Europe however is the white elephant in the room and neither Labour nor the Conservatives can hope to gain anything from the coming European elections in 2014. The only party that is bound to shine is UKIP, the strongly anti-European party that has consistently made the case about the drawbacks of European integration.
|In the best of moods - Nigel Farage|
The fascinating aspect of UKIP's rise however is the paradox that fuels its potential electoral success. UKIP's mantra has been that Europe has become the predominant (undemocratic) force in the lives of British people. The reason many Brits will vote for UKIP rests exactly on the opposite calculation. Many British feel that they are free to vote for the 'Kippers' exactly because their vote is so ineffectual. Few people in this country care (and I cannot blame them) who represents them in a Brussel's parliament that resembles more a talking shop than a properly legitimated legislature.
The main reason is that, contrary to life on the continent, Europe is far away from the British way of life, and seen more as a nuisance than a benefit. That's partly because Britain is an island but it is also because it is only partially integrated into the European treaties. Anybody who has gone recently through British immigration when coming off a plane can attest to the strange feeling, that Britain is somehow part but not quite inside the EU. What is missing is the 'lived experience' of Europe as it presents itself on the continent, from missing borders to integrated local services in the heart of Europe.
Paradoxically, that's the source of UKIP's electoral chances. Despite Farage's rhetoric, it is the irrelevance of Europe, its undemocratic institutions and its clownish 'president' Van Rompuy that makes the European Elections in 2014 the perfect target for voters who want to send a signal to all established political parties.
|The dim lights of Europe - Van Rompuy and Ashton|
So, I am convinced that UKIP will win the European Elections, just as it will sink without a trace again in the General Elections in 2015.