UKIP will have us believe that they are the great slayers of the established parties, the new kids on the block poking the big political parties in the eyes. I’ve always been sceptical about this narrative given that they are a party led by a privately-educated, multi-millionaire, former commodities trader in Nigel Farage. Having taken a chunk of the Conservative vote, UKIP sought to broaden their appeal and present themselves as the ‘Working Man’s Party‘ A party to represent those in society who feel ignored by the modern Labour Party. This strategy achieved some measure of success as UKIP pushed Labour hard in the Heywood and Middleton parliamentary by-election last year.
But now, in Taunton Deane, we can see UKIP for what they are – Tories in disguise. There are 56 seats on Taunton Deane Borough Council, all of which are up for grabs on 7th May. How many of those 56 will UKIP contest? 2! Yes, UKIP has put up just 2 candidates to fight the 56 seats. Given that they managed to put up candidates in 10 of the 11 Taunton Deane Divisions in the County elections just two years ago, it will not be credible for UKIP to claim that they were only able to find two candidates. We are forced to ask ‘Have UKIP stepped aside to give Taunton Deane Conservatives a free run?’ Certainly looks like that to me. So let’s have an end to the idea that UKIP is some sort of insurgent party, looking to compete against all the established parties. They look more like Tory poodles today.