Shortly before the Rochester and Strood by-election, The Daily Telegraph journalist James Kirkup tweeted:
If Ukip lose Rochester back to the Conservatives in 2015, it will be because of Ukip failure with female voters: pic.twitter.com/RP23W7seTu
— James Kirkup (@jameskirkup) November 19, 2014
What is interesting here is not the factual accuracy of what he said but his chosen way of expressing it. Given that the graphs above show that in terms of overall voting intention at the 2015 general election, Ukip and the Tories are on roughly level-pegging in overall intent, he could have equally have written:
“If Ukip win in Rochester in 2015, it will be because of their success with male voters.”
Kirkup’s choice of expression reveals a great deal of the long-term political and media class bias in favour of emphasising the female vote over the male. As I have written previously, this is in no small part due to the dismal and somewhat condescending “market segmentation” approach to politics: more women vote than men, and women are more likely to be floating voters, hence the greater importance of the female “segment” (all of whom think the same way, naturally).
That an increasing number of voters, mostly men, were steadily becoming alienated from the political process and refused to vote entirely may have been thought a worrying phenomenon worthy of examination, but not for careerists whose main concern was to get through the next election intact. A second reason for this obsession with the “female vote” could very well be that it is just another facet of metropolitan liberal culture (to which, sadly, even The Daily Telegraph is now a paid up subscriber), with its lionisation of all things feminine and it’s contempt for traditional masculinity (a subject for a future post).
Nigel Farage explains the male bias in voting intentions towards his party as due to the greater caution of women towards the new and untried. There may be some truth in that, but a much more interesting hypothesis is that Ukip is attracting men alienated from our feminised and misandrist society into re-engaging with the political process: it is, after all, claimed that a substantial number of Ukip voters are those in recent elections who have not voted at all.
Either way, the rise of Ukip makes a refreshing challenge to our current wretched consensus, and is certainly starting to rebalance the debate away from received metropolitan certainties. On gender and family issues, in particular, it is to be greatly hoped that in time it will give rise to a much more mature and holistic approach that benefits both sexes rather than the militant feminist lobby.
However, for now we can all enjoy the absurd and toe-curling spectacle of our effete political leaders flailing around hopelessly trying to be all things to all people: uber-macho Arnies one moment, mincing Metro-Men the next. It’s not likely to work – I can’t see Nick Clegg as Jean Claude Van Damme, somehow.