The UK Independence Party is preparing to develop from the base they achieved in the British Local Government and the European Parliament elections on June 4.
Coming second in the European Parliament elections, ahead of both the Labour and Liberal Democrat parties was a huge achievement. They also did well in the British Local Government elections. Turning this into seats in Westminster is a much tougher battle because the electoral system is different and greatly favours the three established parties
The next test will be the Norwich North by-election caused by the resignation of the sitting Labour MP.
In an address to the UK Indpendence Party troops their Chairman wrote:
“We would like to take this opportunity to thank all of you who helped with the UKIP campaign for the local and European elections. For a so-called ‘minor’ party to beat the government at a national set of elections is unprecedented in British political history. Despite the UK’s representation in the European Parliament being reduced from 78 to 72 seats, we managed to take 13 seats – finishing in second place, ahead of the Labour Party and the Liberal Democrats.
At the recent County Council and unitary authority elections, we also made a significant breakthrough. UKIP has taken a number of council seats in the past, but never at County Council level. This year, we won 7 County Council seats and achieved an average of 16% of the vote in the 594 seats we contested. Incredibly, UKIP took over 80,000 votes more than Labour in the areas where both parties stood.
We have had an amazing result. But we must not now become complacent or allow ourselves to rest on our laurels. The General Election campaign must start now. Our attention now turns to selecting candidates for those constituencies which do not yet have a UKIP candidate, to ensure that UKIP is a credible threat to Labour, Conservatives and Liberal Democrats.
Meanwhile, the Norwich North by-election will shortly be called and the election is expected to be held within the next few weeks. Our campaign office has already opened in the constituency at 166 Wroxham Road, Norwich, NR7 8DE (for more information or to help, please contact Pete Reeve on 07792 290434) and leafleting has begun. The campaign has already raised a five-figure sum and is growing towards the level needed to build upon our European election success. We have generated momentum in our European election campaign; a strong showing in Norwich North will enable us to keep this going as we approach the next general election.
Paul Nuttall MEP (UKIP Chairman)
Jonathan Arnott (UKIP General Secretary)”
The real achievement was not that UK Indpendence Party did well at a time when the Blair Brown Regime is heartily disliked and distrusted after twelve years of costly failure, but that the significant achievement in the previous European elections was maintained and resulted in a seat increase. The UK Independence Party vote held firm against a multitude of new and other small parties and has established the Party as a mainstream political force that is now attracting new funding and able to field many more candidates at election time. It does however present a threat to the Conservatives because it has demonstrated that it can pick up votes from all other parties and from the traditional uncommitted group of voters who make their minds up very late.