When it was announced that UKIP came second in the Eastleigh by-election, comfortably beating the Conservatives by more than a thousand votes, David Cameron's face looked ashen. He's not usually given to betraying his emotions - "Your face, my Thane, is as a book, where men may read ..." was never said of him before, but today he could not conceal his chagrin.
He has done everything to alienate and enrage the typical Tory voter, from breaking his promises on inheritance tax and giving votes to prisoners to suddenly demolishing the institution of marriage without so much as a by-your-leave, and he is surprised that it has cost him votes at the ballot box.
Could it also be that nobody believes his promises, often heard before, to hold a Referendum on EU membership. Cast-iron promises? Any old iron, scrap iron...
Contrary to the press assumption, the UKIP vote in Eastleigh was not all robbed from the Conservatives. A poll conducted at the expense of Lord Ashcroft, found that 22% of those who voted Conservative in the 2010 election voted UKIP yesterday, BUT 19% of former Lib Dem voters and 17% of former Labour voters also voted UKIP. A lot of UKIP votes came from people who have not voted at all for a long time, people who are disillusioned with the system and the lack of choice offered by the LibLabCon. That doesn't surprise me. The message that being in the EU is an expensive habit and that we would all be better off without it seems to be finally getting through to the electorate. Well done Diane James, the brilliant UKIP candidate.
I really don't know what the people who voted Libdem thought they were voting for. Illegal EU bail-outs? Health and welfare cuts? Austerity? A gaping deficit? Disgraceful standards in many NHS hospitals? Inadequate pensions? Blatant refusal of care for the old and sick? A completely failed energy policy that is soon going to land us all in blackout? Presumably they like all those things and have no quarrel with them. No objection to the morals of Chris Huhne, David Laws or Lord Rennard either. They must all be taking Diazephan in large daily doses, and it's made them lose touch with reality.