THIS MORNING’S BY-ELECTION RESULT had been predicted from the start. The Conservative Party would hold the seat; but with a much smaller majority – and so it was; but it need not have been that way.
UKIP’s fatal error was to field an ex-Conservative, same old, same old candidate in the shape of Roger Helmer; while its membership seeks to create a new, representative political party, unencumbered by those tainted by their past. As soon as millionaire, ex-Conservative Helmer attacked five-times richer Conservative Candidate Robert Jenrick as being unable to connect with normal voters because of his financial status: the election was irredeemably lost.
The fact is: women are much better judges of character than any male can ever hope to be – and they voted, as they always do, using their invaluable intuition to give UKIP a well deserved drubbing. Their choice was between a self-declared, reformed misogynist and a Westminster virgin whose financial status was solely attributable to the rewards bestowed upon him by his successful older wife. Women look to the candidate’s wife and his marriage to judge their favour – and there was simply no contest here.
The final Survation by-election poll found that 36.8% of men supported UKIP while just 16.8% of women supported the party. Nearly half of women (47.6%) were determined to cast their vote in support of the untainted Tory candidate – judging him upon his character’s value, expressed by his wife, and weighing it against Helmer’s vain attempts to distance himself from his past.
It was a by-election; to be refought again next year – by which time I sincerely hope that UKIP can get its act together:-
No ex-Westminster candidates;
Just honesty and complete transparency, à la its party leader.
Anything less will be a complete betrayal of its membership, and four million plus supporters…