Coffee House

Why Nigel Farage might not stand in Newark

29 April 2014

Nigel Farage told me on Monday how closely he was watching the situation in Newark. He introduced the subject by saying, “there’s one other thing that could change everything”.

But Farage’s comments to me yesterday make me think that he’s unlikely to stand in Newark. He said that he’d ‘been looking at candidates’ and mused on how just one MP would make such a difference. He pointed to how the Canadian Reform party had won a seat in a by-election in 1989 and then go on to become the largest opposition party in at the next election.


What struck me about this anecdote was how taken Farage was by the fact that the Reform party had picked “a completely unknown geography mistress, who lived in the town, who had lots of relations there”. He seemed to think that this was the key to their success, and it is this that makes me think he’ll take some persuading not to back a local candidate in Newark. Indeed, one of the things that Farage took away from his experience in Buckingham at the last election was how hard it is for an outsider to turn up a constituency and immediately lay claim to representing it in parliament.

What’s for certain, though, is that Ukip will be formidable challengers in Newark. Ukip already has an organisation there and I suspect party activists will stream into the seat in the way that Liberal Democrats do for by-elections. With the party throwing all its resources at it and with the momentum that the European Elections, Ukip is going to have the best chance it has ever had of getting its first Westminster MP.

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  • an ex-tory voter

    If Dianne James is indeed a class act then let her stand for Newark. After all UKIP is “the Conservative Party at bey” and Newark is only 14 miles as the crow flies from the constituency of one of the nation’s greatest Prime Ministers.

  • Tony_E

    Nigel Farage would be foolish to stand in Newark. Firstly, I don’t think UKIP will win there. Secondly, his lack of links to the area will just prove that it’s a one man show wheras a local candidate would show some party progression.

    For similar reasons, Diane James should also not be considered. It has to be a local person to run the Tories close.

    • Wessex Man

      Yes we don’t want to start importing candidates from afar as do the Tories and Labour, dragging failed politicians from Scotland to England!

  • Lady Magdalene

    Mr Farage should be patient, wait for the General Election and should stick to his home county of Kent.
    We need him visibly leading the largest British contingent in the EU’s Sham-Parliament AND leading the Party into the next General Election.
    We have plenty of fine candidates; one of whom should fight Newark … and Forsyth is right, we will have plenty of activists ready to fight it.

    • Wessex Man

      This my Lady is what the Westminster Village is so worried about, for instance, our candidate worked as a Scientist at The Royal United Hospital and then Bath University and knows all about Government meddling in both and the jobsworths who waste so much of the public purse.

  • David

    The real issue here is how good the local UKIP candidate is. If they’re a class act like Diane James then the party has a good chance of winning, yet it won’t be a high profile loss if he or she doesn’t win. If Nigel parachutes himself in it would be an embarrassing loss of momentum up to the general election 2015 if he loses – although it would be dynamite if he won of course.

    The answer will come from the talent (or lack thereof) in Newark UKIP. If they can find a good, personable, down-to-earth middle of the road local sort, then they can contrast the posh, preened and parachuted in Cameron clone already selected by the Tories. This will give UKIP the best chance, methinks…

  • the viceroy’s gin

    Very interesting that brother Nige has a detailed grasp of the the Canadian Reform Party’s script from the late 80’s, 90’s and early 21st century. It is exactly the script that UKIP is and should be following, and for the exact same reasons.

    The full evolution of that Canadian script will have the Cameroon party being completely destroyed, as its socialist mirror image “conservative” party in Canada was pleased to experience. The faux party will wither and it will die, and then the rump will be folded into the true conservative party that will have displaced it, same as in Canada.

    Now you understand why the establishment is so terrified of UKIP, and is smearing them frantically to put them down. They know that life as they know it will end if UKIP isn’t destroyed now. They watched it all go down in Canada, did the establishment, same as UKIP and everybody else watched it. They know exactly what’s coming.

    There can only be one, and somebody is going to cease to exist, before this is over.

    • dalai guevara

      Nice little rant, tovarishch. But why would any of your blatherings matter?

      We know the right is split, we know the City is finished and their pay is now regulated by the foreign gulag. That’s what we want – Thatcherite concentration of capital in the capital has failed, it failed yet again spectacularly in 2013 when desperation took over to lift your and Gerald Grosvenor’s asset base. We know why you did that, don’t we?

      The realm is shrinking once more, another nation will abscond, this year. The asset base en Angleterre must therefore rise quickly before the 10% up North leave. Did you think the uneducated nutters would not notice?

      • Wessex Man

        dalai guevara, where have you been, you used to give us so much mirth, have you been ill or at have you been at her Majesty’s pleasure?

        • the viceroy’s gin

          Don’t worry, the lad and the goat have been around all along.

        • dalai guevara

          Tanned and toned ready for action. Now that TomTom has retired someone must fill you in with what’s really going on out there – wouldn’t you agree?

      • the viceroy’s gin

        Can any other of you socialist nutters translate this gibberish?

        How’s the goat, by the way?

  • Hexhamgeezer

    BTW, Master Brew – excellent taste Mr N

  • Hexhamgeezer

    Can anyone remember the olden days (2013) when Speccy articles went large on ‘Ed’ Muslimiband? These days it is N Farage and UKIP. What a difference a year in politics makes.

    Could anyone persuade Blair Man Dave to take on the representatives of the nation’s bigots fruitcakes and loonies? Should be a piece of cake for Dave the ‘And He’s Christ’.

  • Chingford Man

    I hope Farage decides against entering the contest just as he did in Eastleigh. It’s important that UKIP is more than a one man show. Choosing a local runner would be a useful contrast to the fine arts Londoner the Tories have already picked. As others have said, this is no walk in the park for UKIP, regardless of Tory woes.

    At a general election it might be difficult for UKIP to hold this seat, whereas other places may be there for the taking. Would it really want their leader tied down a la Chris Patten in dicey Newark during the election when there could be inherently stronger areas for the party in Kent?

    But regardless, this is definitely UKIP’s best chance so far for a by-election breakthrough. Everything is moving in its direction. All it needs now is for Barbara Roche to pop up there as often as possible until polling day.

    By the summer, we shall know more about whether UKIP is more than the protest party the Tories and MSM hope it to be.

  • Ddddddss

    Farage is standing in Folkestone and Hythe in 2015.

    Favourite for Newark is Lizzy Vaid, half Indian 25 year old UKIP poster girl who was Sl*** Shamed by The Sun and is seen as a sure bet for the female vote as a result!

  • Ooh!MePurse!

    The next month is going to be very interesting indeed! The starting point for a 12 month campaign. #politicsgeek!

  • Morris Ox

    Farage won’t stand and Newark won’t go UKIP.
    While it has some solid working class areas, it is surrounded by an affluent hinterland which just doesn’t do parties of that kind. It also has an historic soft spot for Eastern Europe – Sikorski was buried there, remember. But for a grubby misjudgment, Patrick Mercer would have been comfortably returned.
    Time for the breathless blogosphere and some silly live broadcasts to return to planet earth.

  • ed

    Outside George did ok in Bradford

  • Kernow Castellan

    It is perfectly possible that the seat goes to Ukip at a by-election, and returns to the Tories in 2015. The downside for Farage losing his newly gained seat far outweighs the potential upside.

    This is always going to be Farage’s problem. He is the only public face of Ukip, and so Ukip will be judged by his personal fortunes or misfortunes.

    Far better for him to let a local take it, and allow another face to represent the party.

    • Wessex Man

      It’s also perfecrtly possible that the seat will become a safe UKip seat for years to come! It’s also perfectly possible that the sun if seen will rise in the east tomrrow!

  • Machina22

    A piece in The Speccy on UKIP that’s not a simple hatchet job/attack piece? There aren’t even any snide asides. I’m genuinely shocked.

    • ArchiePonsonby

      Now that you mention it…………………….!

    • telemachus

      The Ukip leader told the BBC:

      I know that winning one seat in Westminster would completely transform the landscape for us as a party in terms of our prospects.

      What I’ve got to work out is, is it the right seat for me. And I just…my reservation in my mind is I haven’t particularly got connections with the local area.

      • telemachus

        STOP PRESS

        Susan Elizabeth Wilkinson is hotly tipped to be shoed in today to sweep the seat on May 29

        • oldestel

          You’re talking to yourself now.
          Poor little man – decomposing in public.

  • IfItPleasethThee

    If he stands and loses, it will be the end of UKIP’s momentum. If he decides not to stand, this will be remembered as the time when he failed to seize the day. Couldn’t happen to a nicer man.

    • Wessex Man

      “I dream a dream!”

      • IfItPleasethThee

        What a good idea. “I dream a dream that Kipper sectarians and BNP sectarians and Leftie sectarians and Scottish sectarians and Islamist sectarians will all have a big brawl, knock each other unconscious and shut the **** up for at least a few hours at a time”. How’s that?

    • Cyril Sneer

      “this will be remembered as the time when he failed to seize the day.”

      More delusion I see…. sigh… one day you lot might get it, in the meantime continue to call voters racist.

      • IfItPleasethThee

        Well, voters are rather responding to sectarianism at the moment, whether it be Labour bashing the rich, the SNP bashing the English or UKIP bashing the Romanians. Sectarianism works, politically; everyone knows that, it’s more that most mainstream politicians used to be civilised enough to give it a wide berth. For what it matters, I agree that the word “racism” is unhelpful, mainly because it allows the Guardian to run articles by IRA-men, Hamas-men, the Iranian government and the Russian government safe in the knowledge that at least they are not being racists. Or if you don’t like the word “sectarianism”, then “scapegoating” will do instead. Everything would be OK except for the Romanians! Everything would be OK except for the power companies! Everything would be OK except for the Union! What absolute blithering idiotic rubbish.

        So, to answer your question directly, no, I’m not calling Kippers racist, but I am calling you bloody idiots, along with the Guardian and Labour and the Nats. Easy answers for everything.

  • Agrippina

    UKIP has many great candidates who could stand in Newark, it is only the media who wish to portray it as Nigel’s party.

    Whomsoever stands will do their best to serve the people and their concerns in Westminster without the taint of expense claims as is the case with the trio of troughers currently in the House, as in the case of the outgoing Mercer (tory). I think we have had our fill of eton and oxford for the moment. A local candidate with the hopes and aspirations of the voters at heart would be best.

    • Tony Quintus

      Had your fill of Eton? I suggest you look up Dulwich College and their affiliations.

  • alabenn

    He would do damage to UKIP if he stands, win or lose, he needs to be seen as the leader whose only mission is to get his party in shape to take on the other established parties.
    A local UKIP candidate will do, you cannot really parachute in your first ever probable MP, a local would also indicate a bit of strength in depth.

    • Kernow Castellan

      True, but I would suggest they may want to apply more stringent vetting than they have so far. If Ukip wins, their first ever MP will be put under a microscope. A few off-colour (sic) remarks on the Today programme would do more damage than Nigel standing or not.

      • alabenn

        Quite agree, they really have to get a grip on this, although every attack like the ridiculous allowances which the media transposed as expenses claims, drew attention to the fact that parliament still has hundreds of proven real expenses fiddlers, still in place.

        • Kernow Castellan

          Fair or not, those who denounce troughers so fervently are held to a higher standard.

          • telemachus

            See what his local paper has to say
            “Mr Farage has raked an average of £15,000 a year from the EU since at least 2009 to pay for the upkeep of his constituency office in Lyminster, near Littlehampton.

            But the 625 sq ft office – a former grain store in Church Lane – was given to Mr Farage, 50, rent-free by local UKIP supports John and Julia Longhurst, more than a decade ago.”

            • oldestel

              Is this piece of barrel-scraping the best that you can do?
              Sobered up yet?

            • flaxdoctor

              MEPs are entitled to claim over EUR 21,000 EVERY MONTH to run their offices – maybe you should highlight the fact that Farage leaves over 90% of his entitlement unclaimed?

              • Cyril Sneer

                And we all note your lack of a reply telemarxist.

            • an ex-tory voter

              Farage has not received one penny towards the upkeep of his constituency office.
              Like all MEPs he has received an allowance to spend as he sees fit.
              But, if you really want to dig into EU troughers let’s start with some of the biggest ones. May I suggest an ideal point at which to begin would be Lord and Lady Kinnock

  • dado_trunking

    Now come on now – don’t spoil the fun we are all having and tell us what UKIP really want. Why vote for UKIP to sit in a foreign Parliament on foreign soil without any notable influence when we all know that what UKIP really really want is their first MP, and we know who that should be.

    Zigazig ah.

    • Hexhamgeezer

      ‘a foreign Parliament on foreign soil without any notable influence’?

      Nothing to see here – move along?

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