The EP2014 election is so tight that what could be decisive is how many Ukip supporters mistakenly vote for “An Independence from Europe”

May 22nd, 2014

Standby for a row if AIFE’s total is bigger than Ukip’s losing margin

With YouGov’s final EP2014 poll showing Ukip with a lead of just 1% it is possible that what stops Farage’s party from winning on votes will be the spoiler party “An Independence from Europe – UK Independence Now”.

The consensus of election experts that I contacted yesterday reckoned that simply by being top of the ballot and having “UK Independence” in their description (see picture) could give it a vote share of 2% or more which, if YouGov’s final poll is right will be enough to swing the result.

Back in 2004 in a SW Euro seat a candidate calling himself a “Literal Democrat” appeared on the ballot above the Liberal Democrat candidate. The former picked up nearly 5% of the vote which was several times more than the losing margin. The Lib Dems tried to get the result over-turned in the High Court but lost.

Over the past fortnight Ukip have been acutely aware of the problem and has been taking active campaigning steps to alert potential voters of the problem. Nigel Farage spoke at the weekend of postal voters who had contacted the party to say they had got it wrong. He was hugely critical the Electoral Commission for allowing AIFE to be created in this manner.

If it should happen that Ukip is deprived is deprived of victory then expect a huge row which will go on for months.

Unlike the Literal Democrat AIFE is a legitimate party and was formed by ex-Ukip MEP and deputy leader, Mike Natrass, after he’d been de-selected.

Mike Smithson

2004-2014: The view from OUTSIDE the Westminster bubble