COULD the publicity Ukip has received over its leader Nigel Farage’s remarks about Romanians actually benefit that party in tomorrow’s European poll (your report, 20 May)?
Ukip’s performance in Scotland has taken on a much greater significance now than many pundits could have predicted. Gaining one of the six European seats on offer here could give the party a new legitimacy, with all that means for the independence referendum in September.
The main political parties, but particularly the SNP, will not be able to argue Ukip’s appeal is limited mainly to the south of England.
On the other hand, if Ukip does not gain a seat in Scotland, and few in the north of England, but wins decisively elsewhere, this must give a fillip to the nationalist cause.
In that sense tomorrow’s European elections have taken on a much greater importance than normal. A large Ukip vote in the south will almost certainly prompt a drift to the Right in the Conservative party.
Voters north of the Border may well sense that is happening and shift their own votes in the referendum accordingly. But how will they react if Mr Farage and his colleagues are seen to be almost just as popular here when the votes are counted over the coming weekend?
It is wrong to attribute Ukip’s growing popularity simply to the immigration question. It stands against some of the political correctness some electors find distasteful. That might increase its support throughout the UK in a protest vote.
Those who were thinking about simply staying at home tomorrow should now consider they can make a big difference whatever their stance on the constitutional question.
TOMORROW’S vote should be a vote to support our membership of the European Union. I sincerely hope the electorate manage to prevent Ukip from winning a seat in Scotland. As a proud European nation it would be tragic if we allowed Ukip to use Scotland to further its narrow-minded anti-EU stance.