News by email Donate


Parliament - Copyright Image Broker / REX
UK News

How seriously should we take UKIP?

by Martyn Eden

These elections were for 35 English Councils, including the County Councils which the Conservatives traditionally dominate. They lost control of eight. Labour took Derbyshire from them but the other seven have no party in overall control. Nevertheless, Conservatives still won 1124 (46%) seats and continue to control 18 (51%) of these Councils. Labour won 560 (23%) seats and now controls three County Councils, whilst the Liberal Democrats won 371 (15%) seats and control none of these Councils. UKIP won 147 (6%) seats and also control no Councils because their votes were  not concentrated in a few local authorities. 

If this voting pattern was repeated in the General Election UKIP could still have no MPs but they could put the Labour Party into Government, possibly in coalition with the Liberal Democrats. These are the most pro-EU parties and least likely to hold a referendum on EU membership. In contrast, David Cameron has already promised a referendum in 2017. His backbenchers are pressing him to bring this forward but his Liberal Democrat partners would block this. Even if they did not such a Bill would be defeated in the Commons by a coalition of Labour, Liberal Democrat and Europhile Conservatives like Ken Clarke. One interpretation of last week's election results is that traditional Conservative supporters voted for UKIP as a protest against this situation. 

Lord Lawson, the former Conservative Chancellor of the Exchequer, announced on Tuesday that although he voted for the UK to join the EU in 1975 he would now vote to leave. He sees the EU as a threat to our financial services as the EU moves closer to fiscal and monetary union. We joined the Union to gain the benefits of being part of a 'common market' but because we have stayed out of the Eurozone we have little influence over decisions made by its members even when they can affect us. He also doubts David Cameron will be able to achieve significant changes in the negotiations he is proposing. That depends on the degree of support he receives from Angela Merkel and the nine other member states that remain outside the Eurozone. 

The other issue that appears to have brought support to UKIP is immigration. Again, the Conservatives share these concerns and have reduced immigration by 33% over the last three years. The Queen's speech includes an Immigration Bill that is intended to restrict access of some immigrants to benefits, health care and social housing. It will also seek to make it easier to deport foreign nationals who threaten UK security. The Conservatives have two years in which to persuade their traditional supporters that they, not UKIP, are the most likely to make a difference on the issues that concern them.

A Monthly Gift Of $11 Makes A World Of Difference

In a world of fake news there’s never been a greater need for quality Christian journalism. Premier’s mission is to provide the Church with the most up to date and relevant news, told from a Christian perspective. But we can’t do it without you.

Unlike many websites we haven't put up a paywall — we want to keep our journalism free at the point of need and as open as we can. Premier’s news output takes a lot of time, money and hard work to produce. No one in the USA is sharing news like we are across radio, magazines and online so please help us to continue that today.

For a monthly gift of $11 or more we’d also be able to send you a free copy of the brand new Premier Bible, a wonderful Anglicised version of the NLT packed with exclusive bonus content, reading plan and resources to help you get the most out of scripture.

Your monthly support will make a world of difference. Thank you.

Support Us
Continue the conversation on our Facebook page

Related Articles

Sign up to our newsletter to stay informed with news from a Christian perspective.

News by email