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Will South Staffs be a turning point for UKIP?

June 22nd, 2005

ukip

    Could the anti-EU party produce a sensational result tomorrow?

There are increasingly bullish comments coming out of the UKIP web discussion forum about how well their campaign is going in the delayed South Staffordshire election which takes place tomorrow. If this long report by a senior party official on UKIP’s website is to be believed then tomorrow’s ballot in South Staffordshire is not the foregone conclusion for Conservatives that it might appear.

In fact the contest is being set up as a make-or-break for UKIP – highly dangerous stuff unless it is based on real activity on the ground. He says “If UKIP do not do well here, then we will never do well anywhere. Fact. He then goes on to conclude: If we don’t do well here, then you have to question if the brand UKIP is ever going to do anything.

    In his detailed commentary on the campaign the official claims that the party is winning the poster wars with the ballot itself being presented as a means of voters making it their referendum on the EU, something that has been refused by Blair.

The sitting MP, Patrick Cormack “has been targeted specifically and the good news is he bites every time. Quotes from Hansard over his Europhile leanings have shown him to be the two-faced lying career merchant that he is. The fact that he is a nasty, pompous old-school Tory doesn’t help either…

In his analysis the official notes two key elements 1) It is not a general election. Government is not being chosen, so a protest vote is much more likely. 2) The EU is all anyone is talking about. I have never heard such hostility to the EU from the average Joe. It warmed my heart!

He concludes If we don’t do well here, then you have to question if the brand UKIP is ever going to do anything. The people are very positive and say they will vote UKIP and funnily always come back and say keep the pound (not used in this campaign!). We will see.

This election has taken place without any real coverage from the media and we are having to rely on reports like this one to get a feel for what is happening. If this man is right then “Doing well” for UKIP could mean getting into second place behind the Conservatives. If that happens the party would dominate the Cheadle by-election and provide the backcloth for Tony Blair’s campaign to get EU financial reform.

Only two betting markets remain on the election: Betfairs “winning party” where the Tories are 1/33 and the size of majority where the 1.2/1 on less than 5,000 look a great bet. Skybet have closed their vote share markets.

MY PERSONAL BETTING. I have put as much as the bookmaker would allow me on the Tories getting less than 50% at 5/2; Labour being below 30% at evens and the Lib Dems being more than 15% at 5/6. I think that I will be smiling on Friday.

Mike Smithson.






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