I am writing this at 0230, utterly shattered. Half of the voting day I have been sat/stood outside a polling station, proudly displaying my rosette, and chatting to a fair proportion of those exiting about their strength of feeling for UKIP. That was motivation enough for me to keep up the good fight!
Then, I observed the verification of the Euro votes – where I live we only had the Euros. Ballot papers face down, but the few flashes we had of them showed 50/50 Tory/UKIP votes in a mainly rural council area. We knew the postal vote turnout was around 20%, and the ballot box turnout was 20-25%, so an awesome turnout for Sunday night’s count, and another night of excitement. This will definitely be a record turnout for the Euro election.
But, as I write this, I am listening to BBC’s “Vote 2014” and following their ticker on the screen. While we have not yet achieved the Valhallah of overall control of a council (although there is a prediction we could take Great Yarmouth), we are taking lots of votes, +25% on the 2010 results, and, as I write this, 56 seats from the 500 declared so far, around 11% of seats, which would give us well over 200 seats, far more than Nigel’s very modest 100 seat prediction. However, we need to beware of London, where we are unlikely to take many seats.
Some wonderful results tonight – Rotherham 10 seats, UKIP the official opposition. Castle Point, Southend and Basildon in Essex take 5 seats each, and push the councils into “no overall control”.
The LibLabCon pundits on the programme are waffling. Of course, there are no UKIP people in the studio, but Steve Crowther, Steven Woolfe and Winston Mackenzie have been interviewed over the airwaves.
The legacy parties (and the BBC) are running scared of UKIP. The People’s Army is on the move!