UKIP has left many councils without any control in the UK. Perhaps this is where the first UKIP-Tory pacts will be forged?

A happy man
Alex Wickham, UK Politics Editor
On 6 May 2013 11:29

Storm, earthquake, bombshell, explosion; across Westminster pundits have been consulting their thesauruses for a suitable word to describe UKIP’s triumph in the polls today. My personal favourite: ‘Faragasm’.

In truth, however, what UKIP has done is more akin to hurling a particularly ripe watermelon at a wildly malfunctioning 400 revolutions per minute ceiling fan, splattering the remains of its opponents and indeed the entire political establishment all over the walls in the process.

By its own admission, the tweed and red trousers wearers exceeded their expectations by a country mile, or perhaps that should be a hunt. I had carefully considered whether 50 seats might be too steep a target before placing my bets earlier in the week. UKIP ended up winning 147.

In doing so it has cost the Conservatives control of ten councils, eight to no overall majority and two to Labour. Labour’s vote barely held up at all; the party achieved just a 6 percent rise in its projected national share since Gordon Brown was annihilated in 2009, and its South Shields majority was almost halved as UKIP took 24 percent. The Lib Dems aren’t even worth mentioning.

Storm, earthquake, bombshell, explosion, Faragasm even; my word of the day would be anarchy. With councils up and down the country now having no one in control as a direct result of UKIP, the party is having an anarchic impact on British politics.

Will it form coalitions with its Tory counterparts? Will it let Labour in? Will anyone be in charge? Uncertainty and chaos rule the day.

The potential consequences for 2015 should be terrifying for the Conservatives, and pretty concerning for Labour as well. The truth is none of the main parties can predict what impact UKIP will have. Could they win one seat? Could they win ten? How many seats will the Tories lose to Labour due to UKIP? These questions are impossible to answer. In the inevitable hung parliament we face, any combination of coalitions between any of the top four parties could become possible.

Even more worrying is that Labour and the Tories seem to have no plan to address this. Ed Miliband, and David Cameron in particular, simply have no counter attack worked out whatsoever. They need one, and fast.

UKIP is kick up the backside the political establishment needed. Unless they respond, who knows what could happen. Nigel Farage himself is no anarchist, but he hurled that watermelon with deadly effect today.

Alex Wickham is the UK Political Editor for The Commentator

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