When UKIP MEPs turned their backs in protest to the EU flag they embarked on creating some truly wonderful imagery.
They had hoped to create a powerful visual protest against the EU by turning away from the EU flag. Without realising though they all turned instead to face no other than Marine Le Pen, of Front National (FN) – the far-right French political party resulting in this wonderful image:
*Photo New Europe
Of course, in the lead up to the European elections UKIP leader Nigel Farage, the man who orchestrated this parliamentary protest, spoke out about the ‘common ground’ between the FN and UKIP and the potential of working together in the European Parliament as a blocking minority.
Indeed Geert Wilders, the lunatic Eurosceptic leader of the Dutch Freedom Party, told the Guardian that hoped he could get Le Pen and Farage to work together in the parliament.
This overlap between the far-right of European politics and UKIP is seen in Farage’s recruitment of one rogue FN MEP into their political group (something which didn’t please Le Pen herself to much).
They are joined in UKIP’s ‘Europe of Freedom and Direct Democracy’ (EFD) by two Swedish far right MEPs whose party was founded by white supremacists (I read that they had to write specifically distancing themselves from white-supremacist views to be allowed in) as well as Lithuania’s Order and Justice Party (a party who themselves have had to deny links with Le Pen’s far-right FN).
A charming group huh?
I wonder how many 2014 UKIP voters realized that their vote was going to be used to help grow such a far-right grouping in the European Parliament?
I suspect not many!
Just 38% of those who voted for the Liberal Democrats in 2010 plan to vote for the party at the General Election in 2015 according to a new Populus poll.
In contrast, 76% of 2010 Labour voters and 67% of 2010 Conservative voters said they intend to stick with their party.
What is perhaps more interesting is where the poll suggests former Liberal Democrats will be casting their vote. It suggested that 23% would switch to Labour, 7% to Conservatives, 1% to SNP, 5% to UKIP and 3% to The Green Party.
21% though said that they were still not decided.
A few points to draw out of this:
- The Labour Party remain the default party for voters on the left (assuming that the Lib Dems who switched would consider themselves “left wing” or “centre left”).
- The Green Party strategy of picking up pissed off Lib Dem voters doesn’t appear to be working.
- UKIP seem to be able to pick up votes all over the political spectrum despite attracting the extreme edges of right wing politics as candidates.
- There is still a lot to play for the Lib Dems in convincing previous voters who are now unsure to back them again.
- Both Labour and Conservatives enjoy a fixed following that will back them whatever the weather (although 12% of 2010 Conservative voters said they would back UKIP in 2015).
2015 however remains a long way off. In the meantime a separate (much larger) poll for the 2014 European Elections threw up some equally interesting results (although still not good reading for the Lib Dems).
A recent You Gov study found that:
“Labour would win the election with 30% of the vote, UKIP would come second with 25%, the Conservatives third with 23%, Greens fourth with 12%, and the Lib Dems last with 10%.”
Who do you plan to vote for in 2014 and 2015? Is it the same as 2010?