GRIMSBY, United Kingdom – UKIP have demonstrated that they are not just the party of dissatisfied Conservatives as the results in North East England show large swings to Nigel Farage’s party.
With results declared in Newcastle, Gateshead, North Tyneside, South Tyneside, Sunderland, Northumberland and Durham there has been a sizeable swing to UKIP despite the region being reasonably low profile in the national campaign.
Key results include a 13 per cent swing for David Robinson-Young in Newcastle East in this urban seat where the party is not known for its popularity given the demographic.
One of the biggest increases was in Rotherham, where Jane Collins achieved a 24 per cent swing with 30.1 per cent of the vote. Labour’s Sarah Champion also increased her vote despite the nationwide outrage at the child sexual exploitation which occurred under the watch of the Labour council.
In Houghton and Sunderland South their candidate Richard Elvin scored 1,175 more than his Conservative rival Stewart Hay who came in third.
The party look to be doing well in local elections with one of its candidates almost ousting Sunderland City Council leader Paul Watson with only 72 votes in it. Labour retained all three of its Wearside constituencies but the results have seen Ukip move into second place ahead of the Conservatives.
But the party will be hugely disappointed with third place in Great Grimsby, which was a key target seat. After looking neck and neck through the verification stage, Labour stormed into a clear lead with a majority of over 4,500.
Candidate Victoria Ayling said the results across the country showed a need for electoral reform. “About one fifth of people have voted for a UKIP candidate yet we will end up with fewer MPs than the SNP who have not polled as many votes as we have.
“The First Past The Post System is not fit for purpose: people should be able to vote with their hearts and know that their vote counts.”
Durham North saw a 12.7 per cent swing to UKIP in a constituency the party did not even retain its deposit in back in 2010 and in Easington the party’s MEP Jonathan Arnott enjoyed a 14.1 per cent increase to finish second. In Jarrow where the party did not stand in 2010 their candidate Steve Harrison came in second with a fifth of the vote.
“The results in Sunderland and Newcastle show a huge move towards Ukip since 2010 and we are substantially outperforming what was expected from the exit polls,” said Mr Arnott.
“Our Sunderland results demonstrate that, even in a North East city, we are still the main challengers to Labour.
“The results across the rest of the North East are expected to be just as encouraging, with a very close result expected in the Hartlepool constituency. UKIP’s surge in the north has been shown to be no mirage.”
A party spokesman told Breitbart London that while they did not get the wins they wanted, it showed the party was doing well for ‘Springboard 2020’.
While Labour leader Ed Miliband retained his seat, there was a 6.6 per cent swing to UKIP who again came second. His victory speech was much more downcast than he would have hoped to have made only 12 hours ago when the polls put him in with a chance of being in Number 10.
But what these results show is that while people will assume Nigel Farage will step down as leader if he does not win his seat, the party have to choose a leader who will appeal to the Labour voters who are cementing the party’s position. Douglas Carswell may well seem like the obvious choice but being a Tory defector he may not go down as well with the voters in this part of England.
Whisperings from around the party indicate that many senior figures as well as grass roots members want Farage to stay as their leader, MP or not.