UKIP Candidates AWOL Again In Local By-Elections
For the second time in a fortnight UKIP will be fielding just a solitary candidate in NINE principal authority By-Elections taking place this evening (Thursday July 20th). The honourable exception is Bob Grahame (pictured above), who is contesting St. Helier Ward for the party in the Merton Borough Council by-election in London.
However, elsewhere there are no UKIP candidates in the contests For Eden District Council, Knowsley Metropolitan Borough, Rutland Unitary Authority (2 Seats), Shepway District Council (in the party’s Kent stronghold), Staffordshire Moorlands District Council, Stockton-on-Tees Council and Wealden District Council.
We know that the party is currently involved in a leadership contest but Interim Leader Steve Crowther and Party Chair Paul Oakden cannot afford to let the party just ‘drift’ between now and the end of September. It took years for people to get in to the habit of voting for UKIP in elections. Without a candidate to vote for when they go the polls, this habit can easily disappear and new loyalties quickly formed. It is vital if UKIP are serious about continuing as a mainstream party into the future that they act like one and ensure that ALL elections (except for those in areas where there is absolutely no party infrastructure like in some areas of Scotland) are always contested, even with a paper candidate if needs be. 2 Candidates in 2 weeks out of nearly 20 seats is simply not good enough.
Westmonster Dave is the editor of alt-politics.com