I regret to report that UKIP finished a disappointing fifth in the Bradford West by-election with only just over three percent. Here’s the tally from the Guardian:
George Galloway (Respect) 18,341 (55.89%, +52.83%)
Imran Hussain (Labour) 8,201 (24.99%, -20.36%)
Jackie Whiteley (Conservative) 2,746 (8.37%, -22.78%)
Jeanette Sunderland (Liberal Democrat) 1,505 (4.59%, -7.08%)
Sonja McNally (UKIP) 1,085 (3.31%, +1.31%)
Dawud Islam (Green) 481 (1.47%, -0.85%)
Neil Craig (Democratic Nationalists) 344 (1.05%)
Howling Laud Hope (Monster Raving Loony Party) 111 (0.34%)
I am not sure I can offer an analysis but I can say that it is obvious that the British people are not aware of the increasing crisis called the EU and the loss of sovereignty and liberty that entails. I am not sure what it will take to convince the British people that they are in peril. They have been told they must give prisoners the vote, that they cannot extradite terrorist suspects to their home country, and they must honor a European arrest warrant.
The result makes a mockery of the report that UKIP had surged in the polls to 8%. Here’s is part of the Farage comment on March 25:
“These new figures underline a new reality in British politics, a reality that will be highlighted in Bradford by-election, there are four parties, and one of them is on the up. The stale consensus has had its day.”
I also wonder if the distinctive UKIP message was diluted by the emphasis on local issues by the candidate. I agree, UKIP needs a broad based manifesto but it has one. And I admire anyone who tries a different tack. But the reason people vote UKIP is to fight the EU and fight for liberty and sovereignty. That has to be the lead message.
I do believe the victory for George Galloway is a troubling sign for the three major parties. We continue to await continued elections. But UKIP must be relevant in Westminster and until it does so, no MP will defect from Labour or the Tories. We’ll see if UKIP needs new leadership.