After months of exhaustive campaigning, May 7th saw the culmination of all our members hard work at the count for the General Election
Cliff at the Hillingdon count with Howling Laud Hope of The OMRLP
UKIP in Hillingdon
For the first time, the branch fielded candidates in all three constituencies in the borough. With two safe Conservative and one safe Labour seat to contest, the objective was to grow vote share and consolidate the position we gained in last year’s local elections as the third party in Hillingdon on the limited resources available to us.
The night seemed to confirm that we had indeed succeeded as comparison between now and 2010 shows (Below) –
Hayes & Harlington
2015 candidate – Cliff Dixon
3rd place – 5,388 votes (12%)
2010 candidate – No UKIP candidate
Ruislip, Northwood & Pinner
3rd place – 5,598 votes (10.9%)
2010 candidate – Jason Pontey – 4th place – 1351 votes (2.7%)
Uxbridge & South Ruislip
3rd place – 6,346 votes (14.2%)
2010 Candidate – Mark Wadsworth – 5th place – 1234 votes (2.7%)
So, as can be seen, the growth in support has been spectacular and we retained all of our deposits on the night. With a small band of volunteers and limited finances, double digit percentages were recorded in the face of vastly superior firepower from the old establishment parties and this augurs well for future campaigns with our membership growing at a rapid rate.
In terms of UKIP across London, all of our constituencies in Hillingdon ranked in the top 20 results on the night
Mirroring what we saw in Hillingdon, the national picture saw a massive surge in support for UKIP. The first past the post electoral system was the only negative, with UKIP returning just one MP (Douglas Carswell in Clacton).
However, our vote share rose by 9.5% over 2010 to 12.6% and the number of votes cast for us (3,881,129) was only exceeded by The Conservatives and Labour. We also saw a massive 120 second place finishes across the country which again bodes well for future campaigns.
To put this in to perspective, Plaid Cymru only received 181,694 votes (0.6%) yet now have 3 MP’s at Westminster – Indeed, the SNP and Liberal Democrats number of votes combined was less than that of UKIP and they returned 56 and 8 MP’s respectively!
These results have seen a clamour on social media over the last 24 hours from all quarters demanding electoral change – Once again, as on the EU and uncontrolled immigration, UKIP is driving the political agenda.
From a personal perspective, there were a number of fond memories I will take from this campaign.
Speaking in front of hundreds of people at an anti third runway rally in Westminster whilst sharing a stage with high ranking members of other political parties, trade unionists and environmental campaigners will stay with me for a long time. Likewise, I made many friends in Thurrock during my regular forays to the constituency to support Tim Aker MEP in a seat he came agonisingly close to winning (The branch made spectacular gains in the local elections there held on the same day, with 7 seats falling to UKIP)
The St George’s Day public meeting in West Drayton with Peter Whittle was extremely enjoyable, whilst the radio debate I did with the Lib-Dem candidate on Hayes FM two days before the election was fun.
However, the highlight to me was the Stop Heathrow Expansion demonstration and the re-opening of The Great Barn in Harmondsworth. It was my privilege to meet a World War 2 veteran by the name of Tommy and help him to and from a tree planting at the end of the event to mark where the boundary of a new northern runway would be.
Tommy lives in the Villages and is suffering with his health, but made the journey to attend in spite of that because he wants to live out his life in the house that he shares with his wife. Inspirational people like Tommy make me realise that we must win the fight against the runway, both for the last of his generation of heroes and the new generations that will follow them.
The Road ahead
With so much support now building in Hillingdon, we move on to the Mayoral and Greater London Assembly (GLA) elections next year.
A similar result would see us gain two seats on the assembly via the fairer PR voting system, but with momentum behind us and a growing membership there is no reason why we could not see more. The political landscape is changing and it is UKIP driving that change.
Stick with us for the journey ahead and let’s make Hillingdon and England a better place together