Corrected version. See also update: here.
The incredible, untold story of the general election is the effect that UKIP (and to a lesser extent Veritas) has had on the outcome. Overall, on current results, the combined votes of these two parties affected the outcome of 25 seats which might have otherwise gone to the Tories.
They are as follows:
Battersea (Lab hold) Majority: 163 – UKIP: 333In all, this translates to 16 seats which would have been lost to Labour and nine to the Lib-Dems, potentially reducing Blair's overall majority to 34 – an entirely unworkable majority.
Burton (Lab hold) Majority: 1,421 – UKIP plus Veritas: 1,825
Carshalton & Wallington (LD hold) Majority: 1,068 – UKIP: 1,111
Cornwall North (LD hold) Majority: 3,076 – UKIP plus Veritas: 3,387
Dartford (Lab hold) Majority 706 - UKIP: 1,407
Eastleigh (LD Hold) Chris Huhne Majority: 568 – UKIP: 1,669
Gillingham (Lab hold) Majority 254 – UKIP 1,191
Hereford (Lab hold) Majority: 962 – UKIP: 1,030
High Peak (Lab hold) Majority: 735 – UKIP 1,106
Hove (Lab hold) Majority 420 - UKIP 575
Medway (Lab hold) Majority: 213 - UKIP 1,488
Portsmouth North (Lab hold) Majority: 1,139 - UKIP 1,348
Romsey (LD hold) Majority 125 – UKIP: 1,076
Sittingbourne & Sheppey (Lab hold) Majority: 79 UKIP plus Veritas: 1,118
Solihull (LD Gain) Majority: 279 – UKIP: 990
Somerton & Frome (LD hold) Majority: 812 – UKIP plus Veritas: 1,531
Staffordshire Moorlands (Lab hold) Majority: 2,438 – UKIP: 3,512
Stroud (Lab hold) Majority: 350 – UKIP: 1,089
Stourbridge (Lab hold) Majority: 407 – UKIP: 1,087
Taunton (LD gain) Majority: 573 – UKIP: 1,441
Thanet South (Lab hold) Majority: 664 – UKIP (Nigel Farage) 2,079
Torbay (LD hold) Majority: 2,029 - UKIP 3,726
Warwick & Leamington (Lab hold) Majority: 306 – UKIP: 921
Watford (Lab hold) Majority: 1,148 – UKIP: 1,292
Westmorland & Lonsdale (LD gain) Majority: 267 – UKIP: 660
Had UKIP (and Veritas) not intervened (or the Tories had managed the threat), the political environment would have been transformed.
For a start, Kennedy would not have been crowing about his "successes" – with his gains cut from 16 to seven, the Tories would be lauding a major victory and Labour would be thinking very hard of how it was going to survive, with Blair firmly in the departure lounge.
Amazingly, the MSM has not picked this up, but this seems to me to be the penalty the Tories are paying for neglecting the EU issue. Had Howard pushed the Tory EU policy, I believe that the UKIP/Veritas effect could have been contained, and the Tories could be 25 seats better off.
In effect, UKIP has done more damage to the Tories in this election than in all the other elections combined that it has fought and transformed the political environment.