The Ides is the day in the middle of the month, near enough. It might happen before then. After (I think) December 7th, there is less than six months to the general election.
I picked up a snippet of information in passing, probably on Twitter which I mostly scan-read and search for photos to caption. Apparently, if there is less than six months to a general election, an MP switching parties does not automatically trigger a by-election.
Triggering a by-election is a risk. Not much of a risk if you’re Douglas Carswell. He’s so popular with his constituents he’d have to join the Push the Shit Back Up and Hold It party if he wanted to lose. Switching to UKIP and going through an election was only a minor risk for him.
Mark Reckless took a bigger risk. It paid off but he risked splitting the Tory vote and letting Labour win. However, that didn’t happen and Labour took a slapping too – although nowhere near as hard a slapping as the Lib Dems. I think it’s probably safe to discount the Lib Dems entirely as future coalition partners. Unless their remaining two MPs can agree on something.
Mutterings on Twitter hint that Philip Hollobone will move to UKIP soon. Will that trigger a by-election? Maybe. Or maybe it;s too close to that six-months-to-go deadline. I have no idea whether his constituents vote Tory or vote Hollobone. If they are voting for him then UKIP will have number three in the House of Wasters. If they are voting for the party then he could be in for an early bath.
As one of Old Holborn’s multiple personalities said on Twitter – these are not really UKIP MPs. They are the same MPs with a different badge on. They are already known to, and popular with, their constituents. A real UKIP MP will be one who defeats a sitting main-party candidate. Someone who has not defected from another party and who has not been an MP before.
This is not to belittle UKIP’s achievement. They are chipping away at the Triad and they have a few experienced MPs in place – they’ll need to have those there if they do drop in some newbies at the general election. Wastemonster’s grey suits will eat the newbies up if they don’t have some guidance. So it is a sensible approach and until the general election it’s the only way they’ll get any MPs in place.
There are rumours of quite a few Tory MPs and even some Labour ones who are considering jumping ship. Why aren’t they doing it? Is it all just rumour?
Maybe they are not as confident that they will be returned in a by-election with a purple badge on. In which case they could be out of a job before the next election.
However, if they wait until there is less than six months to go then they can stay in their jobs – as UKIP MPs – at least until that next general election. The next general election is likely to see a lot of marginals change hands and some of them could get into UKIP hands. There will be MPs on all sides wondering if their chances of still having a job next year are better served by staying in their current party or by switching to UKIP.
Oh yes, they are thinking of themselves, not us. Did anyone expect anything different?
I hope to see UKIP refuse a defector one day. They need to be sure they accept those who suport their aims, not just those looking for a change of gravy train. Otherwise they are just going to end up with an unmanageable mess.
I don’t think UKIP will form a government next year but they are already doing a good job of scaring the pants off the two and a half main parties. The Lib Dems are toast, no matter what happens, and they’ve brought it on themselves. The Tories and Labour are going to get a few kicks in the nuts at that next election and I’d be surprised if there aren’t a few new UKIP MPs in the next parliament. Quite possibly more than the Lib Dems will have left.
If there is going to be a mass defection to UKIP (realistically, probably no more than ten but I’m willing to be surprised) then it will happen, or at least start happening, mid-December.
What UKIP need to watch out for are those gravy train riders. It might look good to have more MPs but you really don’t want parasites now. They are going to cause you a lot of problems later.
Let the other parties keep their ticks and tapeworms. Pick out the good ones and leave the rest.
If there are so many defections that UKIP have a majority in Parliament before the election, I will laugh so hard I won’t be able to type for days. It’s really not likely but it so much fun to imagine the looks on the faces of the Cameroid, the Clegg and the Moribund One.
Well, early night beckons. Work tomorrow. My life is still an inverse version of everyone else’s and quite frankly, I like it that way.