Well what a day Thursday 4th May turned out to be for UKIP. Come the morning of Friday 5th the election results were starting to indicate that UKIP had not fared well. Indeed by the close of play on Friday we were clear that UKIP had circa 145 less Councillors than it did earlier that week.
Initial thoughts of post-election deflation quickly faded, especially when we gave a thoughtful care to the men and women of UKIP who had lost their Council seats. It has long been the case that UKIP Councillors work harder for their wards than Councillors of other parties. For these good folk to lose out was perhaps the bitterest blow of the day – yet we rallied.
Why did UKIP see the result it saw? A number of reasons, notwithstanding a public that is already primed to vote Conservative at the General Election, a tactical vote in many cases so to stop the “alliance of chaos” gaining a foothold. Of course we refer to the LibDem, SNP, Labour and Green alliance. What a curse on this land would we inflict should these incompetents gain power as a coalition. No Thank You… a sentiment obviously echoed by many.
Another valid reason is UKIP’s failure to move on politically come the famous Referendum vote we secured on June 23rd 2016. If we made a mistake as a party that mistake was that we failed to clearly outline to the people of Britain our vision of what a post Brexit Britain would look like. We failed to move away from the very subject that empowerd UKIP for many years – independence, for in the eyes of many now Article 50 is triggered, we as a nation have attained that very independence we so hungrily sought. Sadly that’s not quite the case, however, that is the perception and perceptions matter at the ballot box.
The media imply that there are other, more internal reasons why we failed, yet what we must do to keep any discussion in the real world. The fact is UKIP still has over 300 Councillors nationally with Assembly Members sitting in both London and Wales. So we are not quite bereft of political muscle quite yet.
As the Labour Party lay claim to the formation of the NHS, then let UKIP lay claim to the EU Referendum. Let that leave vote be a foundation stone in our struggle, a foundation on which we grow bigger, stronger, better.
So where do we go as a Political Party? There is clearly space within the existent British political spectrum for a Party such as UKIP. However, we must evolve and as a part of that evolutionary process take the chance to take stock. We are not the first political party to receive a bloody nose at the ballot box and we will not be the last. Thankfully we have time to address the issues that confront UKIP and once realised from our self-doubt, we can take our place back at the tables of British governance.
We’ll be back….ask John Connor.