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UKIP tested in forthcoming elections

Deborah McGurran | 16:35 UK time, Wednesday, 9 March 2011

UKIP badges

UKIP's 2010 election campaign - but how will the party fare in the forthcoming May elections?

The UK Independence Party has very excitedly announced that four more local councillors have decided to join its ranks.

Three Independents on Tendring District Council (including one husband and wife team) now intend to sit as UKIP councillors.

While on Thurrock Council a disaffected Conservative, Stuart St-Clair Haslam (who had already left the Conservative group on the council) has also decided to throw in his lot with UKIP.

The defections come at an interesting time for the party, following UKIP's second place in last week's Barnsley by-election.

Within Conservative circles there is increasing speculation at the moment about whether the party, now once again under the high-profile leadership of Nigel Farage, could become a threat for the Tories.

The thinking goes that with the Liberal Democrats now in Government, there is no obvious home for protest voters, and with the BNP in disarray, those who feel strongly about immigration also have nowhere to go.

The party is being warned not to ignore the UKIP threat from within its own ranks and that pursuing a liberalising agenda could be a mistake.

UKIP is unable to give us the number of councillors who have defected to it over the last few years. But according to our records the party only has 10 councillors across the whole of the East. The largest number, two, is on Huntingdonshire District Council.

With such small numbers the party is not going to make much, if any, impact on our town halls. But the party and some Conservatives believe that things could be happening to UKIP's support.

The forthcoming local elections will be the test.


  • Comment number 1.

    How dare David Cameron say I believe that being in the EU is the best thing for everyone. (I don't remember anyone asking me if I thought so.) I will never ever vote for Labour, Conservatives or Con/dems again. They have all lied through their teeth. so UKIP you can have my vote. I would have to be dead to allow BNP any vote at all.

  • Comment number 2.

    I am against us being part of the European Union but believe we should still be able to have free trade with them. The EU is ruling us like a dictatorship and destroying our beloved country and the three main parties are not listening to us.

    I have never been a fan of the three main parties in the commons because over the past thirty years they have ignored the people, talk a lot of dribble without looking at the consequences and broken their promises. Selling us and our right to self-govern in favour of a Hitler style dictatorship is hardly doing what is best for this once great nation but it nothing more than three main parties serving self-interests and borders on Treason.

    The Lib-Dems said in the EU that they favour Britain being ignored if the vote no to being part of the EU and this tells me that they are against the rights of the people to speak out against them, sounds like Nazi style dictatorship to me and nothing like democracy as they claim.

  • Comment number 3.

    I never thought i'd see the day when Stuart St Clair Haslam would make the bbc news. Oh dear.

  • Comment number 4.

    Sorry but why are you talking UKIP down? Typical BBC, cannot bear the truth to be told if it doesn't fit in with BBC agenda. If you're not that worried about UKIP, why report on them at all.

    All parties take time to build up and Labour and the Cons all started small but the fact is we are now the fourth largest party whether you like it or not - and as a UKIP candidate I AM talking to people on their doorsteps and getting a very favourable response.

    Neither the mainstream parties nor the mainstream media actually LISTEN to the people; it's all well and good to pontificate from a warm studio or newsdesk but you have no REAL idea how fed up ordinary people are with left wing values being rammed down their throats.

    And it's all backed up by the EuroCommunist state. We get fed the establishment media's point of view and if we don't agree we're racists or some other kind of "ist".

    It's about time all media groups grew some backbone, stopped the lazy reporting and actually got out there and listened to ordinary people - and when you actually DO allow them to speak on your programmes, stop editing them in such a way it puts them in a bad light to suit yourselves.


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