Can UKIP save Labour?
Is this maybe the reason that the Labour Party focuses so intently on the Conservatives European travails? The Guardian reports;
David Cameron could be denied up to 50 MPs at the next election because of the United Kingdom Independence party (Ukip) splitting the Conservative vote, Labour party analysis suggests.
It would certainly therefore make some sense for Labour to focus on Europe and specifically the issue of Lisbon which has some traction amoungst potential UKIP voters. However, at first glance, it makes less sense to focus on the Conservatives questionable European association’s given that these are hardly likely to alarm potential ‘Kippers’ (a party, lest we forget, that the British National Party often focuses on as it’s main rival). It does however make sense when you consider it might well shore-up small ‘l’ liberal Guardian-reading voters in such constituencies. Such voters are probably quite likely to be thoroughly disillusioned with Labour and seriously considering giving the nice Mr Cameron a try. Frightening them with the lurid details of the Conservatives new Euro-friends therefore makes some sense.
I wouldn’t bank on being saved by UKIP if I was Labour however; firstly, UKIP’s plans to ‘divide the Conservative Party’ only extend to challenging candidates who fail to support a referendum on the Treaty. Something that I would imagine realistically not being a problem for the majority of the potential intake of Conservative MP’s (Mr Cameron take note) especially when doing so is a matter of political expediency. Secondly, UKIP’s presence could potentially harm Labour’s vote as much as the Conservatives especially if it run’s on an ‘anti-establishment’ ticket in a constituency where the incumbent MP’s expenses could become an issue.
Really, what we are seeing is a desperate clutching at straws by the Labour Party and a rather blind refusal to make the one tactical shift (a change in leader) which actually might resonate well enough with voters to challenge the Cameron surge.