Our 2017 election strategy is to explain why UKIP does not, and has never had, the answers to the real problems people are facing.
UKIP lost every one of the 146 county council seats it was defending in last week’s county council elections and only gained one seat in Lancashire. The party secured just 5% of the vote in the county council elections and it is polling at 7-8% nationally.
The very future of the party is now in question, especially as former donor Arron Banks and former party leader Nigel Farage threaten to set up a rival party in the autumn.
The bulk of the 2015 UKIP vote has gone to the Conservative Party, with far smaller segments going to Labour and the Lib Dems. What is left of the UKIP vote mirrors the 2010 BNP vote.
UKIP will not win any seats in the forthcoming General Election, however its collapse will not be uniform around the country. Our own data analysis suggests that its vote will remain strong in certain areas of the country, especially in those white working class areas in close proximity to Muslim communities.
Our 2017 campaign will focus on the seats where UKIP still hopes to poll 15-20% of the vote with the intention of driving it down further.
These include: Thurrock, Heywood & Middleton, Hartlepool, Dagenham & Rainham, Grimsby, Clacton, Dudley North, Boston & Skegness, Rotherham, Bradford South, and Stoke North.
Our polling also suggests that the proportion of voters who would find a far-right narrative (anti-immigration/anti-multiculturalism/anti-Muslim) attractive remains strong and in some areas is actually growing. While this might not be reflected in the forthcoming election, the chances of a resurgent far right – be it UKIP or a new populist far-right party – over the next few years is quite likely as working class former UKIP voters who have put their faith in the Tories to deliver economic prosperity and a sharp reduction in immigration through a hard Brexit are left disappointed and angry.
These voters will be receptive to a resurgent UKIP or perhaps the new far-right movement that will be launched in the autumn by former UKIP donor Arron Banks.
As a result, HOPE not hate believes there is no time to lose to engage with these voters. As many now look around for an alternative to UKIP, we should look to steer them away from the politics of blame and hate.
Our 2017 election strategy will be to directly target UKIP’s 2015 vote and explain why the party does not, and has never had, the answers to the real problems they are facing.
Our research has long found that working class UKIP voters are economically pessimistic and struggling. And understandably so. The price of food, fuel and energy is going up, while wages are at best stagnating or even falling. And yet UKIP has put banning the burqa at the core of its election campaign.
|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.|
It is our mission in this election to show just how ridiculous and out of touch UKIP is.
UKIP might not pose the threat it once did, but it is vital we drive their vote further down and in the process engage with their past, present and – more worryingly – future voters.
We have the most unbelievable data which profiles our key constituencies street by street so we know where to deliver leaflets and we have set up a mail centre so we can produce and send highly targeted and personalised letters.
In a new departure in this election, we will run a sophisticated and hyper-targeted Facebook campaign. Our strategy will give our campaign messages high visibility amongst voters in our key areas and as the message/brand recognition is seen more frequently it will be understood better by voters.
Of course, at the heart of our campaign will be our supporters and we will offer them a range of ways of getting involved – wherever they live in the country.
Our key Weekend of Action will be 27-29 May and there will be events in all of our top priority areas, plus others where our supporters want to campaign.