LOCAL ELECTIONS 2018: UKIP Lead Popular Resistance To Labour
Reports of UKIP’s demise have been greatly exaggerated. No one out campaigning in Derby yesterday would have recognised the media characterisation of UKIP as an in decline ex-Party. The street stall run by Councillor Alan Graves and joined by Jonathan Bullock MEP was popular. Cars beeped at us approvingly and plenty of people were willing to engage positively with the campaign. Councillor Graves is part of a well-organised and high visibility campaign and in the neighbouring ward the UKIP candidate, Paul Bettany, is leading the charge to oust Councillor Ranjit Banwait, unpopular leader of the Labour administration.
Mr Banwait, who has faced calls to quit from within his own Party, claimed an eye-watering £30,000 in Special Responsibility Allowance last year. Clearly, he is electoral dead-weight, a fact attested too by his own colleagues, a letter circulated last year amoung Labour councillors claimed that Labour would be “wiped-out” if Mr Banwait was not replaced as the leader:
“What the people of Derby don’t do is trust the leader and, sadly, we are all being tarred with the same brush. Hardworking councillors are going to lose their seats at the forthcoming elections
The only chance that the Labour Party in Derby may have of not being totally wiped out is for the leader to resign with immediate effect.”
So, in Debry, UKIP finds itself at the head of a populist insurgency against a crumbling Labour administration. In Mr Banwait’s ward, UKIP were a mere 10 votes behind the last time the seat was contested. Furthermore, if the response yesterday is any indicator Mr Bettany could well win on May 3rd. This will in no small part due to the diligent service of the existing UKIP councillors to their local area. It is widely predicted in the mainstream media that UKIP will be totally wiped out on May 3rd, however, keep an eye on Derby as it may well produce a sensational surprise result.