In the run up to the May 2014 European elections we asked can you trust Ukip and we ask that again as the General Election draws near.
Ahead of the May 2014 elections Sky News revealed the results of a poll which indicated that voters are switching to UKIP as they do not trust mainstream political parties in the UK. Polls are a bit of a mixed bag as so much depends on how many people took part, the cross section of pollsters and how many participants took the poll seriously.
Ukip were fairly successful in the May EU elections but will that translate into more MPs in the upcoming general election?
All that aside though this writer wonders what makes these disillusioned voters think that they can trust UKIP?
Yes the mainstream political parties have a poor track record on some issues; but you can never please all of the people all of the time.
We all know that Tory PM David Cameron can barely open his mouth without uttering a lie and that too many political parties have been touched by sleaze following the expenses scandal, but what makes people feel that UKIP will be any different?
Voters can probably trust UKIP to bring back hunting, try to exit Europe and maybe even overturn the smoking ban but what about the many other issues?
It's ironic that those who are turning to UKIP as a trustworthy party ignore the fact that people such as Neil and Christine Hamilton are now Ukip supporters. Remember this political married couple, turned celebrity recently appearing in Christmas pantomimes in the UK, and we do not mean Parliament? Mostyn Neil Hamilton became involved in a political scandal known as the cash-for-questions affair, and temporarily quit politics before joining forces with Ukip.
Ultimately, as Ukip became a recognised political party, rather than just a bunch of fruitcakes, to quote David Cameron, party leader Nigel Farage cleared out embarrassments to UKIP and the Hamiltons were moved on.
The Guardian reported in 2014 "Hamilton has been dropped as Ukip's campaigns director. With questions having been raised about Nigel Farage's use of EU allowances over the past few weeks – allegations that Farage calls "outrageous" – an Observer report suggests that Hamilton's demotion stems from fears his reputation might leave Ukip vulnerable to sleaze allegations.
There's also the small matter of Hamilton's comments about the party's main donor, Paul Sykes, at Ukip's conference in February. "So far, we haven't seen the colour of his money," he told the Observer."
Hardly reassuring as the Hamilton's are still evident in UKIP and could resurface to the forefront should political success shine on UKIP.
"Ukip Is Party For 'Decent BNP Supporters', said Deputy Chair Neil Hamilton" before his demise.
UKIP trusters also forget that disillusioned Tory MPS are part of UKIP and swelling its number of candidates. That means those politicians that they do not trust, form part of a party which they choose to trust. Confused? You and me both.
Farage has now advised Ukip supporters to vote Tory in constituencies where Ukip have no chance of winning calling it tactical voting. As he was a Tory MP before parting company on a disagreement over Europe he is just reinforcing the view that Ukip is the alternative Tory party of the UK.
Farage is the intelligent and personable front of Ukip but many claim he simply makes up many of his "facts". On Any Questions in 2012, Farage said “Every one of you in this room is paying a 12 percent surcharge on your energy bills to subsidise a wind turbine programme that simply won’t work.” "It’s actually less than £1 per bill, for wind farms that do actually work because: physics."
So without labouring the point, no pun intended, why would any potential voter feel Ukip is trustworthy as opposed to the mainstream political parties?
Sources and related reading: