The UK Independence Party is preparing for the next British General Election that must be held in less than 12 months time.
The UKIP performance at elections during the last four years has been impressive for a new political party. Having achieved second place behind the Conservatives during the 2009 European Parliamentary elections, UKIP has proved that it can force Labour into third place and the LibDems into forth place in major elections. This is a very impressive performance.
In Local Government elections, the party has been winning seats against all established major parties. The performance at the Norwich North by-election was also impressive because the candidate overtook the Green Party and came close to forcing the LibDems into forth place, but even more impressive was the growth in support. Even the Conservatives won fewer votes than at the previous General Election, the LibDems were significantly down on votes and the Labour Party vote collapsed on an unprecidented scale, while the UKIP vote was up almost 12%.
The challenge for UKIP now is to continue its established growth rate and increase it to the point where it can win seats at a first-past-the-post General Election.
It is an interesting challenge because the overwhelming public opinion is to eject “Bottler” Brown and his cronies at the first opportunity. That would cost UKIP votes because, in a first-past-the-post electoral system, there is a fear that votes could go to UKIP from the Conservatives in sufficient numbers to let a Labour candidate in and force Britain to endure another five years of national socialst misrule. This is countered by another overwhelming public desire to have a referendum on the European Constitution and soundly reject it. The only party that has made a firm and unequivocal commitment to an immediate referendum is the UK Independence Party. During recent elections, a significant percentage of new votes, motivated by a desire to vote down the European Federal Super State, have come from traditionally Labour voting citizens. At the very least, the Conservatives may be forced to make a much clearer and stronger commitment to a referendum
The UK Independence Party Chairman has sent this message to supporters:
There is little doubt that Thursday was one of the most successful days in the history of the UK Independence Party’s history.
The Norwich North by-election saw an amazing result for Glenn Tingle and his team, with UKIP taking over 4,000 votes despite media coverage giving the Greens fourth-party status. His 12% of the vote was the highest vote share achieved by any UKIP candidate at any Parliamentary election, achieved under difficult circumstances. Our thanks go to all UKIP activists who gave up their time to come and campaign in Norwich North, and for all donations which have been gratefully received. Glenn Tingle was a superb candidate and will do very well at the next general election.
Meanwhile in Ramsey, Peter Reeve fought a District Council and a County Council seat on the same day and won both. His vote shares of 43% and 39% were particularly impressive given the strong campaign run by the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats. Derek Armstrong also deserves congratulations after winning a seat on Broseley Town Council in the West Midlands.
Despite the obvious difficulty in obtaining media coverage outside an election period, our recent by-election results show that we are maintaining momentum and keeping up the pressure on the traditional parties.
Our Party Conference this year will be held at the Southport Conference Centre, The Promenade, Southport, PR9 0DZ on Friday 4th and Saturday 5th September 2009 and promises to be the biggest and best one yet – you can book online here. The Conference is open to all, but only card-carrying UKIP members will be allowed to vote on motions debated on the Saturday.
Let’s make sure we’re ready for the General Election!
Paul Nuttall MEP (Party Chairman)
Jonathan Arnott (UKIP General Secretary)