|The UKIP By-election record||Date||UKIP share %||Deposit|
|Norwich North||23/07/09||11.8||Saved deposit|
|Crewe and Nantwich||22/05/08||2.2||Lost deposit|
|Ealing Southall||19/07/07||0.8||Lost deposit|
|Bromley and Chislehurst||29/06/06||8.1||Saved deposit|
|Dunfermline and West Fife||09/02/06||0.6||Lost deposit|
|Brent East||18/09/03||0.7||Lost deposit|
|West Bromwich West||23/11/00||1.3||Lost deposit|
|Kensington & Chelsea||25/11/09||2.3||Lost deposit|
|Leeds Central||10/06/99||2.7||Lost deposit|
|Wirral South||27/02/97||0.9||Lost deposit|
|Barnsley East||12/12/96||2.1||Lost deposit|
|South East Staffs||11/04/96||2.9||Lost deposit|
|Littleborough and Saddleworth||27/07/95||1.3||Lost deposit|
|Dudley WestÂ||15/12/94||1,4||Lost deposit|
|Newham North||09/06/94||2.6||Lost deposit|
Or doesn’t meeting voters suit their style?
My big seat loss at the 2010 general election was on Buckingham. I had been so taken by Tory activists in seats in my constituency, less than half an hour away, telling me that “their election” was going to be helping Nigel Farage win UKIP their first ever seat.
It all seemed so simple. There were no main party candidates standing so loyal Tories could switch to the anti-EU party without undermining the national effort to get the Brown government out. I even had a side bet with PB’s Tim that Bercow’s majority wouldn’t be in five figures.
Alas I was wrong and Farage finished in a pitiful third place with just 17% of the vote.
So excuse me if I sound so sceptical whenever I see reports or claims, from both right and left, that because Cameron or the blues have done or said something then it provides an opening for Farage and his team? The fact is that when it comes to fighting Westminster seats at general or by elections UKIP is a busted flush.
The party simply does not “get” this form of electioneering. What better evidence could there be than their main asset in Buckingham, Farage, deciding to spend his time on election day flying in the plane that was pulling a banner?
By-elections in particular require a mass of grunt work that UKIP simply fails to comprehend. Just look at what Labour in the Lib Dems have been doing since September in Old & Sad. It’s been obvious for three months that if there was a by-election then it would take place in the middle of winter. Getting supporters signed up for postal votes was always going to be critical and that requires a huge amount of voter contact.
UKIP might do okay with the EU parliament election system but they are miles behind in the Westminster stakes.