The UKIP effect

In Tories, UKIP on April 27, 2010 by dadge

One four-letter word you shouldn’t use around a Tory, unless you want to see them get even redder in the face, is “Ukip”. They had quite a marked “spoiler” effect on the Tories in 2005, and votes for them could deprive Cameron of victory this time.

So that’s another unfortunate side-effect of our electoral system: if the vote for a particular political faction splinters, that faction gets fewer seats. We saw that in 1983, when, between them, Labour and the SDP-Liberal alliance got over 50% of the votes, but Mrs Thatcher romped home. The LibDems aren’t generally considered a spoiler party, but if you believe that the LibDems still have more in common with Labour than with the Tories, from that point of view they may be regarded as splitting the left-wing vote and “letting the Tories in”.


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