Friday, 16 November 2007

No UKIP revival in 2007

There was a significant county council by-election in Lincolnshire last night and this was the result.

Lincolnshire County Council
Heighington & Washingborough Ward
Thursday 15th November 2007.
Clive Oxby (Con) 788
Darren Hopewell (Lab) 206
Roy Harris (Lib-Dem) 137
Michael Clayton (BNP) 126
Stephen Pearson (UKIP) 52
Victor Sahunta (Ind) 21
BNP Percentage: 8.9%

This was a target seat for UKIP which polled 419 votes last time around scoring a very creditable 11.3% of the vote.

Wayne McDermott from the BNP's Election Department emailed me this morning with his take on the result.

"This is an area where UKIP stood 14 candidates to our single candidate in May 2007, so it was a very strong area for them. I feared we would be beaten by them but still hoped that our low key campaign might just be enough for the BNP to prevail. In reality we ended up thrashing them, leaving nowhere in the East Midlands where they can beat us. After confidently predicting at the beginning of the campaign that they would come 2nd to the Tories, the nearer they got to polling day the more the hard-working UKIP team began to realise there was no support on the doorstep for their party. In the end they didn't even show at the count, probably well aware they were about to suffer another huge blow to their electoral credibility. I can't remember the last time they beat us in a by-election, can you?
"This is another new area for us and another step in the right direction. I don't expect anyone to get excited with a 9% BNP share of the vote - on the plus side our campaign was completely local with no outside help whatsoever - but there were six candidates standing and we were within striking distance of the 2nd place Labour candidate who saw his party's vote share fall by a huge 26%."

I'm grateful to Wayne for that analysis and I can confirm that initial UKIP optimism about the campaign. I correspond quite regularly with a couple of UKIP officials and they have been adamant that the east of England was still very much 'their area' despite the setbacks elsewhere this year. Last night proves that this is not the case. I always urge these people to come and join us and shall do so again today if they contact me. Sadly, although they acknowledge these are desperate times for their party, they all still believe that the public will turn again to them as they did at the Euro-Elections in 2004. I tell them it won't happen again. That was a one-off Max Clifford miracle. His publicity machine got UKIP the peak time TV coverage and provided it a certain 'celebrity'status which was enough to appeal to a public desperately seeking an alternative to the old gang parties. But UKIP today is totally exposed and has no credibility. It won't ever come back.

And talking of exposure, over-exposure this time, if anyone reading this blog has five minutes to spare please email BBC's Any Questions and ask them why on tonight's programme to discuss "British Jobs for British Workers" they have that UKIP fraud Nigel Farage, rather than inviting the BNP's Nick Griffin, the leader of the political Party from which Gordon Brown actually stole the slogan.

Busy weekend. Annual Conference on Sunday and Freedom's deadline worryingly looming.

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