01 Mar

The meaning of Eastleigh – or, why UKIP can’t be stopped by caving in to them

So, UKIP came second in Eastleigh, pushing the Prime Minister’s Party into a humiliating 3rd: http://www.channel4.com/news/eastleigh-by-election-result-lib-dems-ukip

The Tory fantasy has been that by focussing on Europe they could neutralise UKIP. The opposite is true. As anyone with a decent understanding of framing knows, by stoking interest in the opposition’s issues, one stokes support for them too. Every time the Tories talk about Europe, NO MATTER WHAT THEY SAY, they increase likely UKIP support. In particular, promising an in-out referendum on the EU certainly INCREASED the basic ‘salience’ of UKIP.

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