UKIP plots poll breakthrough at conference

March 19, 2010

ukipAfter last year’s unprecedented success in European elections, which saw Labour beaten into third place, it isn’t really a surprise that the United Independence Party faithful were in a buoyant mood at their spring conference.

Certainly the location was unlikely to be the cause — the Jury’s Inn hotel in Milton Keynes is probably unlikely to excite many people – but among the 500-odd prospective candidates and activists there was a palpable belief their party could be about to make a breakthrough in parliamentary elections and win their first seat in Westminster.

Nigel Farage, the outspoken, colourful MEP and former leader, remains the party’s darling and cheerleader.

Like a well-known celebrity performing at a pantomime, he had his captivated audience booing the name of John Bercow (the parliamentary speaker whose Buckingham seat he is hoping to take in the election) and laughing heartily as he appealed for people “preferably with clean criminal records and of sound mind” to put themselves forward as party candidates.

The jokes aside, there was no escaping the party’s “straight talking” slogan, be it emblazoned on the cover of party’s election manifesto to the oft-repeated mantra from the conference lectern.

Talking straight on issues that they say the main parties ignore – mainly EU membership and immigration – will be at the forefront of UKIP’s strategy for success.

Plymouth, Staffordshire, and Bootle in Merseyside along with Farage’s assault on Buckingham, are among the top targets and the party, while realistic that winning a seat will be extremely hard, remains hopeful.

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The Lab/Lib Dems/Con have all ganged up together, and are using scaremonger tactics to brainwash the public into thinking that if we come out of the EU Treaty it will cost thousands of jobs. I took part in a live TV debate last weekend, and I raised the question of the cost of the EU, and the fact that no jobs would be lost by coming out of the EU. The Lab/Lib Dems/Con answers were all the same – the net cost of the EU is around £6 billion, and thousands of jobs would go if we came out.

I don’t know how you can get your message across that the net cost of the EU is around £120 billion, and no jobs would be lost. The biased BBC will not run any programmes on this subject, and the newspapers will not run any articles on this matter. On the bright side I believe that with around 550 candidates you will gain a few seats, and with the very real prospect of a hung Parliament I think you can build from there. I totally share your view that if we do nothing for the next five years there will be no such thing as Great Britain.

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