Something remarkable is taking place in our mother country. Late last month, a third party on the right overtook both major political parties in a national election, as significantly more people in England voted for the right over the left. The UK Independence Party (UKIP) is surging as a sort of British equivalent to the Tea Party, proposing a reduction in immigration and leaving the European Union.
The UKIP received the most votes in May’s European Parliament elections (electing delegates known as MEPs) with 27.49%, followed by Labour with 25.40% and the Conservatives (or Tories) with 23.93%. It was the first time in over 100 years that a party other than Labour or Conservatives have won the most votes in a nationwide election. Most of the remaining vote went to the Green and Liberal Democrat parties – but with over 50% going to UKIP or the Conservatives, it is clear the country is undergoing a conservative shift. The UK has been led since 2010 by Prime Minister David Cameron of the Conservatives.
Although the UKIP won the most votes in the UK’s European Parliament, it still has a lot of catching up to do in the UK’s two traditional legislative bodies. Cameron has only appointed three UKIP candidates to the 780-member House of Lords, and the UKIP has yet to win a single election in the House of Commons (MPs). Last week, the Conservatives won the Newark election for MP, with 44.9% of the vote. The UKIP candidate came in second with 25.8%, well ahead of Labour with only 17.6%. That means a whopping 70% voted for a right-leaning party.