Adam Lovejoy writes from London: If you believe opinion polls, you’ll believe anything. Such as: the BBC is impartial and value for money; or that Tony Blair was one of the greatest politicians in Britain ever.
Anyway, according to the latest three opinion polls that have obviously been conducted in some strange environment, populated by people who have a very weird perception of reality, the UK Independence Party, or UKIP for short, is now the third most popular party in Britain, having overtaken the Liberal Democrats who’ve been pushed to fourth place. UKIP, which does not have a single member in the House of Commons, is boasting that it will be going from strength to strength and might even get its first MP at some point in the future.
All the three polls – conducted by ComRes, Opinioum and Survation, in case you’re interested – put the support for UKIP on 14 per cent while giving the Tories second place with 28 and 30 per cent, depending which poll you prefer. Labour is supposedly enjoying the support of 39 and 40 per of people, again depending on which poll you fancy. And the Lib Dems at the moment are trailing the ‘big three’, having a popularity rate of 9 per cent.
How this all actually works out in real life is hard to understand. For example, if a party like UKIP has no representation in the national parliament who is it exactly who says they prefer it to others? And how about the 9 per cent that the Lib Dems apparently have, where did they get this number? They are probably on 0.9 per cent at the moment, considering their abysmal performance in government. As for Labour, there’s no way they have 40 per cent popularity, no way. 20 per cent, maybe, but never 40. Just as the Tories with their supposed 28 to 30 per cent popularity rating: they probably have 10 per cent tops, considering that PM Cameron is seriously disliked by grassroots members and regular voters.
Experts, who monitor the popularity of political parties, claim that UKIP is taking away supporters from the Tories who are panicking about it and even talk behind closed doors about the possibility of an electorate pact. This analysis sounds weird, because under the leadership of Nigel Farage UKIP has about as much chance of getting its first MP as The Monster Raving Loony Party becoming mainstream. Mr Farage, although an MEP, is just not cut out to lead a political movement of any sort, even a one-issue grouping. You can’t really treat him seriously. Not to mention that every time he comes out with some statement you tend to think that he doesn’t really mean what he is saying and is basically taking the piss, if you pardon the lingo.
The one thing that is becoming crystal clear about the political landscape in Britain is that none of the so-called ‘major parties’ are capable of governing the country. That is why all sorts of oddballs and chancers will now be emerging from the shadows, claiming their right to become mainstream. The 2015 general election in this sense will probably have the lowest turnout ever registered in British history and that in itself will show that the whole system doesn’t work anymore.
Opinion polls generally allow certain groups of people to manipulate public opinion and influence the voting process. They are never correct, they are conducted in anonymity when no one knows who the respondents were and they misinform rather than reveal the real state of things. The time has come to ban political opinion polls and let the people who continue to vote choose the candidates themselves. Not to mention that the BBC should no longer be allowed to meddle in politics and brainwash the poor sods who watch it into voting Labour.