National strategy is overseen by the party's new leader, Lord Pearson, and the campaign director, James Pryor, who formerly advised Margaret Thatcher and John Major. No doubt it is Mr Pryor's involvement that has led Ukip to focus on Tory heartland issues such as grammar schools and clamping down on crime, as well as on its popular anti-EU message. However, the profile that Mr Farage has built for himself, through the odd outburst in Brussels and his aggressive performances on Question Time, means that he is largely left to run his own show in his quest to win the Buckingham seat. The party reckons it is his strong performance at hustings that will win him crucial Tory votes, so the strategy is simple – long days on the campaign trail.A fair wind behind UKIP?
Recent successes have buoyed party officials. They believe Ukip's strong performance in the Norwich North by-election last year went largely unreported. All the attention was on how the Greens would perform, but it was Ukip that made the biggest leap, with a swing in their favour of nine per cent. The party secured more than 4,000 votes – only 800 behind the Liberal Democrats, and enough for them to beat the Greens to fourth place. Resources have already been found to fight a high-profile campaign in Buckingham, with Stuart Wheeler, the spread-betting millionaire who has previously donated to the Tories, handing around £100,000 to Mr Farage's campaign.
Tuesday, 6 April 2010
The Indy reluctantly acknowledges UKIP's achievements
The Independent today has an article about the three main fringe parties and speculates on how well they might do on May 6. Naturally, its preference is with the Greens, who, according to Michael Savage, author of the article, have tripled their support in the last decade. There is no mention of the recent problems the warmists have had and the growing disenchantment in their ideology. But Mr Savage does note that it is, in fact, UKIP that has made a huge break-through recently in electoral terms.