The UKIP People’s Army marched on this week with a landslide victory in Clacton and a near miss against Labour in Heywood and Middleton. A senior UKIP figure said today they now have 25 targets in their sights – is Worthing on Nigel’s list?
Yes – at least part of Worthing is as was revealed in August with Tim Loughton’s East Worthing & Shoreham seat one of the then 12 targets named by UKIP. The majority of the seat is in Adur but Worthing wards Broadwater, Gaisford, Offington and Selden are part of the constituency. The rest of Worthing’s wards are in Peter Bottomley’s Worthing West constituency.
Tim Loughton was one of only two elected West Sussex MPs in 2010 to receive less than 50% of the electoral vote. Under the rejected proportional representation scenario Mr Loughton would have endured a second round. The other was Henry Smith in Crawley where Labour was in second place.
It was the Liberal Democrats who were second to Tim Loughton in 2010 with UKIP’s Mike Glennon languishing in fourth place with just 6.2% of the vote. It is the continued march of the UKIP People’s Army in the area which has launched East Worthing as a target.
The first breakthrough was in the West Sussex County Council elections in 2013 when UKIP took their first County seat in Worthing in the Durrington and Salvington division. But more importantly for their target was the fact they took three of the six divisions in Adur with their 2010 Parliamentary Candidate taking Lancing. UKIP is now the second largest and main opposition party on the County Council.
UKIP consolidated their Adur position in last year’s Adur District Council election gaining six seats and becoming the main opposition party to the Tories. Although they failed to win a seat in Worthing they achieved the largest percentage of the vote across the whole of the East Worthing & Adur Constituency.
One by-election result and riding high in the polls at the same time does not make a significant gain of seats in the next General Election a certainty. Ask the now forgotten SDP, the Liberals and the Liberal Democrats.
And the National Health Action Party has also thrown its hat in the ring making East Worthing & Shoreham an interesting four way contest in 2015. Worthing Daily looks forward to it with interest.
Perhaps not done up like a kipper but maybe done up by a Kipper.