Tuesday, April 06, 2010

UKIP News review

National News
UKIP are reported in the Independent's round up of the non-establishment parties,
For Ukip, the best chance of a Westminster breakthrough will come in the true blue seat of Buckingham, where the party's former leader, Nigel Farage, hopes to oust the Commons Speaker, John Bercow. Precedent dictates that the main parties do not run against the Speaker, but the constituency offers Mr Farage a unique chance of success.

On the face of it, victory for Mr Farage seems improbable. At the last election, when the seat was contested by the other parties, Mr Bercow's majority was a colossal 18,000 votes over Labour; Ukip limped home with just over 1,400 votes. But Mr Bercow's position on the far-left outposts of the Conservative Party has led Ukip's leadership to believe that he is vulnerable to an attack from a candidate who espouses the traditional messages of the Tories.

National strategy is overseen by the party's new leader, Lord Pearson, and the campaign director, James Pryor, who formerly advised Margaret Thatcher and John Major. No doubt it is Mr Pryor's involvement that has led Ukip to focus on Tory heartland issues such as grammar schools and clamping down on crime, as well as on its popular anti-EU message. However, the profile that Mr Farage has built for himself, through the odd outburst in Brussels and his aggressive performances on Question Time, means that he is largely left to run his own show in his quest to win the Buckingham seat. The party reckons it is his strong performance at hustings that will win him crucial Tory votes, so the strategy is simple – long days on the campaign trail.

Recent successes have buoyed party officials. They believe Ukip's strong performance in the Norwich North by-election last year went largely unreported. All the attention was on how the Greens would perform, but it was Ukip that made the biggest leap, with a swing in their favour of nine per cent. The party secured more than 4,000 votes – only 800 behind the Liberal Democrats, and enough for them to beat the Greens to fourth place. Resources have already been found to fight a high-profile campaign in Buckingham, with Stuart Wheeler, the spread-betting millionaire who has previously donated to the Tories, handing around £100,000 to Mr Farage's campaign.

The Times finds a UKIP voter in Kent,
Douglas Fraser-Hague, 51 and out of work, said: “Anglo-Saxon people are now a minority in this town. I’ve always been a Conservative but Cameron doesn’t talk about immigration. He’s not in the real world, or a patch on Maggie Thatcher. I might go for UKIP.”

The Guardian reprises a little discomfort.

Elsewhere on the Telegraph blogsite, Tim Collard a former diplomat and Labour supporter writes about UKIP coming high in his vote match score,
UKIP I can sort of understand; after twenty years in the FCO, more or less in the belly of the beast, I have little time for the Belgian scam and its aficionados.

Given that he is a Labour supporting diplomat that is interesting in itself. There again, looking at this article from last year maybe not.

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