The UK Independence Party surprised all at the European Parliament elections. Despite the negative campaigns from other parties, including Labour and the Green Party, Nigel Farage swayed voters to protest against the current state of UK politics. However, it has led to some debate over whether this means the United Kingdom is moving into a four-party system, and what that will mean for the British General Elections in 2015.
UKIP has one main goal in mind, and that is to leave the European Union. The legislators in the EU force the UK to do things that it would not like to do, including allowing convicted criminals and dangerous men and women remain in the country rather than be deported back to their own countries. Illegal immigrants can also remain under certain circumstances due to the Human Rights legislation. However, there are some benefits to the everyday people by remaining in Europe.
The UK Independence Party rose to victory in the parliament elections with a total of 27.50 percent of the vote. Labour came in second (UKIP’s position at the last European Elections) with 25.40 percent and the Conservatives dropped into third place with just 23.94 percent of the vote. Farage, leader of UKIP, believes that this is a sign that his party could do extremely well in the General Elections. It is certainly clear that the mainstream parties, Labour, Conservatives and Liberal Democrats, will need to rethink their manifestos and policies to match the preferences of the people.
Many people were surprised at the UK Independence Party’s results in the European elections. However, it was not just the British far-right party that did well. In France, the Front National party gained a victory and is the country’s equivalent to UKIP. Many wonder whether it is a sign that people are against the power that the EU has over its member states, especially over the immigration policy that sees people from the various member states being allowed into the country with limited restrictions, which many argue puts a strain on an already fragile economy.
Not all of the votes have yet been declared. Scotland and Northern Ireland’s votes are still to be announced, and that could see the three main parties gain some ground on the UK Independence Party. However, it is certainly interesting to see the way that England and Wales have voted, and shows some sign that the people want something different. This has been the first triumph for a minor party in the last 100 years of British politics, which is a celebration in itself for many.
The question is whether this is a sign of things to come. In the last European elections, UKIP came second but only game third in the 2010 UK General Election. If the other parties want to see the Independence Party fail again at the General Election next year, they will have to do something drastic. Whether or not it changes British politics, it is certainly a sign that the people want change and want their voices to be heard. The UK Independence Party has certainly surprised all parties in the European elections, and that can only be a good thing if it means bringing change.
By Alexandria Ingham