What justifies the extravagant hype all over the media about UKIP causing a 'Sea change' in British politics and all the rest of the exposure of Nigel Farage on TV and Conservative panic? So UKIP have a bigger share of the popular vote but under our crazy electoral system that is nothing new. It is 'seats' that matter. Plenty of Tory & Labour Governments have been elected on a minority popular vote. So let's look at some facts:
- 9836 candidates competed for 2360 seats on 35 English Councils on 2nd May 2013
- Liberal Democrats fielded 1756 candidates; UKIP fielded 1734
- Liberal Democrats won 371 seats; UKIP 147
- Liberal Democrats are represented on every Council except Staffordshire; UKIP have no representation on 12 of the 35 Councils
- More than half (80 in fact) of UKIP's seats are in just six councils: Cambridgeshire 12; Lincolnshire 16; Norfolk 15; Hampshire 10; West Sussex 10; Kent 17. Note that these Councils are in just two geographic clusters in the South.
- In Cambridgeshire (14) and Hampshire (17) Liberal Democrats have more seats than UKIP
So there is very little to justify the fuss. Just a protest group in localised pockets with no responsibility.