Click on this link and fast forward to 50 minutes in to hear Adrian Lee, Plymouth University election guru, laying bare UKIP's local election failure in their strongest region in the UK. Think what must be happening in the East Midlands where Clarke is MEP!
In the South West Labour has doubled its candidates, the Greens have more than doubled its candidates, the Tories are contesting for the first time more than 90% of the seats and are targeting the Lib Dems. Two parties are fielding less candidates than 2007, the coalition blighted LibDems and Yes, you've guessed, Farage's EUKIP! Both Farage and Clegg have gone native, Clegg in Westminster and Farage in Brussels and in so doing completely lost touch with their grass root activists who are deserting both parties in droves. Other than possibly Plymouth it looks like another nil return for UKIP!
I stood as a UKIP candidate in 2007 really annoying the local EU phile LibDems, one David Laws currently under investigation by Parliamentary officials over his expenses claim, and the local Tories. I would have stood again except my possible candidature was blocked by Farage telling the party machine he would block me standing for even the Parish Council. Is it any wonder UKIP now has fewer candidates with a leader who is more concerned with victimising UKIP activists than fighting local elections! Better to have a UKIP candidate standing and give people a chance to vote UKIP than no anti-EU candidate at all. Worse still is to promote and support electoral liabilities like Pearson and Monckton as they are 'Lords'. The belted Earl is also no asset.
Activists are the key to electoral success. Not just my opinion but that of the latest Farage protege Ms Jane Collins quoted in the Yorkshire Post after her less than stellar recent performance in the Scunthorpe by-election:
'ACTIVISTS on the ground are more important than vast sums of money, according to the biggest-spending UK Independence Party (UKip) candidate.
Jane Collins trailed in fourth in Scunthorpe with just 1,686 votes, despite spending £10,072 during the campaign – more than any of her rivals. Labour held the seat with 14,640 votes despite a strong challenge from the Conservatives, who polled 12,091.
“I decided I wanted to put some money into the campaign,” said Ms Collins. “It was a bit of an experiment to see how it affected the result in Scunthorpe. But because of the determination to keep the Conservatives out and the determination of the Conservatives to get in – they made very big inroads – my campaign made very little difference.
“You can spend what you like but if you don’t door knock and get in touch with the people and create enough of a rapport with them to get the ball rolling, you can spend what you like but it won’t make any difference.”
Labour’s Nic Dakin, who won the seat with a majority of more than 2,500, spent just £6,957.36 – less than half that of Ms Collins.'
I am grateful to Junius for publicising these facts especially as the photogenic Ms Collins, looking less attractive in her Independence News pic post Barnsley than her presumably much earlier publicity shot, but then she was sandwiched between Farage and Nuttall in Independence News pic which makes it difficult for a girl to look her best.
Ms Collins did do well in Barnsley because she was a local lass. Farage never learns that parachuting in outside candidates of dubious appeal like himself in Bucks never works.
This is a lesson the Greens have learned. They have local activists standing in huge numbers in the South West. It is not by chance that the Greens have an elected Westmister MP and all UKIP has to show is a series expensive Farage flops in Bromley, Bucks etc. The Greens are on the right strategy and will build up their electoral base in the UK. EUKIP will only build up its bar bills in Brussels