Prior to the expenses scandal UKIP was set to implode. Even Farage was privately admitting that UKIP would be lucky to get 5 seats.
The expenses scandal saved UKIP’s bacon. UKIP did not win 13 seats because of Nigel Farage appearing on the TV or because of their policies. They won seats because voters were foolish enough to believe that UKIP was different.
It was a protest vote. Nothing more, nothing less.
And yet despite this UKIP still did quite badly.
Britain is facing the worst economic crisis in decades, people are losing their jobs and their homes. Public dissatisfaction with the main political parties has NEVER been higher. And yet UKIP still only managed to gain a pathetic 0.3 % increase in the share of the vote!
The promised 26 MEPs never materialised and in the local elections UKIP only managed to gain a handful of council seats. They also lost one MEP in the East Midlands.
Even staunch UKIP supporters such as Brendon Padmore are uneasy with UKIP’s poor performace:
I don't mean to **** on UKIPs parade especially as I am a member and campaigned for the party but if we are going to move forward we have to face some realities. UKIPs vote would have collapsed if it wasn't for the MPs expenses scandal (IMHO) so whilst I am more than happy with the result I am not kidding myself that this was due to UKIPS performance.
A gain of one MEP when the main political parties are at there lowest ebb in history is very poor. What I would like to see in the next few weeks is the leadership giving us direction and momentum to carry the fight on-wards with a concentration on domestic issues and no mention of the EU.
So what will happen now?
The answer is not a lot! You can expect a few more silly stunts in Brussels, a more authoritarian leadership and the expulsion of the last of the so-called malcontents. Niall Warry, Eric Edmond and Geoffrey Collier are just three of many to face the chop!
Farage is secure for the moment. However, several newspapers are believed to be conducting investigations into UKIP. Several UKIP MEPs are under investigation by OLAF and David Bannerman has designs on the leadership.
Also, several UKIP MEPs are unhappy with Farage’s leadership and would like to see him resign at the earliest opportunity. These include Colman, Bufton, Sinclaire, Batten and Dartmouth.
Farage position as leader is hardly secure in the long-term!