2304
Eurosceptics Win  Landmark UK Victory
International

Eurosceptics Win Landmark UK Victory

Britain’s anti-EU UK Independence Party won its first elected seat in parliament on Friday by a huge margin and came a close second in another vote, proving it poses a threat to the country’s two main parties in a national election next year.

UKIP, which wants a British EU withdrawal and strict curbs on immigration, was expected to do well in both votes. But the unexpectedly wide margin of its victory in the seaside town of Clacton and its strong performance in an election in northern England came as a surprise.

In Clacton, it won 60 percent of the vote, up from zero in 2010 when it didn’t contest the area. In Heywood and Middleton, in northern England, a traditional stronghold for the opposition Labour party, it got almost 39 percent of the vote, up from less than 3 percent in 2010, Reuters reported.

“There is nothing that we cannot achieve,” Douglas Carswell, Clacton’s new UKIP member of parliament, told supporters.

 “The governing can no longer presume to know what is right for the governed,” he said immediately after he was declared the winner. “Crony corporatism is not the free market. Cosy cartel politics is not meaningful democracy. Change is coming.”

There is little prospect of UKIP winning more than a dozen of 650 seats in a national election in May next year. But its growing success threatens to split the center-right vote and chip away at the traditional left-wing vote too making it harder for any one party to win an outright majority.

That increases the likelihood of a hung parliament, another coalition government, and potential political instability in the world’s sixth largest economy. UKIP’s success is also likely to increase pressure on Prime Minister David Cameron to become more Euroskeptic, three years before a referendum on European Union membership which he has promised to hold if re-elected. Douglas Carswell, a Euroskeptic, defected from Cameron’s Conservatives in August, triggering Thursday’s Clacton vote. He switched allegiance because he said he doubted the prime minister’s determination to reform the EU.

Cameron has promised to try to renegotiate Britain’s EU relationship before offering voters an in/out membership referendum in 2017. But some of his own lawmakers are skeptical about his resolve to push for real change, viewing his promise as a tactical move to try to hold his divided party together.

 

Short URL : http://goo.gl/FMT73g

Trending

Googleplus