Why UKIP didn’t break through in Oxfordshire

Banbury Cake: UKIP supporters listen to the other parties’ victory speeches at the South East of England european election count in Southampton Guildhall on Sunday, May 25, when the votes were counted across the EU Buy this photo UKIP supporters listen to the other parties’ victory speeches at the South East of England european election count in Southampton Guildhall on Sunday, May 25, when the votes were counted across the EU

ACROSS the country, pundits were watching in awe as they totted up the results in last month’s local and European elections.

The rise of the UK Independence Party across the country had fulfilled their prophecy that it would become the first party other than Labour or the Conservatives to win a national election in 100 years.

But in Oxfordshire it was a case of business as usual, as the much-vaunted party failed to make its anticipated breakthrough.

Even in the European elections, and in parts of Oxfordshire where they might be expected to do well, UKIP could only manage second place.

In fact, in many cases, UKIP actually did worse this year than in last year’s Oxfordshire County Council elections.

Is this just because the party’s rise is taking longer in Oxfordshire or is there something in the water?

Labour’s Duncan Enright – a councillor on West Oxfordshire District Council – says he was expecting the anti-EU party to put up a stronger challenge than it eventually did.

Banbury Cake:

Duncan Enright Labour councillor on West Oxfordshire District Council

Witney South and Central was one of the areas where UKIP did particularly well last year – had it won just 11 more votes it would have taken the county council seat. But in the equivalent seat this year, the same candidate came 152 votes away from winning – and this remained one of UKIP’s best results.

Mr Enright said: “I expected them to do well but it just didn’t convert into votes. They have certainly gone backwards year on year. This year they did worse than last year, which is surprising because the European elections are made for UKIP.

“UKIP has been a repository for protest votes across the country and I think other parties like ourselves have been more succesful at picking up those protest votes.

“One of the things that comes up quite a lot on the doorstep is discontent with the way things are run nationally and locally.”

UKIP city candidate for Blackbird Leys Dickie Bird, who is also the party’s prospective parliamentary candidate for Banbury, claimed his party is gaining momentum.

Banbury Cake:

UKIP city candidate for Blackbird Leys Dickie Bird

He said: “We have made great progress. Every other county in the south has got a UKIP councillor but the party is growing at a rapid rate.

“We came second in a number of wards which gives us great hope. Where I stood in Blackbird Leys I don’t believe someone from UKIP has stood there before – and to take 20 per cent of the vote is incredible.

“It is down to us to get the message out.”

In Oxford, where the city council is run by Labour and there hasn’t been a Conservative councillor elected since 2002, it is perhaps not surprising that UKIP came fifth in the European election poll – compared with second in every other district in Oxfordshire.

Oxford-based Lib Dem MEP for the South East Catherine Bearder said: “Oxfordshire’s residents can see the benefits that EU membership brings wherever they look, be it in the millions of pounds invested into research in our world famous universities, investment into our industries like BMW or the migrants working in our hospitals, care homes, agriculture and other trades and professions.

Banbury Cake:

Lib Dem MEP for the South East Catherine Bearder

“The xenophobic messages of UKIP jarred with the tolerant and informed views across Oxfordshire – we’re not a closed an insular county but an open and accepting one, and that is the message that local voters gave on polling day.”

And this would seem to make sense – after all, Oxford University is the county’s largest employer with 16,200 members of staff, while Oxford Brookes University employs another 2,577.

Oxford University Hospitals NHS Trust and BMW employ another 10,732 and 4,000 respectively.

Matthew Barber, the leader of Vale of White Horse District Council and the Conservative Party’s election agent, thinks the reason might be slightly closer to home.

Banbury Cake:

Leader of Vale of White Horse District Council Matthew Barber

He said: “We are in an area where the Conservative party historically has got a strong base. I would like to think we put forward good strong candidates campaigning on local issues.

“I am not sure the general feeling in Oxfordshire is that different in this part of the country to others, and I don’t think we should ignore what voters are saying. Perhaps people weren’t feeling the need to protest quite as much.”

Mr Barber’s feeling that there is no underlying surge of discontent across Oxfordshire is perhaps proved by the fact that every council which was contested in May remained with a broadly similar balance of power.

And in the Conservative-controlled areas of Vale of White Horse and South Oxfordshire where there were no local elections, the European elections showed no major change in attitude among voters.

How they fared around the region

ON Buckinghamshire County Council, UKIP now has six councillors while in Hampshire and West Sussex it has 10 and in Kent it has 17.

There are three UKIP councillors on Surrey County Council.
The party also has one councillor on the Isle of Wight, another in Milton Keynes and two on Windsor and Maidenhead Borough Council.

Oxfordshire County Council, Oxford City Council, Vale of White Horse District Council, West Oxfordshire District Council and Cherwell District Council have no UKIP councillors.

Banbury Cake:

Christopher Quinton who sits on South Oxfordshire District Council as an Independent-UKIP councillor

South Oxfordshire District Council has one councillor – Christopher Quinton, who represents Woodcote, describes himself as Independent-UKIP.

UKIP IN THE EUROPEAN ELECTIONS

Oxford

  • Labour – 13,015
  • Green – 8,337
  • Conservative Party – 5,997
  • Liberal Democrats – 5,332
  • UKIP – 4,979

Vale of White Horse

  • Conservative Party – 10,948
  • UKIP – 8,734
  • Liberal Democrats – 4,672
  • Labour – 4,101
  • Green – 3,586

South Oxfordshire

  • Conservative Party – 12,552
  • UKIP – 9,647
  • Labour – 4,253
  • Green – 3,932
  • Liberal Democrats – 3,258

West Oxfordshire

  • Conservative Party – 11,851
  • UKIP – 7,692
  • Labour – 3,925
  • Green – 3,295
  • Liberal Democrats – 2,245

Cherwell

  • Conservative Party – 12,339
  • UKIP – 10,996
  • Labour – 6,584
  • Green Party – 3,340
  • Liberal Democrats – 2,775

Triggered by Maastrict treaty

THE UK Independence Party was born as the Anti-Federalist League, a party set up to campaign against the Maastricht Treaty in 1991.

In 1993 the party became UKIP.

Its founder Alan Sked resigned after the 1997 General Election, saying it had become “infected by the far-right”.

In the 2004 European elections the party came third, and second in the 2009 elections before topping the polls this year.

The party now has 24 MEPs, 370 councillors and three members of the House of Lords, but no MPs.

It currently has a membership of more than 38,000.

But recently it has been dogged by allegations of racism and bigotry, with a number of high- profile scandals relating to the party’s members, candidates, councillors or MEPs making comments that have landed them in hot water.

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Comments (12)

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7:04pm Fri 6 Jun 14

skcollob says...

Stick a blue rosette on a donkey or a chimpanzee, call them conservative then sit back and watch them get elected. Especially in west Oxon. Its a safe seat for the cons.
Stick a blue rosette on a donkey or a chimpanzee, call them conservative then sit back and watch them get elected. Especially in west Oxon. Its a safe seat for the cons. skcollob
  • Score: 16

10:13pm Fri 6 Jun 14

deedee444 says...

Looks to me UKIP came 2nd (by quite a long way) in 4 out of 5 results shown above....that's a good showing as far as I can see ....still why let facts get in the way of a **** story??? :)
Looks to me UKIP came 2nd (by quite a long way) in 4 out of 5 results shown above....that's a good showing as far as I can see ....still why let facts get in the way of a **** story??? :) deedee444
  • Score: 7

10:34pm Fri 6 Jun 14

Andrew:Oxford says...

Well, there will be another local election in a few weeks in Cowley.

SaveTCP have demonstrated that an Indepenent candidate can draw out an extra 300 or so votes.

Just wonder what an Independence candidate could to with a similar level of intensive campaigning with the back-up of national media attention could do...

ABL?
Well, there will be another local election in a few weeks in Cowley. SaveTCP have demonstrated that an Indepenent candidate can draw out an extra 300 or so votes. Just wonder what an Independence candidate could to with a similar level of intensive campaigning with the back-up of national media attention could do... ABL? Andrew:Oxford
  • Score: 1

12:29am Sat 7 Jun 14

Severian says...

Catherine Bearder has to be one of the most self deluded people on the planet. Her party was all but wiped out in the UK, leaving her as the ONLY Lib Dem MEP. Her colleagues like Chris Davis up north got slaughtered, and yet she seems to think that somehow this was a good result for her party??

In all districts except Oxford City UKIP came second and the Lib Dems got destroyed.

And a smug Labour councillor managed to cling on to his seat by just 152 votes and somehow believes that proves the failure of UKIP? Less than 12 months before a General Election and a sitting councillor can barely hold their seat when his party should be flying high?

The reality, desperately being denied by the politicians and the media (including the Oxford Mail) is that a great many people in our County have had enough of the three main parties and are now looking for someone to vote for who actually cares about them, rather than about how much expenses they can make when they get elected.
Catherine Bearder has to be one of the most self deluded people on the planet. Her party was all but wiped out in the UK, leaving her as the ONLY Lib Dem MEP. Her colleagues like Chris Davis up north got slaughtered, and yet she seems to think that somehow this was a good result for her party?? In all districts except Oxford City UKIP came second and the Lib Dems got destroyed. And a smug Labour councillor managed to cling on to his seat by just 152 votes and somehow believes that proves the failure of UKIP? Less than 12 months before a General Election and a sitting councillor can barely hold their seat when his party should be flying high? The reality, desperately being denied by the politicians and the media (including the Oxford Mail) is that a great many people in our County have had enough of the three main parties and are now looking for someone to vote for who actually cares about them, rather than about how much expenses they can make when they get elected. Severian
  • Score: 15

12:30am Sat 7 Jun 14

Severian says...

deedee444 wrote:
Looks to me UKIP came 2nd (by quite a long way) in 4 out of 5 results shown above....that's a good showing as far as I can see ....still why let facts get in the way of a **** story??? :)
Because the media doesn't like the inconvenient truth, which is that many people in our area have had enough of the idiots in the three main parties and are looking for an alternative.
[quote][p][bold]deedee444[/bold] wrote: Looks to me UKIP came 2nd (by quite a long way) in 4 out of 5 results shown above....that's a good showing as far as I can see ....still why let facts get in the way of a **** story??? :)[/p][/quote]Because the media doesn't like the inconvenient truth, which is that many people in our area have had enough of the idiots in the three main parties and are looking for an alternative. Severian
  • Score: 14

10:09am Sat 7 Jun 14

jimm says...

The inconvenient truth here is nothing to do with 'the media', Severian, it is the one that you don't like - that UKIP failed to turn votes into council seats here, even on the day of the European elections, when one might have expected its most ardent supporters to make an extra effort to vote. The party managed to turn votes into seats elsewhere.

I especially liked this comment about how people "are now looking for someone to vote for who actually cares about them, rather than about how much expenses they can make when they get elected." I think you had better read up about the history of UKIP MEPs and their expenses claims before you make remarks like that. Just Google the following - ukip mep expenses fiddling.

And skcollob, how do you explain the inconvenient truth for your theory about blue rosettes that in West Oxfordshire the Lib Dems and Labour both won seats, indeed Labour did the double in Chipping Norton, taking a town council seat as well, while in Woodstock the UKIP candidate was fifth, behind the Lib Dem, Tory and two independents.
The inconvenient truth here is nothing to do with 'the media', Severian, it is the one that you don't like - that UKIP failed to turn votes into council seats here, even on the day of the European elections, when one might have expected its most ardent supporters to make an extra effort to vote. The party managed to turn votes into seats elsewhere. I especially liked this comment about how people "are now looking for someone to vote for who actually cares about them, rather than about how much expenses they can make when they get elected." I think you had better read up about the history of UKIP MEPs and their expenses claims before you make remarks like that. Just Google the following - ukip mep expenses fiddling. And skcollob, how do you explain the inconvenient truth for your theory about blue rosettes that in West Oxfordshire the Lib Dems and Labour both won seats, indeed Labour did the double in Chipping Norton, taking a town council seat as well, while in Woodstock the UKIP candidate was fifth, behind the Lib Dem, Tory and two independents. jimm
  • Score: -3

10:42am Sat 7 Jun 14

Green Councillor says...

Yet again, no mention of the Greens (who came second in Oxford and beat the LibDems across the County and Country). We were the only party to use our election literature to speak out against the scapegoating of migrants and helped promote a constructive pro-referendum/pro-E
U/pro-reform message.

And all this despite the media blackout of the Greens - think what we could do with some publicity!
Yet again, no mention of the Greens (who came second in Oxford and beat the LibDems across the County and Country). We were the only party to use our election literature to speak out against the scapegoating of migrants and helped promote a constructive pro-referendum/pro-E U/pro-reform message. And all this despite the media blackout of the Greens - think what we could do with some publicity! Green Councillor
  • Score: -7

11:36am Sat 7 Jun 14

Andrew:Oxford says...

Green Councillor wrote:
Yet again, no mention of the Greens (who came second in Oxford and beat the LibDems across the County and Country). We were the only party to use our election literature to speak out against the scapegoating of migrants and helped promote a constructive pro-referendum/pro-E

U/pro-reform message.

And all this despite the media blackout of the Greens - think what we could do with some publicity!
Then why don't you organise some publicity?

Look at the notorious Oxford(shire) faction of the CPRE - which has very close local links with the Green Party. They have a seriously effective publicity machine - although they do pay a good salary for it.

But back to Green policies...

For example, how many people in Oxford are aware that the Green Party are anti-monarchy? At the National Green Party Conference last October, the conference formally adopted a proposal to ditch the monarchy.

The exact phrase was...

"“We believe there should be an elected head of state with a role defined in a written constitution. We recognise the value of creating this post on a titular basis with ceremonial and ambassadorial functions.”
[quote][p][bold]Green Councillor[/bold] wrote: Yet again, no mention of the Greens (who came second in Oxford and beat the LibDems across the County and Country). We were the only party to use our election literature to speak out against the scapegoating of migrants and helped promote a constructive pro-referendum/pro-E U/pro-reform message. And all this despite the media blackout of the Greens - think what we could do with some publicity![/p][/quote]Then why don't you organise some publicity? Look at the notorious Oxford(shire) faction of the CPRE - which has very close local links with the Green Party. They have a seriously effective publicity machine - although they do pay a good salary for it. But back to Green policies... For example, how many people in Oxford are aware that the Green Party are anti-monarchy? At the National Green Party Conference last October, the conference formally adopted a proposal to ditch the monarchy. The exact phrase was... "“We believe there should be an elected head of state with a role defined in a written constitution. We recognise the value of creating this post on a titular basis with ceremonial and ambassadorial functions.” Andrew:Oxford
  • Score: 4

11:52am Sat 7 Jun 14

Hazel D says...

Andrew:Oxford wrote:
Well, there will be another local election in a few weeks in Cowley.

SaveTCP have demonstrated that an Indepenent candidate can draw out an extra 300 or so votes.

Just wonder what an Independence candidate could to with a similar level of intensive campaigning with the back-up of national media attention could do...

ABL?
Andrew of Oxford appears unaware of national petitions demanding more coverage of the Green Party by the seriously biased BBC. For years the BBC used the excuse that we had no Westminster MP to exclude us from political coverage. Now we have an MP and UKIP has none - and who gets more coverage in the media?

When voters know more about our policies more of them vote for us. At the last General Election Greens topped the poll on the web site 'Vote for policies'. In Oxford we came second overall way ahead of UKIP, despite minimal media coverage.
[quote][p][bold]Andrew:Oxford[/bold] wrote: Well, there will be another local election in a few weeks in Cowley. SaveTCP have demonstrated that an Indepenent candidate can draw out an extra 300 or so votes. Just wonder what an Independence candidate could to with a similar level of intensive campaigning with the back-up of national media attention could do... ABL?[/p][/quote]Andrew of Oxford appears unaware of national petitions demanding more coverage of the Green Party by the seriously biased BBC. For years the BBC used the excuse that we had no Westminster MP to exclude us from political coverage. Now we have an MP and UKIP has none - and who gets more coverage in the media? When voters know more about our policies more of them vote for us. At the last General Election Greens topped the poll on the web site 'Vote for policies'. In Oxford we came second overall way ahead of UKIP, despite minimal media coverage. Hazel D
  • Score: 0

1:13pm Sat 7 Jun 14

piper2011 says...

well i voted UKIP as im fed up with so many europeans sharing a tiny house in my street, its a bit like how many elephants can you fit in a mini
well i voted UKIP as im fed up with so many europeans sharing a tiny house in my street, its a bit like how many elephants can you fit in a mini piper2011
  • Score: -3

1:47pm Sat 7 Jun 14

Andrew:Oxford says...

Hazel D wrote:
Andrew:Oxford wrote:
Well, there will be another local election in a few weeks in Cowley.

SaveTCP have demonstrated that an Indepenent candidate can draw out an extra 300 or so votes.

Just wonder what an Independence candidate could to with a similar level of intensive campaigning with the back-up of national media attention could do...

ABL?
Andrew of Oxford appears unaware of national petitions demanding more coverage of the Green Party by the seriously biased BBC. For years the BBC used the excuse that we had no Westminster MP to exclude us from political coverage. Now we have an MP and UKIP has none - and who gets more coverage in the media?

When voters know more about our policies more of them vote for us. At the last General Election Greens topped the poll on the web site 'Vote for policies'. In Oxford we came second overall way ahead of UKIP, despite minimal media coverage.
So on the whole you are absoluely satisfied with your coverage on Sky, ITV, independent radio, printed media other media outlets?

It's not all bad then.

(I only know about the Green's anti-monarchy stance through the reporting of your National Conference on the BBC, then read further about it in national press).
[quote][p][bold]Hazel D[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Andrew:Oxford[/bold] wrote: Well, there will be another local election in a few weeks in Cowley. SaveTCP have demonstrated that an Indepenent candidate can draw out an extra 300 or so votes. Just wonder what an Independence candidate could to with a similar level of intensive campaigning with the back-up of national media attention could do... ABL?[/p][/quote]Andrew of Oxford appears unaware of national petitions demanding more coverage of the Green Party by the seriously biased BBC. For years the BBC used the excuse that we had no Westminster MP to exclude us from political coverage. Now we have an MP and UKIP has none - and who gets more coverage in the media? When voters know more about our policies more of them vote for us. At the last General Election Greens topped the poll on the web site 'Vote for policies'. In Oxford we came second overall way ahead of UKIP, despite minimal media coverage.[/p][/quote]So on the whole you are absoluely satisfied with your coverage on Sky, ITV, independent radio, printed media other media outlets? It's not all bad then. (I only know about the Green's anti-monarchy stance through the reporting of your National Conference on the BBC, then read further about it in national press). Andrew:Oxford
  • Score: 4

5:13pm Sat 7 Jun 14

mytaxes says...

Luckily there has been quite a good coverage of the Greens in Brighton, uncollected rubbish, banning meat in the staff canteens on Mondays, trying to raise allotment charges by two thirds, or trying to raise council tax by 4.75%. Of course our Labour councillors also believe in taxing us to the hilt whist reducing services so I suppose they are very much alike in that respect.
Luckily there has been quite a good coverage of the Greens in Brighton, uncollected rubbish, banning meat in the staff canteens on Mondays, trying to raise allotment charges by two thirds, or trying to raise council tax by 4.75%. Of course our Labour councillors also believe in taxing us to the hilt whist reducing services so I suppose they are very much alike in that respect. mytaxes
  • Score: -1

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