• Labour at record low in Westminster poll
  • Lib Dems only three points behind Labour
  • UKIP surge by 12 points in European voting intentions

There is a new YouGov poll in tomorrow’s Sun with Westminster and European voting intentions, both of which are striking in their own way.

The Westminster voting intentions, with changes from YouGov’s last poll, are CON 41%(-2), LAB 22%(-5), LDEM 19%(+1). Populus’s poll on Monday evening was taken after the Telegraph’s expenses expose had begun, but this is the first poll taken when people had really had chance to digest it (and the first to come after Tory expenses exposes really began to run). Once again both main parties have suffered, but Labour have clearly come off worse. This is their lowest rating in any national opinion poll, ever. It is also the lowest gap between Labour and the Liberal Democrats for years. It is worth considering that YouGov normally give the Liberal Democrats their lowest ratings – if this poll had been carried out by ICM we might very well be looking at a poll with Labour in third place.

The maths of the poll suggest that there must also have been a significant increase in support for “other” parties, though from the Sun’s report we can’t tell who has been the beneificiary of that.

Moving to the European voting intentions, the topline figures with changes from before the expenses expose began are CON 28%(-9), LAB 19%(-3), UKIP 19%(+12!) – the Sun report does not provide the Liberal Democrat or Green figures, but the BNP remain at 4%, unchanged from a week ago. It appears that UKIP – despite their MEPs own problems with fraud and expenses, have been the overwhelming victors from the expenses row.

UPDATE: Uncertainty about the actual European figures. UKIP are no longer mentioned in the Sun article, and while the article itself still says Labour are at 19%, the accompanying graphic shows them at 20%, with UKIP at 15% and the Lib Dems at 19%. I’ll go and find out the true figures!


121 Responses to “UKIP surge in the wake of expenses expose”

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  1. So far we have seen damage to all the major parties, with their leaders attempting damage limitation of varying degrees of effectiveness. However, there is one prominent MP, who has made a large number of expense claims that would be considered unacceptable in the the current climate (e.g. £4,000 of taxi bills, including many for his wife!), who The Telegraph has not focussed on yet – Michael Martin.

    Furthermore while Gordon Brown has openly stated his support for Martin, a Tory MP has submitted a motion calling on Martin to resign, making the vote on Martin newsworthy.

    Is there a skeleton in Martin’s closet waiting to be released once the more porcine MPs have voted to support the head pig? If so, will Martin be sacrificed, or will those who voted for him suffer a bad hit?

  2. @Denis

    I don’t think anyone you’d describe as a “right-winger” is particularly malcontented at the moment; but it’s worth saying that there is no such thing as a the “right wing” anyway… there is also no such thing as “little england”.

    It is possible for Dr Brown to be largely responsible for:
    a. mismanaging the economy (and implying he was an economics sage) by seeming to advocate avaricious perpetual high growth built on debt; and,

    b. mismanaging our relationship with the EU as a way of covering up economic mismanagement – e.g.: by facilitating unprecedented immigration in order to sustain the bubble, and keeping us locked into agreements that prevent us from being able to navigate our way through the choppy seas… the EU is having similarly restrictive effects on other EU states, including Germany.

    The obvious solution for most EU states is to scrap the EU, and all join EFTA instead, and simply have a flexible, yet cooperative trading organisation, without the expensive bureaucrats and the constant conveyerbelt of homogenising pseudo-democratic diktats.
    It’s accurate to say that polls have consistently shown for years that this is the sort of thing that people want, and I think it would be disingenuous to class any surge in UKIP and other non-Europhile parties (and I think the Greens and BNP also fall into this category) as simply a protest against westminster; the evidence is there that a different, looser relationship with the EU is desired by the majority of the public… this has been the case as long as I can remember (and I first became eurosceptic as a kid at school watching the betrayal of the Maastrict Treaty being signed).

    It is legitimate to discuss the factors influencing polls; otherwise this would just be a page full of statistical maths and academic stuff…

  3. @chris

    The “ramblings” about McPoisons operations on behalf of Brown over the last decade have been reported by the entire press, so an attempted denigration by describing them as “Mail/Express” can only be described as delusional.

    Furthermore, as I pointed out last time, if you start with honest debt figures, adjusting correctly for PFI and quango debt which is ultimately guaranteed by the government, then you will see that Brown has never been prudent. The simpletons are those who accept the ONS figure without even reading the disclaimer a few lines below.

  4. @Neil – They have been shocking and appalling but how the Cons have benefited from this beggers believe – I mean how can Cameron play the leader when he couldn’t even get his part-time MP’s to call time on their 2nd, 3rd, 4th etc jobs? The best example of the free ride Cameron is enjoying from our right-wing media.

    Cameron would have surley known about his party’s expenses last week but waited for them to made public to act morally outraged!!! He either hoped they wouldn’t be published or has carefully orchastrated his response with the Torygraph. Speaks volumes on this media PR driven amature who we’re in real danger of electing as PM. I think his proposals are typical of his parties very little detail and just empty headline grabbing initiatives.

    Perphaps it’s what this country needs is a bout of Con government just to remind them how bad things actually were with them, will be a painful experience but probably useful.

  5. @Cynosarges – your ‘Mcpoision’ comment clearly puts you in the said catagory of Mail/Express simpletons.

  6. @Chris

    There are no ramblings there; no cliches; and it’s not content simply from two particular newspapers.

    The problem is that Labour and their vapid-eyed zealots will never accept or concede that they’re wrong, or take any responsibility for anything they do.

    Gordon has fostered that culture… epitomised by the “I take full responsibility, I’m sacking someone else” line… and now exemplified by most of those MPs found out with “I made a mistake, it’s those naughty rules that are to blame”.

    I get more reason out of my 5-year-old.

    It’s classic cut and dry scapegoating (you know, when the priests of antiquity would put all their sins on the back of a goat and give it a kick to take all their sins away, and carry on as normal – to give a summary of the etymology)

    Is everyone who now opposes them a “simpleton”?

    Isn’t it actually more accurate to say that that that comment typifies the contempt with which those heretics outside the cult are held?

    I know where the sheep are, and they’re just as likely to find their noses buried in a copy of the Guardian or Independent. (you know, the “goodies” newspapers).

  7. Don’t know why people consider Blair better than Brown. Blair was just as bad, only he had the sense to jump ship before everything crashed around his ears.

    Also I find the UKIP’s campaign, using Churchill imagery, amusing. Did no one think to tell them that Churchill wanted a ‘United States of Europe’?

  8. Chris,

    “I mean how can Cameron play the leader when he couldn’t even get his part-time MP’s to call time on their 2nd, 3rd, 4th etc jobs?”

    Second jobs ain’t theft from the taxpayer my friend. No way near.

    Indeed It is my opinion that had some of Labours leading lights had a little more ‘real world’ experience to call upon they wouldn’t have made quite such a mess over the last couple of years as they have.

    …but that’s why they’re in that party anyway I guess;

    ‘From each according to his ability, to each according to his need’. Proper Commies really. No ability but still expect to get paid handsome for it!

  9. @Chris – your comments are making you look ridiculously partisan.

    McPoison was the nickname virtually everyone in Westminster knew of and used. He was given it by Labour MPs because of all the intercine briefing he did against members of his own party!

    Anyway cheer up, you’re still above 20% (though not in the Euros).

  10. @Ivan – I disagree putting half, a third, a 10th of your time as an MP I regard as theft from the taxpayer.

    ‘Indeed It is my opinion that had some of Labours leading lights had a little more ‘real world’ experience’ oh yes this old chestnut!! Funny how this real world experience is PAID on behalf of multi-national banking merchants or tabacco companies – not much voluntary or charity work there for their real world experiences!

  11. Oh Billy – not the “Churchill advocated the EU” nonsense again!! Everyone knows that Churchill was referring to a primarily military co-operation to counter Russia – something like NATO. No doubt he would also have been very much for close trading relations within Europe, but to suggest that he would have approved of the loss of sovereignty we are seeing, or a federal Europe, is fatuous, and frankly dishonest. He would be nothing other than appalled.

  12. As opposed to some of the rants from the other side…

    There are times when I know it is pointless trying to impose the comments policy on threads and you may as well just let people let off steam. This is one of them.

    Don’t get into bad habits though, I’m going to be strict in the next thread.

  13. I was struck last night by the audience reaction to Ming Campbell on QT, I am not an LD but what he was not listened to fairly and is clearly a decent man.
    Beckett then got booed for doing what Cameron has done, take the full 24K allowance as IMornterest payments.
    Cameron has played the expenses row better than Brown but after the real baddies have been dealt with (Mc Kay, Moran Malek) epect a focus on the leaders claims.
    Will Cammo look so good then?

  14. Why has this site been allowed to be over run by rabib right-wingers that cry foul other any comment that doesn’t fit their Mail/Express veted opinions?

    Antony – sort it out!

  15. Trust in the banking system has collapsed. The political system is collapsing. The old certainties are gone. The far left must be kicking themselves they weren’t in any position to capitalise.

    What we’re seeing now could be the biggest change in British politics since the emergence of the Labour Party, but I dare say Labour won’t figure much in the next chapter

  16. @Chris

    You seem far more rabid than anyone else on here

    Do you really expect a friendly response when you insist on using the cliched epithet of “Daily Mail/Express” reader?

    People not only have different opinions from you; but also have the right to express them… what’s most telling is that you seem desperate to censor any opinion that differs from your own.

    Labour and their advocates might do well to reflect upon the idea that many who oppose them are not necessarily pro-Tory, or “right-wing”.

    I dislike Labour because I’m a northern working-class socialist; and I regard New Labour and the EU as F ascist plutocratic anti-democratic organisations.

  17. “our right-wing media.”

    what, like the BBC?!

    What I notice is that there are a number of people who seem to be like you who seem to think that the internet is full of “Daily Mail readers”, and that this is due to some conspiracy going on distorting the true spread of opinion that requires a McCarthy-esque investigation; as opposed to thinking that a sea-change in public opinion has taken place that has been facilitated by the growth in internet access in which your views, which may well be the establishment views of the “left-wing media”, “political class”, and “public service mandarins” have become minority views, because the asymmetrical structures of public discourse that used to allow the establishment to say “most British people think…” have now been disestablished by the internet.

    Rather than crying foul, your camp ought to be eating some humble pie, and going back to the drawing board, reflecting on the public mood, and reappraising your ideology and mode of expression, and then trying to win back support (if you can) through debate on a level-playing field, rather than through censorship.

    Antony is right to allow *some* discussion, because the currents of discussion in and around the polls is all part of the polling process: they are the products of discussion.

  18. @Neil and Billy:

    It appears you know more about this than I do, but didn’t archive files recently show that post-WW2 Churchill and De Gaule considered a merger of the UK and France?

  19. Chris – see my comment above, this thread is unsalvagable. Sensible discussion will be restored elsewhere.

  20. Quincel – yes, this was discussed, but I think it was during, not after WWII (could be wrong on that). Of course they could not agree on the terms – good job too!

    I’m not saying Churchill was perfect – I think he was much too pro-French – but saying that, he was a great statesman, probably the greatest ever, and to try to tag him onto EUphilia is a gross injustice and distortion of history.

  21. Unsalvagable I like that.
    I guess this gives a green light to be partisan something I try to avoid normally , it would be discourtious of me not to accept Anthony’s invitation.
    Brown is a big disapointment to many Labour supporters who genuinely felt he was more substantial than Blair. Indeed committed Brownites will blame Blair for not going early enough and there is some truth in this.
    As a leftie I am not scared by Cameron as he is too timid to change the new consensus around Public Services, he does not herald a change back to Thatcherism.
    He is though Vaccuous and Osborne is worse. Labour though will not get another chance in 14/15 as the public will want to punish them at least twice.
    Forget the LD’s becoming the second party they have no soul and there are enough Labour sympathises who do.
    I do not think that the domination on this site of right wingers (some very right wing) and anti-Europeans represents a new democratic M.O outside the mainstrean media allowing the people to assert their real view.
    What it does demonstrate is that right wingers are hungrier having been out of power to get involved and are (reasonably) looking forward to being in power.
    In short right wingers are more likley to go on a web-site and john a thread which shows a good position for than left-wingers who see the opposite, only natural.
    In all honest Cameron an insubstantial PR slick salesman and will achieve little of consequence, no Thatcher, Even Tories will despair of him once the gratitude period for winning a elcetion has expired.

  22. @Chris

    If you read The Guardian, you will find Michael White, Andrew Sparrow, Jackie Ashley, Nicholas Watt, Oliver Marre, James Robinson all used McPoison to describe McBride. And not only since his latest piece of slime came to public notice. I refer you to a Michael White headline, 4 Dec 07 Meet ‘McPoison’ – the prime minister’s new spin meister.

    So I suggest you actually think before you write. Do you really believe that all these political commentators write for the Mail/Express? Slime is slime, and McBride was given his nickname (by the entire political establishment) for the material he peddled.

  23. @Jam Jam – very well said, even the Labour points I do agree with.

    I disagree though Cameron will have excuse to rip the heart of public services under the guise of exceptable cost cutting!

    He’s already wasted no time in using this environment as way of distancing himself from Labour spending; almost a policy from him but not saying where the spending will be cut – still detail isn’t his or the Cons strong point.

  24. Owen Meredith is making a false statement when he accuses UKIP MEPs of being “the biggest abusers of expenses”. The only MEP who was ever convicted of any misconduct was immediately kicked out of the party, which he had only joined under false pretences. He is no longer a member of UKIP so you are quite WRONG to include him in your figures.
    The UKIP MEPS have been very busy for the past five years exposing the extravagance, corruption and undemocratic procedures of the EU. They also give a large proportion of their salaries to legal aid for people fighting terrible EU laws. They are the cleanest MEPS anywhere when it comes to expenses, and do not lead the lavish lifestyles of, for instance, the Kinnocks or the Mandelssohns of this world who only go into politics to get rich quick.
    If you are looking for something to call a shambles, look at the EU itself, The members would not listen to their own President, Vaclav Klaus, when he got up and criticized the Lisbon Treaty (which is by the way going to bring back the death penalty).
    They shouted him down, booed, heckled and then walked out.
    And by the way their own expenses are kept a state secret – I wonder why?
    If you vote for any pro-EU party you are just naive, voting to be ripped off and stripped of your democratic rights.

  25. @ JimJam – “In all honest Cameron an insubstantial PR slick salesman and will achieve little of consequence, no Thatcher,”

    I’m not convinced that the current mood of the electorate actually wants any sort of Thatcherite or other ideological consequence. To my mind, right now a lot of people are very tired of the Vision Thing – it’s not long since we were relieved of the Messiah Tony Blair and I don’t think most people are at all hungry to experience that sort of missionary zeal again for quite some time. Quiet, competent government is much more desirable in these tumultuous times.

    It’s possible that Cameron can deliver enough of this to satisfy. I suppose we’ll find out before too long. What we know for sure, though, is that Brown and co. have not and cannot deliver it.

    From the point of view of many people the choice is between Cameron (who might well deliver) and Brown (who definitely will not deliver). It’s a no-brainer, really, hence Labour’s freefall in the polls.

  26. Billy (and Neil & Quincel),

    Actually, Churchill was very much in favour of teh estanlishment of a United States of Europe – which was why he encouraged de Gaulle and Adenauer to set up teh original ICSC and EEC.

    However, it was never any part of Churchill’s plans for Britain to be a part of the USE – so the UKIP posters are accurate in that respect.

    The discussions on possible merger of France and Britain were in the context of salavaging the French empire post WWII when it was facing bankruptcy.

    However, the global pressure of decolonisation, in both empires, meant that the potential economic synergies were disappearing faster than the political cultural obstacles were rising.

    The apogee of Franco-British cooperation was Suez – ’nuff said !

    Paul

  27. Anthony,

    This is why we want Independence, so that English people rant at each other without us getting in the way…….

    Peter.

  28. At last, some sense from Paul about Churchill and the so-called United States of Europe.
    Churchill wanted Western Europe to have a united defence policy that could help it to stand up to the Soviet bloc which emerged post-war. He just didn’t want any more wars between France and Germany. To imagine that he would have approved of the Lisbon Treaty, chucking away our sovereignty, is laughable.
    But the politicians of Lib-Lab-Con conformity are just in there to make a quick buck. They are quite content to let the job of government be done elsewhere, while they watch their home cinema systems (like Maliq) or enjoy their pergolas and Tudor beams at our expense.

  29. I’d like to keep Scotland in the Union so that I can occasionally rant on about how terribly left wing it is and know that I will still offend somebody. ;-)

    In addition, while we’re being as partisan as we like;
    Despite much of the thread stating the opposite the BNP and UKIP ARE irrelevant and DON’T deserve backing.

    Tories are plenty Eurosceptic enough and a vote for them will at least actually achieve something.

    That’s it. I’m done now.

  30. @ Billy

    I also saw that campaign flyer:P What i found most amusing is that it said ‘were real people not career politicians’ (or somthing along that line) and you cant help but think, if you arnt career politicians then why go into politics???:P
    UKIP are a joke, any party who only has one goal cannot last in the real world.

  31. Peter,

    I hope that if Scotland did get independence you would still visit us to give us an outsiders perspective.
    You would care of course abouit the politics in your buggest trading partner.

  32. Jim Jam, there are no “right wingers”… it doesn’t mean anything anymore… what on earth do you mean by a “right winger”?
    socially right-economically right? (in America maybe)
    socially left-economically left? (Green Party / anticapitalists?)
    socially right-economically left? (caricatured evil-doers)
    socially left-economically right? (the establishment)

    the left is supposed to be radicals; the right, conservatives… seems more complex than that to me.

    The reason you’re not scared by Cameron, is that he is a leftie! what “rightie” about him exactly?
    I do agree with the assessment of him and his Blue-Labour crew.

    The thing you don’t seem switched onto, is that most people do naturally or consistently lean to “the right” on a range of issues, but don’t necessarily vote that way… the collapse in turnout in ’97 indicates that the media shift to the left has been reflecting a false picture of where the country was at… people stayed away; those that didn’t went to Labour to get rid of the Tories, as Labour had an “Obama moment”.

    The supposed “rise of the Daily Mail neanderthal” has been a slow steady response to the public discourse being shifted towards the “socially left, economically right” (left), held off by the bubble, so it looks like a sudden event, but it’s been building for the last decade or so.

    “In short right wingers are more likley to go on a web-site and john a thread which shows a good position for than left-wingers who see the opposite, only natural.”

    rubbish… you’ll find plenty of “right wingers” posting all over the net, including on the “left wing” sites …there are simply more right-wingers than left wingers: simple!

  33. Why is it a joke that UKIP’s main goal is to get the UK out of the EU so that we can govern ourselves? UKIP then has a set of policies for the sort of government it would like at Westminster if the UK were properly self-governing again. To find out more, go to the main UKIP website http://www.ukip.org/home.

  34. Promsan – you can disagree with me without calling my views rubbish.
    perhaps you can explain your apparent contradiction.
    You say
    ‘ there are no “right wingers”… it doesn’t mean anything anymore… what on earth do you mean by a “right winger”?
    Then lower down
    ‘ you’ll find plenty of “right wingers” posting all over the net, including on the “left wing” sites …there are simply more right-wingers than left wingers: simple!

    Are there right wingers then or not?

    We will never agree about the intrinsic make upof people in this country, I think there is a natural left of centre majority – Tory higest vote only around 44%.

  35. @ JimJam – “We will never agree about the intrinsic make upof people in this country, I think there is a natural left of centre majority – Tory higest vote only around 44%.”

    If you factor in the Tories + UKIP + the BNP, you’ll end up with more than 50% somewhere along the supposed rightwing spectrum. And then there are those who were willing to vote New Labour but would never vote Old Labour.

    My own view is that most people are broadly centrist and tend to be “right wing” on some issues and “left wing” on others. Which way they vote will depend on which issues they weight more, among other things.

  36. @ Michael

    I don’t like UKIP, but they are not just a single issue party. They want tax cuts, they want to do more to fight crime, end the smoking ban, stricter immigration laws, as well as of course withdrawing from the EU.

    My prediction is that UKIP will finish 2nd with 25% (i hope not though) and the Tories will finish 1st. I think the BNP will get about 7 or 8% on election day (again i hope i’m wrong).

  37. As I have said several times before, the entire concept of dividing people into “left” and “right” along a linnear spectrum is actually an import (from France) and bears no relation to the reality of modern politics.

    One can devise any number of axes on which to position political / philosophical views. Economics is but one such axis, and a relatively recent one at that, which assumed greatest prominence in the post-war period as the contrast between “communism” and “capitalism”.

    Promsan’s variations are valid, and I agree that the concept of “right-wingers” is meaningless, unless you are a football manager.

    When people start to define themselves by what they are not, it merely proves that they have no substance to their own core principles.

  38. @ Neil
    I never said Churchill was an advocate of the EU (nor do I personally believe that is a perfect system.) Nonetheless he certainly did not want Britain to be isolated from Europe, as the UKIP wants.

  39. @ Michael (and anyone else who can answer)

    As a curiosity has the UKIP actually mentioned what they plan to do once they have the UK leave the EU?

  40. @ Billy – independence and isolation aren’t synonymous, you know.

  41. @ James Ludlow

    Not normally, but where the EU is concerned it would mean virtually the same thing. (Unless Britain became something like Norway and Switzerland.)

  42. What is going on at the Sun?
    The poll does show UKIP on 19 percent then they changed the story and the UKIP mention was removed. Have they been leant on?

  43. Er…Not really Billy.

    Norway, Switzerland, China, Japan, Russia, Brazil, Argentina, Australia, Canada and the USA (you get the picture!) to name but a few seem to function perfectly well without being fully paid up members of the EU bureaucracy.

    As long as you have a continuation of ‘free trade’ the only benefits to membership are social rather than economic as far as I can see.

  44. @ Billy – “Not normally, but where the EU is concerned it would mean virtually the same thing. (Unless Britain became something like Norway and Switzerland.)”

    Well that’s precisely why it doesn’t mean the same thing.

  45. My point about Switzerland and Norway were that they had trade agreements with the EU that put them on the same level as the EU members without actually being part of it.

    China, Japan, Russia, Brazil, Argentina – to my knowledge – all have their own trading blocs similar to the EU. Granted they don’t have the same political influence over countries that the EU has (which I agree, with things like the Lisbon Treaty is taken too far), but my point was that economically speaking it would be better for Britain to remain a member of the EU, or at least a fringe member. The EU is a powerful trading bloc. Britain on its own will not have the same power.

  46. @ Billy – that’s my point too. Independence doesn’t exclude trading deals, alliances and so on. There aren’t just two options: full commitment to the EU versus isolated self-sufficiency.

  47. We actually lose on our trade with the EU, so if it stopped altogether so we’d actually be better off. That wouldn’t happen of course. We traded with what was then the EEC before we joined it, so why would we stop after we left?

  48. This being the rant side I shall enjoy myself; I think UKIP is rubbish.

    Why? In a world of global capitalism, global terrorism, global issues like the environment, global credit crunch, global issue like human rights the idea that spending what- twenty years- to get the UK out of the EU has any point is laughable. The point of solely Nationalist govts is stupid..

    Let’s not forget that

    a) There is no UK- all devolved parliaments have nationalists in power
    b) Since the EU there has been no European wars

    Seriously those who believe in the UKIP are nuts; at the very least it would take 20 years to unwind al the EU legal points. So, to vote for a party that would require that length of time to achieve it’s ‘the Empire still rules’ policy is mindless.

    Basically I see UKIP voters being that lot who polled against RCs being allowed to marry into the Monarchy and those who voted against female succession in the monarchy; in other words UKIP vote against all change. The world has moved on; we no longer run the world.

    Seriously, England has to recognise that it is no longer very important; it once had an Empire but no longer has one. And it’s economy is now very fragile. To turn its back on Europe is an appalling idea- it’s worth noting that that the CBI is a strong supporter of EU integration. So UKIP twits are arguing against what the best business brains support.. But hey, we once had an Empire so that means the world owes us a living…

    Or are we more than just an historic, backward looking theme park? I suspect not….

    Let the haranguing begin

    (And that’s why so many UK people have left the country–only Mexico has more people out of its country than the UK. The UK has more of its intelligent people than any other… Check the OECD report…)

  49. Norway?

    Irrelevant argument. They used their oil money to creaet a sovereign wealth fund. WE spent ours.

    That’s why they have money.

  50. ‘Paul H-J

    As I have said several times before, the entire concept of dividing people into “left” and “right” along a linnear spectrum is actually an import (from France) and bears no relation to the reality of modern politics. ‘

    The French base is pointless I agree.

    But the rest of the world works happily with a Left / right continuum- all politics books cope with it.

    Is it really that hard?

    Left wing are socially free abut economically tight as controlled by govt.

    Right wing are socially tight (as in limited by govt and economically free

    And the result is the credit crunch…

    Seriously you are in a different world if you cant live with this… (But hey, this site has too many right wing extremists…

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