There’s been much hyperbole surrounding the “UKIP Earthquake”. With the BBC (when it is not seriously breaching editorial independence) going overboard in repeating Nigel Farage’s claims that the party’s topping of the UK Euro polls is the biggest political event in 100 years.
Well it isn’t.
If you look at the full percentage of the vote breakdown, all UKIP have managed to do is round up people who are:
1) Likely to vote in Euro elections
2) Disillusioned with politics
3) Broadly on the right / extreme right of politics
Rather than taking hundreds of thousands of votes from Tories and Labour, they have taken votes from the BNP, the Christian Alliance and other fringe right wing / anti-EU parties / independents.
What it reveals is that the combined independent / neo-fascist / Christian / anti-EU vote was 29.8% in 2009 and 32.2% in 2014. So roughly only taking a couple of percentage points off the Tories.
The more significant shift is how Labour has regained supporters from those who voted Lib Dem in the 2009/2010 electoral period.
And that the ‘centre and left progressive’ vote which was 30.7% in 2009 as the Brown government staggered toward the end of days (42.2% including Greens / SNP / PC) has also taken votes from independents and actually grown to 32.4% (43.5%).
So it isn’t that more people have joined the extremes of British politics – it’s just that UKIP forged them into an unholy alliance. And that the mainstream media has decided a pint wielding MEP is a more palatable poster boy to give acres of media coverage to than previous incarnations of the same politics.