The UK Independence Party (UKIP) needs to do a lot more work to show that it’s more than a one man army.
Some say only the personality of Nigel Farage, the UKIP leader, is winning votes.
Almost permanently on TV portraying the ordinary bloke in the pub with a pint in his hand, Farage is running a publicity blitz to capitalise on his party’s recent local election impact.
The big question is will he fizzle out before the general election in May 2015, and even if he doesn’t, will UKIP just prove to be a blip on the political landscape and fail to win a seat.
The problem with Farage is he only has one policy – he’s anti-Europe.
Bluster and bonhomie
If you listen to him talk, he has nothing solid to say about the nuts and bolts of any topic, just bluster and bonhomie, much in the vein of London mayor Boris Johnson.
So what does UKIP actually stand for?
The party website has no current policy or manifesto – the last document relates to 2010 and clearly states that readers should not regard the content as current policy.
The website does contain some broad brush policy statements, like UKIP represents:
- Withdrawal from Europe and self-government
- Controls on immigration
- Stronger frontline policing
But nothing really explains how these objectives would be realised when the party has no one of any significant parliamentary experience at the helm. Besides Farage, who is a MEP, UKIP has very little in the way of substance.
Who are they?
Deputy leader is another MEP Paul Nuttall. Who? You may well ask. Apparently he is 32, MEP for the North West and a former Tranmere Rovers footballer and pledges to work hard to remove the UK from Europe.
So who would sit in the chairs of the ministers of state if UKIP found a toehold in power?
The answer is no one. UKIP may win a seat or two if enough protest voters can be bothered to stroll to the polling station, but they won’t win enough seats to make a difference.
By the time the election comes around, the major parties will have a strategy for dealing with Farage and his motley crew and he’ll be fighting to get his message across.
Nevertheless, he seems a likeable guy, and even a crash landing on an airstrip failed to ruffle his feathers too much. Unfortunately his next fall to earth may end in a bigger bump for UKIP.