UKIP leader Nigel Farage promised a political earthquake, and that was what he delivered across the United Kingdom in the European elections.
But tonight’s result may not have been as much of a success as it could otherwise have been because of a strong showing from a recently created, but almost unknown political party.
Concerns have been raised by the level of support for a group that had previously broken away from UKIP and called themselves “An Independence from Europe Party”. They polled reasonably well throughout the country achieving 1.5 percent – higher than long-established parties like the English Democrats and the Socialist Party of Britain.
Pundits had claimed the reason for this result was the alphabetically ordered ballot paper, which placed the party much higher up the ballot than UKIP. Also in most regions, ballot papers were folded in such a way that the UKIP option was not always visible.
“An Independence from Europe” are reminiscent of the 1994 European Elections when Richard Huggett ran as a “Literal Democrat” and polled 10,000 votes. The Liberal Democrats lost the European seat and the case was taken to the High Court. Since then rules have been put in place to stop people running under names “deliberately designed to deceive the electorate”.
In this case the name is not similar but its place on the ballot may have been confusing, in of itself. Breitbart London understands that UKIP wrote to the Electoral Commission in November protesting at the name, but were told it would not confuse electors.
Nigel Farage, speaking exclusively to Breitbart London said, “I don’t want to spoil this evening by telling you what I think about the Electoral Commission, but I will do that tomorrow. If I set up ‘A Labour Party’ – would they allow that? I will give full vent to my feelings on this tomorrow.”