|Dear Fellow UKIP Members,
The English local election results are of course disappointing to say the least. We all knew it was going to be a difficult night but we worked and hoped for the best.
First of all let me commend and thank all our former councillors, candidates, and activists who put in so much hard work over the years for the Party and the cause we believe in. These unsung heroes and heroines sacrificed their own time, effort and money in the interests of democracy. Thanks also to all the loyal UKIP voters who stayed with us at this difficult time.
There is also some good news in this election.
A preliminary estimate of sixteen councils shows UKIP achieved an average of 7.5% of the vote.
When all the results are known we hope to have achieved an average of between 5% to 7% of the vote (across the seats we contested).
If you recall, in the General Election of 2017 UKIP had sunk to just 1.8% of the vote overall or approximately 3% across the seats where we stood (378).
Recently an opinion poll for UKIP still put us on only 3% nationally (YouGov).
When all the numbers are finally crunched, if we are indeed on between 5% to 7% of the vote then this represents a definite uplift in our support.
This is significant because the percentage difference between the Conservative and Labour parties is currently running at about 5% (Cons 43% Labour 38% YouGov, April)
In a General Election, the ability to command 5% or more of the vote has a significant impact on the votes, and seats, of the Lib-Lab-Con.
That is why the political and media establishments are saying UKIP is dead. They want us dead – but UKIP is still very much alive.
Certain results deserve a special mention.
In Derby, we held a seat and won two new seats. UKIP Councillor Alan Graves held his seat on 58% of the vote, and new UKIP Councillor Paul Bettany displaced the sitting Labour leader of the council on 40% of the vote. They are obviously doing something right and the Party needs to learn from them. In the results for Redditch, Winyates ward saw UKIP with 23.2% of the vote. We are still awaiting confirmation of some results.
In Burnley, UKIP Councillor Tom Commis also won a seat – well done Tom!
Our candidates and activists in Rochdale held the Labour council to task on the Grooming Gang/Sex Slavery issue and achieved a very respectable 13.8% of the vote.
We all knew the result would be disappointing but UKIP is still in the fight. Now we have to regroup, reorganise and rethink – and come out fighting again next time.
Have a relaxing week-end and an enjoyable Bank Holiday on 7th May.
Gerard Batten MEP