HOPE not hate today launches its 2017 General Election campaign.

While the UKIP vote appears to be on the slide across the country and it is consumed by bitter infighting, it is clear that the increasingly far-right party still poses a threat in a handful of seats.

Though in the short-term many UKIP voters will back the Conservative Party, in the belief that it is delivering Brexit and therefore substantially reducing immigration, we believe this could soon change if these expectations are not realised. A combination of Brexit not delivering economic improvements, and immigration failing to substantially fall, is likely to see resentment and anger rise which could well be exploited by UKIP or a new far-right threat in the years to come.

Opinion polls suggest that UKIP is currently attracting 7-10% of the vote, well down on its 2015 result. This could equate to a 40% decline in support. However, pollsters are also finding that UKIP’s vote is holding up in some constituencies, especially those where the British National Party (BNP) previously had strong support in 2010.

In addition, while many UKIP voters are clearly deserting the party for the Tories, their ranks are being replenished by some traditional Labour voters. So, while UKIP’s share of the vote will decline substantially across the country, there will be some seats, such as Grimsby, that might hold up.

Our priority constituencies

Heywood & Middleton

Thurrock 

Clacton 

Hartlepool 

Stoke-on-Trent North 

Grimsby

Boston & Skegness

For our part, HOPE not hate will be running its most sophisticated and targeted campaign to date. Using some of the most advanced voter analysis available, we are profiling all our priority constituencies and ranking every postcode on a political ‘clock’. This will enable us to identify the potential UKIP vote, but also the anti-UKIP vote and all those in-between.

We will then deploy a series of campaign techniques to engage with voters. We will be producing highly-targeted and localised leaflets in all our key areas and we will be announcing a weekend of action over the Spring bank holiday weekend (27-29 May). If you’d like to get involved, please leave us your details here.

We have also created a mailing centre, with the capacity to put out up to 30,000 direct mails a day, which will enable us to send personalised letters to key voters in our target constituencies.

Finally, and for the first time, we will be Facebook advertising to target key voters with very personalised messages.

Our campaigning effort will be backed up by our research team, who will be monitoring and reporting on all things UKIP. We will be profiling candidates, revealing the splits and growing tensions within the party, and analysing data and polling.

UKIP is moving to the right and its policies differ little to that of the BNP in 2010. While the party is struggling in the polls and has a clear lack of purpose in the eyes of many voters, its shift to the right will ensure that HOPE not hate will be working overtime to ensure that it doesn’t get elected – anywhere. If you’d like to support our election campaign, please donate here.

HOPE not hate will produce a regular bulletin to keep our supporters informed during the campaign. If you want to be the first to hear our exclusive reports and campaign updates, click here.