Conservative Home ask a question:
On the face if it, the implication is a valid one. These are seats where the number of UKIP votes is greater than the margin by which a conservative candidate was defeated. The table is from the above Con-Home piece, but updated* by me (red lines) to show one of the flaws in their premise.:
Bolton West: Labour 18,329; Conservative 18,235; UKIP 1,901; GREEN 545 Derby North: Labour 14,896; Conservative 14,283; UKIP 829; BNP 2,000 Derbyshire NE: Labour 17,948: Conservative 15,503; UKIP 2,636 Dorset mid & Poole: Labour 21,100; Conservative 20,831; UKIP 2,109 Dudley North: Labour 14,923; Conservative 14,274; UKIP 3,267; BNP 1,899 Great Grimsby: Labour 10,777: Conservative 10,063: UKIP 2,043; BNP 1,517 Hampstead & Kilburn: Labour 17,332; Conservative 17,290; UKIP 408; GREEN 759; BNP 328 Middlesbrough South: Labour 18,138; Conservative 16,461; UKIP 1,881; BNP 1,576; IND 818 Morley (Ed Balls): Labour 18,365; Conservatives 17,264; UKIP 1,506; BNP 3,535 Newcastle-Under-Lyme: Labour 16,393; Conservatives 14,841; UKIP 3,491 Plymouth Moor View: Labour 15,433; Conservatives 13,845; UKIP 3,188; BNP 1,438 Solihull: Liberal 23,635; Conservatives 23,460; UKIP 1,200; BNP 1,624 Somerton & Frome: Liberal 28,793; Conservatives 26,976; UKIP 1,932 Southampton Itchen: Labour 16,326; Conservatives 16,134; UKIP 1,928; GREEN 600 St Austell & Newquay: Liberal 20,189; Conservatives 18,877; UKIP 1,757; MEB KER 2,007; BNP 1,022 St Ives: Liberal 19,619; Conservatives 17,900; UKIP 2,560; GREEN 1,308; CORNWALL PARTIES 783 Telford: Labour 15,977; Conservatives 14,996; UKIP 2,428; BNP 1513 Walsall North: Labour 13,385; Conservatives 12,395; UKIP 1,737; BNP 2,930 Walsall South: Labour 16,211; Conservatives 14,456; UKIP 3,449 Wells: Liberal 24,560; Conservatives 23,760; UKIP 1,711; BNP 1,004 Wirral South: Labour 16,276; Conservatives 15,745; UKIP 1,274
What you’ll notice on the red lines is that other parties also peeled off votes that could make or break one of the dominant candidates. Frequently, the BNP won more votes than UKIP. If it’s fair to assume that UKIP voters are disaffected Tories, then it’s also fair to assume that BNP voters are disaffected working class socialists i.e. former Labour core voters. Greens could be disaffected Lab or Lib voters.
So UKIP no more ‘cost’ the Tories a majority than the BNP and Greens cost Labour a majority. Which brings me to my second point, and the second reason that UKIP did not steal the Tories’ victory.
People voted UKIP rather than Tory (as I did) because Cameron let us down over the Lisbon referendum and under him, the party has a pro-EU outlook. If the Tories had offered something of value to an increasingly Eurosceptic public, they could have won a comfortable majority.
Likewise, if Labour hadn’t been so arrogant and cack-handed over immigration for the last 13 years, they wouldn’t have haemorrhaged votes to the BNP.
To sum up then: It’s complete and utter cobblers.
* If you’re interested in playing with the numbers, they’re here on the Guardian’s Datablog.