Nigel Farage’s strategy for winning the European Elections is based around winning over blue collar workers who normally vote Labour. Ukip believe that they can use immigration as a battering ram to break through Labour’s defences in the north. One of the party’s campaign billboards unveiled last night simply says, ’26 million people in Europe are looking for work. And whose jobs are they after’. (I suspect that Ukip will welcome the controversy these posters are attracting because it will help amplify their message)
— Adrian Hilton (@Adrian_Hilton) April 21, 2014
Ukip’s argument is that it is the only party that can actually do something about immigration. Its logic is simple: as long as Britain is in the EU, this country can’t stop people from the rest of the EU coming here to look for work and Ukip is the only party that wants to take Britain out of the EU.
Another intriguing aspect of Farage’s foray into Labour territory, his ‘Join the People’s Army’ campaign tour starts in Yorkshire this week, is his attempt at political jiu-jitsu. He wants to try and turn Ed Miliband’s cost of living attack against him, pointing out that the squeeze on wages began under Labour. It’ll be fascinating to see if this attack gains traction.
Ukip are concentrating on Labour voters because they are confident they already have a host of traditional Tory supporters in their column for May 22nd. If Farage’s strategy works, Ukip will top the poll. This would throw the main parties into chaos. The public would have delivered a vote of no confidence in the entire public class. But, as I say in the Mail on Sunday, if Ukip don’t win these elections, Farage will have missed his best chance to break the mould of British politics.