Sunday, April 04, 2010

Slow burn?

UKIP is in trouble, if the report in The Sunday Times is to be taken at face value. It would seem that the Party has been implicated in serial "money laundering", with a view to concealing the identity of donors, in breach of electoral law.

Sadly, the Lord Pearson seems to be involved, the money having been transferred via his own organisation, Global Britain, to UKIP, in order to evade disclosure rules.

So far, though, the story does not seem to have much traction. It has not been picked up by the agencies yet, or repeated by any other newspaper. It may, therefore, be a slow burn – or it could even fizzle out during the election period. It is too early yet to assess whether it will damage UKIP's electoral prospects.

No doubt, the Tories will be quick to exploit it, if they feel there is advantage to be gained, although their financial dealings do not bear detailed scrutiny either. At the moment, they are riding high on the back of a ten point lead in a YouGov poll putting them on 39 percent against Labour's 29 percent, with the Lib-Dims on 20.

We are told that if these results were repeated in a general election and the Tories perform disproportionately better in marginal seats, Cameron could secure a working majority of 20, with about 335 seats. Labour would have 230 MPs and the Lib-Dims 50.

There again, with the general election (aka reshuffle) yet to be declared, anything can happen, and probably will.