Firstly, thanks to Graham King of UK General Election 2015 for the information sources.
The following candidates have declared so far for the By Election on 5 June:
|Liberal Democrats||David Watts|
|Monster Raving Loony||Nick the Flying Brick|
|Patriotic Socialist Party||Lee Woods|
|The Common Good||Dick Rogers|
The latest nomination above is from the Loonies. Nick the Flying Brick is highly regarded as a single issue politician, with his long-standing campaign for the abolition of gravity. He is keen to put Newark on the political map moving the British Parliament to ‘The Flying Circus‘ pub at 53, Castlegate.
Other policies include:
- Make fishing a spectator sport by introducing piranha to the River Trent
- Newark Castle will be developed into an intergalactic space port.
- The ‘Chiltern Hundreds’ will be declared a nature reserve and developed into a Mercernary retreat.
- The ‘Financial Conduct Authority’ to be renamed ‘Financial Complacent Authority’.
- Environmental policy – All European trains in the future must be fuelled by Gravy.
- We would return the British currency to pounds, shillings and pence with rural villages such as Southall encouraged to trade in shiny beads.
OK, after the laugh, down to serious business, and clearly Roger Helmer has a double campaign to wage, with his pre-existing Euro election commitments, which can be seen in his Twitter feed, but doubtless he will not rest after 22 May, avoid travelling to Bruxelles, and fight the good fight in Newark.
Roger has found time to jot down his reactions to his first walkabout in Newark on Wednesday, which are reported in full on the party website, but here’s a flavour:
On Wednesday, I went for the first time (as a declared by-election candidate) to Newark, and walked around the market square with twenty or so UKIP activists, carrying placards and rosettes (and my thanks to all of them for coming). We were surrounded by reporters and cameramen. And I was simply astonished by the reaction of stallholders and the public in the square. They shouted. They cheered. They roared approval. It was (as a colleague said) “seismic beyond words”.
A Guardian journalist who was covering the event affirmed in astonishment “I’ve covered a lot of by-elections, and I’ve simply never seen a reaction like that!” I’ve been in politics (and representing Newark in the European parliament) for fifteen years, and I’ve never seen anything like it, either.
As we posed for photographs with placards and activists, we found that a couple of stallholders (God bless them) had made their own placard in felt-tipped pen on the bottom of a cardboard fruit tray: “Newark for UKIP!!”
The local paper also reported on the event.
The interesting thing about Newark is that the demographic is right for UKIP. In 2011, over 50% of the population were over 50, a group well known for better voting turnout.
And what’s been the reaction of the bookies? Here are the latest odds from Twitter: