Coffee House

Tories now see ‘fruitcakes’ and ‘clowns’ as serious voters impatient for change

3 May 2013

9:14 AM

3 May 2013

9:14 AM

We’ve only had a few results through in the local elections, but already the parties are giving their verdict on the way last night worked for them. One thing to watch today is the development of a Tory line on UKIP. There hasn’t been one in the run-up to polling day, but will there be a concerted effort from the Conservative leadership to produce a clear message about what Nigel Farage’s success means for the Tories?

Grant Shapps certainly managed to stick to the Tinkerbell strategy of trying not to say ‘UKIP’ or ‘Nigel Farage’ in his Today programme interview. But he also stuck to the sympathetic portrayal of those who vote UKIP – rather than its candidates and now elected representatives – as people ‘impatient for change’. He also told voters ‘this is a loud and clear message. We get it. We hear you’. That message is that the government needs to get on with deficit reduction and driving down immigration.


It’s interesting that Shapps also decided to bring up the welfare changes that the government has instituted. He described the long haul in bringing in these changes, but behind the scenes strategists view the way the party has sold itself in the past month on benefit cuts and the introduction of universal credit as one of its finest moments. It won’t be the last time Shapps and his colleagues remind listeners of how well the party is doing on this issue.

But Shapps also referred to voters’ desire for an EU referendum. The spin from the top is that it’s vital Conservatives make it clear to voters that electing them to government in 2015 will guarantee a referendum, but John Baron got in early doors on the Today programme to insist that a manifesto pledge wasn’t enough. Though sources close to the PM made clear to Coffee House yesterday that there won’t be a Bill in the Queen’s Speech on this, expect a head of steam to build on the backbenches for some action very soon.

And in the meantime, the Tory line seems to be ‘sensible voters are telling Tories to get on with it by voting UKIP, and we will’. This weekend’s papers will doubtless bring details of what that ‘getting on with it’ will entail.

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Show comments
  • James

    I can see the libs teaming up with the labradors and Cameron being forced to work with UKIP, but one has to ask why this is necessary and how come our main political parties are so far removed from the people?

  • Russell

    Cameron and the Conservatives really are between a rock and a hard place. If the Conservatives are to stand any chance at all in the 2015 General Election, they have to totally reverse Camerons position of wanting to remain in the EU and campaigning to stay in. Cameron cannot change his stated position so must go or be got rid of, and no likely successor is obvious.
    If the Conservatives could change to a position of getting a grip on immigration by taking the UK out of the EU, whilst helping our knackered fishing Industry and allowing the UK to deport people of bad character and who are a threat to our country, they might have a chance (not going to happen).

  • John B Sheffield

    It’s time for the Tories to wake up before it is far too late! the only answer seems to be Cameron & Osborne must Go! voters no longer trust the PM and Osborne they see as being completely out of touch.

  • Iain Hill

    Already mainstream politicians are trying to smooth over the Ukip surge Simply a midterm protest because parties are not listening enough blah blah.

    The reality is that voters are finally revolting about parties which are locked into working for sectional interests, like banks, arms dealers, financiers, the US (and of course themselves) and completely ignoring the needs and wishes of the electorate. Who will give us a government dedicated to us which will produce policies to benefit our interests?

  • Rhoda Klapp6

    On My TV just now, the big two and a half parties’ reps could not even bring themselves to discuss what they would need to do to get the votes back.

    • Patricia

      “On My TV just now, the big two and a half parties’ reps could not even bring themselves to discuss what they would need to do to get the votes back.”
      They need to talk about controlling immigration and holding an EU referendum but I suspect they are too afraid to say so.

  • John Statham

    There’s a pretty obvious difference between describing UKIP candidates as fruitcakes and clowns (which many no doubt are – but then look at the LibDems) and saying the same of people who vote for them.

    I suspect many voters will find that on closer inspection that their new councillors are no improvement on the previous ones, and in some cases a lot worse.

  • allymax bruce

    UKIP are now a Political Party that can be in Westminster government by 2015; I now see UKIP forming a coalition with the Conservatives; giving the ‘British’ electorate the centre-right policies the country wants, and needs. David Cameron is well advised, (by me), to ‘accommodate’ UKIP, while maintaining his own ‘ground’. However, it will mean s-sm is off the table. Thank God! for UKIP. Immigration limitation is on the table. And a compromise on the EU ‘in/out’ referendum is also on the table; this is now a real coalition for government, for the people, of the people, and by the people. Coalition government of Conservatives, and UKIP, are now the Westminster favourites for 2015.
    The ‘British’ people have seen through the apocalyptic & sleight-of-hand ‘Westminster ‘Establishment Troike’, (WET’s); the Westminster Parties that Impose horrendous policies on us, without putting it their manifesto, and not allowing us to vote against these horrendous policies! EU, Lisbon, s-sm, etc; The Westminster Imposition Parties’, (WIPs), have done too much damage to us, our lives, and our country; it’s time we, the people, took back our country!

  • andagain

    “Impatient for change”

    What change? Tax cuts for themselves and spending cuts for others? No one ever seems to be impatient for tax rises and spending cuts for themselves, but that is what most people are going to get, for the remotely forseeable future.

    • Russell

      Mp’s just got a 25% increase in their ‘admin’ expenses to something approaching £135,000 per year (on top of their expenses/allowances/salary), and they are demanding even more!

  • Archimedes

    An extraordinary performance from UKIP, but surely no one should get overly excited about this. UKIP is clearly doing well from low turnouts, which is to be expected given that they are the most exciting political party in the UK with the most reason to go out and actually vote.

    Some of them will come back into the fold in 2015, higher turnouts will reduce their impact, and it’s turnout and Labour voters that the Conservatives need.

    It is just incredible that they’re beating Labour at this point, though. Fascinating times.

    • Hexhamgeezer

      But what will encourage a higher turnout for The Management? More wind turbines? Gay polygamy? Bigger taxes for billionaires? UKIP in the pay of Moscow?

      • Archimedes

        I don’t know. General elections encourage higher turnouts, but a little something extra will have to be found, won’t it?

        • Hexhamgeezer

          Every Little Helps but the LibLabCon Management just cant bring themselves to offer it. Luckily for Labour and the libs they have the client state to scare.

      • GUBU

        How about a free wind turbine for every newlywed gay couple?

    • Iain Hill

      I don’t care about Ukip, but someone must burst the Westminster bubble and get through to the Bourbon political parties that it is voters who put them there, and voters’ interests that they must dedicate themselves to.

  • Jebediah

    We all get how this erodes the Conservative vote. However, Labour are keeping their heads well down. This mid-term is a disaster for the traditional opposition. The only Labour spokesmen I’ve seen so far have talked about the Conservative’s negative not Labour’s positive.
    It tell them that there is not, a shift to the left in British politics and that Miliband is wrong.
    I laud UKIP’s achievements, and thank them for bringing topics to the table. However, somehow we have to avoid the majority allowing a minority old-fashioned Labour party coming to power, thanks to the peculiarity of the first-past-the-post system.

    • Russell

      A minority always gets to power (in terms of votes). People should just vote for the party that they agree satisfies more of their wishes.

      • Jebediah

        Yes but I do not want Labour in power to finish the ruin they began. Do you?

        • Russell

          I suspect millions of others like myself are past caring whether or not Milibrain & Testiclehead get into power to continue the ruination of the UK.
          The only way this once great country can recover is to be in control of ALL our decision making, and not have any laws/regulations imposed on us from the corrupt organisation known as the EU, and voting for Cameron and/or the conservatives will not achieve that, so much better to vote for a party that believes as I do.
          I will be voting UKIP in every election in the future even if it does go against the grain to vote against the Conservatives, a party that does not now represent my strongly felt views.

        • Hexhamgeezer

          Not really, but the cameroons will do a similar job, just ever-so-slightly slower.

  • James

    I hope UKIP get the financial support to take this fight all the way. I’d also like to see how Labour are going to shift more to the left after this turn out, in which case I’d like the press to bang on about what clowns they are.

  • kyalami

    As an early supporter of Cameron, I sadly must say that I have been disappointed by him. Little in the way of conviction politics, too much tolerance of sleaze, too casual in his approach to government debt, too focused on polls, too smug and complacent.

    For all her faults, I want another Maggie.

    • Makroon

      I kind of agree, but UKIP seem to be making the case for lower taxes, smaller government, and taking no more crap from the EU. They can reach areas that the Tories can’t reach.
      Leaving aside party politics for a moment, it has to be good if a majority of the public can see through the socialist, client state.

  • Colonel Mustard

    Hitler in the bunker with all his maps as the Allies close in on Berlin. Blame the British people for not recognising your genius Cameron. Refusing to put the UKIP flags on your bunker maps doesn’t mean they are not there and coming for you.

    • allymax bruce

      The ‘Establishment’ Parties have destroyed what was ‘British’; we now have to herald-up a ‘disclaimer’ to use simple words, that weren’t deemed offensive before Labour’s Bliar government; surely we must be allowed to decide for ourselves what is, and isn’t decent, offensive, rude, courteous, and acceptable. Westminster Establishment Troike, (WET’s), governments have ‘ushered’ us into these channels of imposed indoctrination; we must show these WET’s we are the electorate, not the degenerate. Cameron must now get rid of Blair’s horrendous Equality Commission; ASAP!

  • MirthaTidville

    Cameron cant change…not capable of it..Even now they refuse to say `UKIP` and end up making themselves look even sillier. So if he is going to change wait for the big news on EU referendum brought forward to next year. Virtual complete block on all immigration and bin off `Gay Marriage` ……But whatever you do dont hold your breath