Tiny UK Independence Party cost Conservatives at least 10 seats in close General Election

The perfect is many times the enemy of the good. While the UKIP picked up just three percent of the vote in the UK's general election on Thursday, that 3 percent appears almost certainly to have cost the Conservatives a chance to form a government without relying on the Lib Dems. Instead of 307 seats in parliament, the Tories would have had at least 317 of the 326 needed to govern the country. The presences of the UKIP cost noted EU skeptic Tory MP David Heathcoat-Amory his seat in Wells. Many labor ministers would have gone down to defeat if the UKIP hadn't run its candidates.

The tiny UK Independence Party helped deprive the Conservatives of at least ten seats by fielding candidates in constituencies the Tories had a good chance of winning.
Nationally, UKIP picked up just 3 per cent of the vote. But in a string of seats their support was enough to stop even Eurosceptic Tory candidates winning.
In the most glaring example, the anti-EU party helped oust the fiercely Eurosceptic David Heathcoat-Amory in Wells, Somerset.
UKIP picked up 1,711 votes as the Tory MP lost to the Liberal Democrats by 800.
UKIP also helped to prop up a number of Labour ministers, including Schools Secretary Ed Balls, Communities Secretary John Denham, immigration minister Phil Woolas and local government minister Ian Austin.
In each case the ministers would have lost their seats if the bulk of UKIP's support had gone to the Conservative candidate.
Mr Austin, a close ally of Gordon Brown, held Dudley North with a majority of just 649 over the Conservatives, while UKIP picked up 3,267 votes. . . .

To put it differently, 16,000 votes stood between the Conservatives and a majority.

DAVID CAMERON was deprived of a Commons majority by failing to secure the votes of just 16,000 people, according to an expert analysis of election results.

The findings by Colin Rallings and Michael Thrasher reveal that the Tories came tantalisingly close to securing a clean victory at the polls.

“Cameron came so near and yet so far,” write the directors of the elections centre at Plymouth University. “Just 16,000 extra votes for the Tories, distributed in the 19 constituencies in which the party came closest to winning, would have spared us a weekend of negotiation and speculation.” . . . .



Blogger August said...

This is fatuous. Cameron is not conservative. He didn't even pretend to be conservative. He basically ran Obama's 'hope and change' campaign. He stands in lock-step with the global warming liars and will continue with socialized healthcare and everything else.
I doubt UKIP could rightly be called conservative either- probably better defined as UK socialism for UK citizens only.

A more accurate message would be the Tories compromised principle for 'electability' and they are hanging on by a thread despite having the most hated Brown as their competition.

There, as here, the best thing a conservative can do on election day is stay home and let the political class suffer, until someone figures out how to field a real candidate, who won't betray us.

5/12/2010 12:58 PM  

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