WITH electoral success under their belts, a UKIP army is on the march for Gloucester in the 2015 general election.
The party’s city branch chairman Mike Smith has likened their campaign to ‘a Harvey’s furniture sale’, declaring: “As soon as one ends, another begins – and our 2015 campaign starts now.”
Support for the party surged both in the local and European elections in the city. They polled on average of 22 per cent in the 10 city council seats which they contended and they topped the poll for the most number of votes from the city in the European election.
UKIP parliamentary candidate Luke Hindhaugh is hoping to challenge city MP Richard Graham and his Labour rival Sophy Gardner in what has always been considered a marginal seat between the two largest parties.
The level of votes UKIP took from Labour this year proved surprisingly high. But Labour man Garry Mills today said that UKIP had only won support in Gloucester because there were many 'dissatisfied voters'. On Twitter he said:
— Garry Mills (@glevumhelp) May 26, 2014
UKIP have also revealed to the Citizen that they plan to field a candidate in all 11 wards up for grabs in next year’s city council elections.
Mr Smith said: “Labour’s support has collapsed and we have taken votes from them in these elections which scotches the idea that we only take votes from the Conservatives. We are also attracting people who have not voted before.
“We are not disappointed that we didn’t pick up any city council seats because we have started from a very low base.”
Watching the votes pour in for UKIP’s European candidates at the Gloucester count on Sunday night was a ‘wonderful’ feeling, he added.
Mr Smith also said he was ‘glad to see the back of’ ousted Lib Dem MEP Sir Graham Watson after he pushed through European arrested warrants which are ‘an assault on the freedom of British citizens’. He said: “He has got his just desserts.”
Mr Hindhaugh, 27, said he was feeling buoyant about his 2015 campaign to win the Gloucester parliamentary constituency. He said: “The hard work starts now. We have got the support here and we want to improve on it.
“The main parties have been fighting this area for years and they have got a lot of resources but our numbers are growing day by day. We will give it everything we have got.”