As Nigel Farage remarked at a press conference on Sunday evening, the only surprise is that it didn’t happen earlier.
Warm congratulations to all UKIP members, supporters and voters. Your efforts have resulted in a watershed in British and European history. Fed up with the business-as-usual refrain from the three main parties, which resemble one another more closely with every passing year, Britons have voted to take their homeland back, make their own laws once more and trade with the world as they see fit, not how they are told to by a foreign overlord.
Looking through the election results, quite a few surprises have emerged. The most startling thing to me is the degree to which UKIP have taken votes in Labour’s traditional heartlands of the northern English counties, Wales and Scotland. No longer can UKIP be dismissed as a mere refuge of disaffected Conservative voters. Their support base now spans the traditional Left vote as well as the Right. In Wales, UKIP have come within a few thousand votes of defeating Labour; in Yorkshire and the Humber, they have won outright. To achieve ten percent of the vote in Scotland, at a time when the Scots are considering outright independence from the UK, is nothing short of astonishing. As I remarked over at Breitbart, this expansion of support base has implications for UKIP’s policy platform. How this may play out over the next year is currently a bit of a question mark.
How will this result translate to next year’s general election? Yesterday’s turnout of just 33% of eligible voters may mean we need to view these results with some degree of scepticism: I look forward to the views of British readers on this. But from where I’m standing, it looks as though Nige had better get his interior decorators scoping out the inside of No. 10 Downing Street; he may be spending rather a lot of time there shortly.