Top 5 UKIP figures to replace Henry Bolton – what about Farage?

Henry Bolton

Could Henry Bolton be on his way out already? Is Nigel Farage set for a comeback?

There is talk of a new UKIP leadership election if Henry Bolton steps down following allegations that his now ex-girlfriend sent racist texts about actress Meghan Markle, as reported by the BBC.

So far, Bolton remains in place, but who could replace him? Here are the five favourites, according to Ladbrokes’ betting odds (accurate 19th January 2018).

5th – Gerard Batten

This UKIP MEP for London is the fifth favourite to be UKIP’s third leader in less than a year. Batten has been an MEP since 2004 and is the party’s current spokesperson on Brexit. Ladbrokes currently offer odds of 8/1 for this representative to take over from Bolton.

4th – Peter Whittle

This London AM was the favourite for much of the last leadership contest, but ultimately came fifth behind Henry Bolton and Anne Marie Waters, the latter of which has gone off to form her own movement outside UKIP. He has been a London Assembly Member since 2016 and has also served as the party’s deputy leader. Could he replace Bolton? Ladbrokes offer odds of 6/1 for a Whittle leadership.

3rd – Nigel Farage

This Brexit champion has led his party on three separate occasions, although during the third he was only acting leader in between Diane James' and Paul Nuttall's respective terms. To most, Farage is the face of UKIP. If the government pursues a softer Brexit, he could come out fighting as UKIP leader.

His odds? 4/1. However, one suspects if he were to stand, the field would clear to give him a clear shot at regaining the purple crown.

2nd – Tim Aker

This MEP barely got a mention during the previous leadership contest, but he is the second favourite with odds of 3/1. Aker has been an MEP since 2014, and came a close third in the 2015 general election in Thurrock. He won 31.7% of the vote behind Labour on 32.6% and the Conservatives on 33.7%. Had he edged through the middle, post-2015 politics could have looked a lot different as Aker would surely be a much more prominent figure.

1st – David Kurten

Kurten is UKIP’s other London AM, and stood like his colleague Peter Whittle Kurten ran to be leader at the end of 2017, but came third. With Waters out the running and Bolton unlikely to stand if he steps down, Kurten would probably be seen as the immediate favourite to take over. But could he do the job? And would he step aside if Nigel Farage entered the field? Ladbrokes offer odds of 3/1 for a Kurten leadership if Bolton steps down and triggers a new contest.