Has UKIP Abandoned Campaigning In London?

Andy Thornley
By Andy Thornley Last edited 42 months ago
Has UKIP Abandoned Campaigning In London?

Nigel Farage's UKIP haven't updated their London region Twitter account for over a year. Image by richardbw9 from the Londonist Flickr Pool.

While campaigning for the general election reaches fever pitch, it seems UKIP’s London region didn’t get the memo.

If you visit UKIP’s 'Regions' section of their main website and select the London region, you’re taken to a website that hasn’t been updated since 2014. In fact, it's still advertising last year's Europe debate between Nigel Farage and Nick Clegg. Tweets from @LondonUKIP are embedded on the site — an account that hasn’t tweeted since August 2014.

It seems strange that the party is not making use of these tools to help deliver its campaigning messages to a city which has over eight million people living in it. It could be worse — the Northern Irish region's page, again linked from the main UKIP site, cannot be found.

A possible explanation is resources. The latest data available on political donations show the Tories have the most cash, with £29m, Labour in second with £26m, Lib Dems third with £8.5m and UKIP behind the SNP in fifth place with £3.5m.

At the time of writing, YouGov is reporting UKIP polling at 14% of the electorate but that this will translate into only seven seats. Contrast that with the Lib Dems, who are polling at 8% of the vote share but are forecast to win 27 seats, and it is clear that the support for UKIP is concentrated in a smaller number of constituencies.

@LondonUKIP haven't tweeted since 5 March 2014

Putting all that together, it probably makes sense to concentrate the relatively scarce resources UKIP have in these localities to ensure that as many as possible translate into seats on 8 May.

This seems to ring true when comparing the London regional microsite to the South East region's — an area where UKIP are hotly contesting a number of seats. It is clear to see the South East region's microsite has been shown more love in terms of quality and frequency of posts, including stories about prospective candidates in the Parliamentary elections.

Last Updated 10 April 2015