Gavin Maclure's Musings

My take on politics locally, nationally and internationally

Nigel Farage patently made the right decision not to stand in Newark

1 Comment


UKIP leader Nigel Farage on European Elections campaign trail

UKIP leader Nigel Farage on European Elections campaign trail

Despite the best efforts of the mainstream media to derail UKIP’s European Elections campaign, the polls suggest otherwise. 38% say they will vote UKIP on 22nd May. The Newark by-election, caused by Tory MP Patrick Mercer being found guilty by the Commons standards committee for allegedly tabling questions in the House of Commons after signing a deal with a lobbying firm that paid him £4,000 for seeking the readmission of Fiji to the Commonwealth, required UKIP leader Nigel Farage to decide if he would stand in the election. He chose not to. The BBC screamed he bottled it on the Today programme yesterday. But did he?

If you look at the facts in the clear light of day, it could be argued he made the right decision:

(1) UKIP’s figurehead standing in a Westminster by-election either on the same day as the European Elections or shortly afterwards would have allowed a local election contest to overshadow a national election on 22nd May, where UKIP not only hope to do well, but win these elections in the UK by sending the most MEPs to Brussels.

(2) Newark is no where near Kent, Nigel Farage’s powerbase.

(3) Even if the UKIP leader stood and won the Newark seat he would have been either forced to fight it again in a year’s time at the General Election or walk away to stand where he really wants to: a parliamentary seat in Kent.

All in all a good decision.

Author: gavinmaclure

IT professional; political blogger, former Conservative councillor

One thought on “Nigel Farage patently made the right decision not to stand in Newark

  1. I think you overstate the UKIP support – YouGov poll today says 28% in the Euros, one point behind Labour on 29%. They are also still stuck on 15% at a General Election – which isn’t enough to get them a single MP.

    While I tend to agree with Farage that this wasn’t the right timing for him to stand for Westminster, he could send 74 MEPs to Brussels/Strasbourg and it wouldn’t get him one step closer to his actual purpose – removing us from the European Union. The only way to get Britain out of the European Union is for Better Off Out candidates to be elected at Westminster. Only Westminster has the sovereignty to remove us from the EU project.

    However bearing that in mind, UKIP has to decide what it is for. If it is a pressure group that wants to remove us from Europe, presumably it will only stand against MPs who don’t want that – so will not be selecting a candidate in Clacton against Douglas Carswell, for instance, or against the likes of Kate Hoey.

    But it isn’t simply a pressure group wanting us out of Europe, because those at the top have realised that if they succeeded they would be out of a job. Instead it has become the right wing Liberal Democrats, an irritant that might prevent a right wing Government and is likely to actually limit the chance that their own agenda ever sees the light of day.

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