Writing for Breitbart News Network, UKIP’s deputy leader has argued that his party can break Labour’s dominance in the north of England.
To most it will come as a surprise that there was a by-election this week, but on Thursday the people of South Yorkshire voted for a new Police and Crime Commissioner, following the standing down of the previous Commissioner due to the Rotherham scandal.
Just 14.65% of registered voters in the area turned out to vote for the new commissioner, up from the 14.53% in 2012.
Labour’s candidate became Commissioner with just 50.0% of the vote. UKIP came second with 31.7%, ahead of the Conservatives on 12.5% and well ahead of the English Democrats on just 5.8%.
It is clear that Labour still dominate the north, particularly with results like this, putting the poor turnout aside. But UKIP’s progress, as highlighted by its deputy leader, should not go unnoticed.
Writing on Breitbart, the MEP highlighted two clear positives for the party.
Firstly: “Two years on we have leapt to 31.66 percent and second place, which I suggest shows significant progress is being made.”
And secondly: “Moreover, the fact that Conservatives finished a distant third only serves to show that they have been replaced by UKIP as Labour’s main opposition in the north.”
The first point is a sign of UKIP’s continual growth. Even despite the poor turnout, coming second in the by-election will be used to show their growing success, particularly in the build up to the Rochester and Strood by-election next month, where Mark Reckless hopes to become the party’s second MP, after Douglas Carswell’s success last month.
And secondly, Mr Nutall highlights UKIP’s growing presence in the north, particularly at the expense of the Conservative party. For David Cameron’s party to get a majority next May it should focus on marginals in the north of England, but with UKIP’s growing successes in that part of the country, then UKIP could weaken the Conservatives in more places than one.
UKIP are on the up and will do well next May. Whether Paul Nutall’s hopes of UKIP weakening Labour’s hold on the north will happen however, is yet to be seen.
Paul Nutall’s article can be found here: http://www.breitbart.com/Breitbart-London/2014/11/02/Labour-Still-Has-a-Stranglehold-on-the-North-but-UKIP-Can-Break-It/