Summer Holiday Round Up: Part 1 UKIP and Carswell

Several of interesting news stories have occurred during the last couple of weeks. As a general rule politics is quite quiet during the summer holidays, because the MPs are on recess (they have summer holidays too).

However thanks to Douglas Carswell and the fact the Scots have a fairly important referendum coming up soon we do have several things to consider.

Firstly lets look at Carswell’s defection to UKIP.

Douglas Carswell was first elected to Parliament in 2005 and since then he has cut a rather unusual figure on the Conservative back benches. A Eurosceptic and a libertarian he has been described as one of the Conservatives more radical thinkers. Along with MEP Dan Hannan he published a book called ‘The Plan’, Carswell’s ideas include mobilising the electorate with Digital Democracy to increase turnout and imposing the right to recall on MPs (e.g. if their constituents feel they have performed badly in office they have the right to trigger a by- election).

However, interesting Cardwell may have been in terms of generating ideas that you can talk about in your democracy topic- it was his decision earlier this week to defect and join UKIP that makes him most interesting.

As you will know from previous posts UKIP have been soaring high in the polls this year, and with Nigel Farage selected as a candidate for the 2015 General Election earlier this week most commentators believed that come May UKIP would have it’s first MEP. However, Carswell’s shock defection there is a chance that UKIP will have an MP much sooner if Carswell can win the by- election (he has a 44 point lead according to Saturday’s polling data) triggered by his defection. This would mark a shift in the nature of British politics as we move ever more towards being a multiparty system.

The weekend’s newspapers have been full of editorials and comment on these, the most interesting are noted below:

http://www.economist.com/blogs/blighty/2014/08/douglas-carswell

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/ukip/11063876/Douglas-Carswell-can-see-where-politics-is-going-hes-a-true-moderniser.html

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