues. And the climate right now favors a “statement” election.
Another factor to consider: Will Tory voters whose candidate has no chance go to UKIP to beat Labour? Or will they rather see Labour prevail than UKIP take the victory?
We’ll see Thursday December 3!