A senior figure within the Bournemouth branch of UKIP has lauded his party’s recent election performances and has suggested that Nigel Farage could hold the balance of power in another hung parliament.
Laurence Fear stood for UKIP in last year’s Winton East by-election and came in third place, only trailing the Labour runner-up by three votes.
Speaking to The Rock, he expressed delight at UKIP’s victory in the Clacton by-election, but said that the party’s gains against Labour in Heywood and Middleton were “the real story of the night”.
“We are now the only challenger to Labour in the North,” said Laurence. “I think there will be more defections from both the Conservatives and Labour. All I can say is watch this space.”
There has been controversy in recent weeks over UKIP’s provisional inclusion in one of the debates ahead of the 2015 General Election, but Laurence feels that the plans might not go far enough.
“It’s been a long time coming, but if UKIP’s success continues and we win a second seat, I believe we will have to be in a second debate.” He said.
With further by-elections on the way between now and the General Election in May, questions have been raised as to whether UKIP will be able to maintain their position as a force in British politics.
Laurence firmly believes that UKIP will be able to add to their first Parliamentary seat and continue to win votes into next year.
He said: “If we go on and win in Rochester on November 20, we will be able to take our momentum through to the General Election next year and not just win seats, but get enough MPs in a hung parliament to hold the balance of power and bring some real and positive change.”
UKIP plan to field candidates and mount serious campaigns to target 100 seats in next year’s general election.
The Clacton MP Douglas Carswell has commented on the potential for UKIP to become a real power player in the 2015 election.
“If UKIP ups its game and shows policies on all issues, not just Europe and immigration, then the potential is absolutely immense. It could be transformative.
“We have six months and we have our work cut out. I am throwing everything into it.”