Ukip wants to use the Wythenshawe and Sale East by-election as a way of spooking Labour into realising that it can steal votes from every party, not just the Tories. Labour is sufficiently worried to be trialling special anti-Ukip leaflets in the constituency, but behind-the-scenes senior figures still seem reasonably relaxed about the real threat that Nigel Farage’s party poses.

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The picture (from Guido) above, though, shows that Ukip is trying to hit the two weak spots for Labour, the ones it is trying to neutralise rather than develop radical policy on: welfare and immigration. That line ‘protect your jobs and benefits’ seems to be referring to ‘benefit tourism’, but perhaps it’s also referring to Ukip’s continuing commitment (until Nigel Farage disowns it and says he’s never heard of it) to universal benefits for pensioners.

The party doesn’t really think it can beat Labour, but what it does want to do is to unsettle it in the same way as it did in Eastleigh with the Tories.

Tags: UK politics, UKIP