The UKIP effect, May 2010 edition

I’ve now identified 21 seats where the Tories lost by less than the UKIP vote. Assuming that UKIP voters would’ve voted Tory if there hadn’t been a UKIP candidate (and a proportion of them wouldn’t have, I know), the presence of a UKIP candidate has had an important spoiler effect in this election. The Conservatives currently have 306 seats. These extra 21 seats, plus Thirsk (voting on 27 May), would give them 328 seats, an overall majority. Before the election I did suggest that this was likely to happen, but most Tories put their hands over their ears and went “La la la, I can’t hear you.”

seat non-Con majority UKIP vote
Hampstead & Kilburn 42 408
Bolton West 92 1901
Solihull 175 1200
Southampton Itchen 192 1928
Mid Dorset & Poole North 269 2109
Wirral South 531 1274
Derby North 613 829
Dudley North 649 3267
Great Grimsby 714 2043
Wells 800 1711
Telford 981 2428
Walsall North 990 1737
Morley & Outwood 1101 1506
St Austell & Newquay 1312 1757
Newcastle under Lyme 1552 3491
Plymouth Moor View 1588 3188
Middlesbrough South 1677 1881
St Ives 1719 2560
Walsall South 1755 3449
Somerton & Frome 1817 1932
Derbyshire North East 2445 2636


On my first look through the results I only found ten examples, but thanks to Jason at Conservative Home, we can all now see the full extent of this Tory cock-up. Cameron has had plenty of opportunity since he became leader to do a deal with UKIP but, for whatever reason, he chose not to. Now it’s come back to bite him.

This information is not only significant with regard to the election outcome: it’s also important to bear it in mind during the negotiations that are currently taking place. If I were David Cameron, I’d promise a referendum on EU membership, in return get UKIP to promise not to put candidates up against the Tories, and then call another election for the autumn. In other words, he should just forget the whole business of trying to do a deal with the LibDems.

Now, I tend to side with the LibDems, so I’ll be pleased to see them in government, but Tories like Cranmer are mightily frustrated with Cameron’s behaviour.


Posted May 8, 2010 by dadge

6 Responses to “The UKIP effect, May 2010 edition”

  1. You’ve missed one.

  2. As Milton Friedman once observed, it’s not actually necessary to throw the bums out- it will suffice to tell the bums what you want and make it clear that you mean it. Perhaps the above figures will help to make it understood that the EU is not held in such high regard as the politicians fondly suppose.

  3. UKIP are idiots. The Tories will be in coalition with the most Europhile Party in the country.

  4. UKIP activists aren’t putting in time and effort for their self-aggrandisement. It is tough being at a count with a UKIP rosette, being treated ‘tolerantly’ by the other parties, and knowing your candidate will finish nowhere.

    UKIP members aren’t in thrall to a charasmatic leader, or a silky smooth operation.

    We turn out because we believe that the damage done by the EU, the institutionalising of the endemic corruption, and all the other familiar disadvantages are much underestimated by the main parties. We need a referendum. And BOO would win in in a canter, even with establishment ‘rigging’.

    Conversely, a referendum on PR is unwinnable.

  5. […] UKIP voters would support the Conservatives if UKIP weren’t around, then it looks as though UKIP did deprive the Tories of an overall majority at the election. And even if you assume that only some UKIP voters would support the Conservatives, […]

  6. […] the 2010 UK election I was one of several people who pointed out how Ukip had probably denied the Tories a majority. Since then Ukip has become more balanced in its support from left and right-leaning voters, but at […]

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