Report this comment
  • "
    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)."
  • This field is mandatory
  • This field is mandatory
  • Please note we will not accept reports with HTML tags or URLs in them.


  • Enter the above word in the box below

Why UKIP didn’t break through in Oxfordshire

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

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

First published in News Oxford Mail: Photograph of the Author by , Council Reporter, also covering Oxford city centre. Call me on 01865 425429

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.

Oxford Mail:

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.

Oxford Mail:

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.

Oxford Mail:

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.

Oxford Mail:

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.

Oxford Mail:

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.

• Our top stories:

Height row flats' tree screening plan blasted

Oxford Mail:

7:00am Friday 31st October 2014

UNIVERSITY bosses have put forward plans to screen a student flats development by Port Meadow with trees but ruled out reducing its height.

TB victim sent to prison after coughing over council staff

Oxford Mail:

6:30am Friday 31st October 2014

A HOMELESS man has been jailed for the “disgusting” crime of trying to spread tuberculosis (TB) by coughing over Oxford City Council workers.

One in three children in parts of Oxford are living in poverty, says charity

Oxford Mail:

9:00am Thursday 30th October 2014

ONE in three children are living in poverty in areas of the city, a charity has found.

UPDATE: Road reopens after car overturns in Heyford Road, Middleton Stoney

Oxford Mail: Ambulance stock image

10:12am Thursday 30th October 2014

A woman has been taken to hospital following a crash in Middleton Stoney.

LONDON WELSH: Piri Weepu plays down injury concerns

Oxford Mail:

9:30am Thursday 30th October 2014

LONDON Welsh scrum half Piri Weepu yesterday played down concerns about the ankle injury that has left his right foot in a protective boot.

More than 40 Oxford buildings to get free wi-fi

Oxford Mail: Oxford Ice Rink

9:30am Thursday 30th October 2014

ART galleries, civic buildings and even Oxford Ice Rink will soon have free wi-fi thanks to government investment.

Comments (12)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

Comments are closed on this article.

Send us your news, pictures and videos

Most read stories

Local Info

Enter your postcode, town or place name

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree