The following two letters address elections: one looks at the coming Parliamentary by-election in Sleaford, the other describes ‘good practice’ for future Unitary elections and the GE in 2020:

Sir,

Stephen Phillips QC, who had a huge majority in Sleaford, is forcing a by-election over Brexit. His statement says he is at odds with the government over parliamentary scrutiny of the Brexit process. That is, he wants what remainers want – the right to interfere, hold up, amend, water down and obstruct.

Phillips had a huge majority in 2015: 34,805 votes to Labour’s 10,690 but UKIP pressed Labour for second place with 9,716. Lib Dems were way behind with 3,500. His constituency is in the East Midlands which voted Out 58.5% overall. There ought to be some opportunity for UKIP therefore with Labour even more fractured than UKIP.

Here is what I would like to see happen:

1) Stephen Hopkins UKIP stands again to take advantage of some name recognition, assuming that as a candidate he does not have a blotted copybook. If there is some handicap attached to him then find another good and credible candidate quickly. The party should even consider putting forward Nuttall or Farage.

2) The party appeals for donations from us all – from £1 upwards – to fund a campaign, with appeals to patrons and MEPs in particular.

3) The big-wigs give their all. I want to see Nuttall turn up in the constituency. I want to see Nigel himself go there. I want to see a large number of our MEPs go there. In short I want to see the party really go for it and not just rely on the long suffering ordinary members to do all the campaigning!

4) I want Banks and Kassam told, in no uncertain terms, to support this by-election campaign wholeheartedly or leave the party. Leave.eu’s website should be clear that this by-election is important and all its members are to support the campaign.

5) Neighbouring branches to be identified and asked to supply foot soldiers.

6) Kippers nationally to be invited to get along any way they can.

7) Carswell to be told to start behaving like a real kipper and support the Sleaford campaign actively.

We have to do this. If Phillips is going to turn it into a vote on Brexit then UKIP must go all out for the best result it can. A half-hearted effort that produces a weak result would be to weaken UKIP considerably. Reducing Phillips’ majority and overtaking Labour should be achievable goals.

In the interests of the party, given Suzanne Evans and Rees-Evans cannot realistically expect to overtake Nuttall, they should withdraw now and stop diverting party resources on their vanity projects and allow Nuttall to start taking over the party’s identity, to make recent history recede, and to start work immediately on re-establishing UKIP as a threat.

Sleaford should become awash with UKIP and kippers and all the high profile names, pushing our message. We do not have to win the seat to make an impact. Overtake Labour (a mere 488 votes from them to us), and the message will be: UKIP is back!

Respectfully, Stout Yeoman

Today’s second letter describes how the continuing work of elected councillors is important for future electoral success. It was first published in the UKIP newsletter for Thurrock.

Sir,

Although UKIP Thurrock now fields 17 councillors, the council comprises the leading 18 Conservatives and 14 Labour, the latter having done a deal with the Conservatives for  mutual convenience! However, one of the Conservatives seats was held but by a single vote. No other party or  independent won a seat on Council so there is all to play for.

It is branch practice to go knocking on doors progressively throughout the wards with other available UKIP councillors, to remind residents that UKIP are there to help. I cannot help feeling that with their casework system so well established there are more UKIP councillors in the offing by the time of Thurrock 2018 unitary election results will be coming through.

The undoubted energies and organisation on display were undisputedly the reason behind the 2015 General Election result : Conservatives held the seat, with a turnout of 63.9% and a swing of 0.44% Labour to Conservatives. The considerable surge in UKIP support was down to the excellent leadership of Tim Aker and the sheer effort and organization of this exceptionable UKIP branch.

Tim himself showed me the offices upstairs, where I was more than impressed. There was a call centre not only used by the branch but available to the Eastern Region; a useful number of telephones and accessories along the  L-shaped wall and a bench table with info boards and clipboards at the ready. Adjacent, an operations meeting room – again with a range of communications facilities in place. It’s their ‘War Room! 2018 here we come” and more to the point, for 2020 and the General  Election, their expected Parliamentary election for this seat.

UKIP Thurrock is in every sense a mixed and marginal constituency. Under Tim Aker’s inspirational leadership, the combined enterprise, initiative, resourcefulness and energies of his team have every prospect of picking up those extra 974 votes and more to pull off a very well deserved UKIP election victory and seat in the House of Commons,

Respectfully, “The Roving Kipper”

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