I am on the email list for ConservativeHome blog (which I recommend heartily) and I was curious what the pro-Tory blog would say. But it did not come to me today! I thought maybe I got kicked off for aggravated touting for UKIP (which I plead guilty!) in the recent postings. But I went to ConservativeHome and I realized the Tories are taking this result hard, as they should. Several Tory MPs offer advice:
On ConHome Adam Afryie’s Eastleigh reflection urged a focus on measures to boost economic growth. Read it here.
The best contribution I’ve seen so far came from Gavin Barwell. He urged a focus on rebuilding our ground operation and focusing on so-called pavement politics. Paul Goodman has also worried today about the decline of our grassroots strength.
All those things might be good. But strategy cannot replace message. Even another article at CH admits: UKIP takes votes from ALL three other parties! They are not really a protest party but rather an alternative to Tweedledee and Tweedledum that support the EU superempire. Even the writer admits that:
I found it hard to believe at first, but Lord Ashcroft’s research about the European Union not being the key factor in UKIP’s support is proving to be correct.
Telling UKIP supporters that the Conservatives offer an in/out EU referendum while the Lib Dems do not appears to have had limited impact. The concerns are far wider. Angry about spending cuts? Vote UKIP. Angry about the failure to cut spending? Vote UKIP. Angry that the 50p tax rate was cut? Vote UKIP. Angry that it was only cut to 45p, not 40p? Vote UKIP. Angry about immigration, gay marriage, the NHS….
But it is Channel Four that took hono(u)rs today on the day after the disaster in Eastleigh:
Ukip’s result in Eastleigh marks the third time in the last three months that the party has beaten the Conservatives at a by-election. Is it now a political force to be reckoned with?
It is a legitimate question. I think the EU issue has so many aspects to it that you could write a fairly comprehensive manifesto just on this. But I’ll distill it down to two words: Liberty and sovereignty. All UKIP needs is a manner to bring the message to the people – something like the NO movie.