Our Party Chairman Paul Oakden writes,
At 11.00 this morning, we announced that our Party Leader, Paul Nuttall, would be UKIP’s candidate for the forthcoming by-election in Stoke-on-Trent Central, on Thursday 23 February.
Thanks to the Stoke-on-Trent branch and the great Mick Harold, who came only 5000 votes behind Tristram Hunt in 2015 but has gallantly ceded the candidacy to Paul, we now have the chance to see our Leader elected to Westminster for the first time.
It really can happen. Though Mick’s fantastic campaign pushed the Tories into third place by just 33 votes (0.2%) last time, our private polling shows that with Paul as our candidate we are only a handful of points behind Corbyn’s Labour – with the Conservatives stuck some 10 points behind, totally out of sight of a win.
We have worked and prayed for this moment. We took our last Party Leader to within 3000 votes of Parliament in South Thanet, in the face of one of the most vicious – and dubious – spoiler campaigns in recent history.
But now Brexit is on the horizon. President Trump is in the White House. The political landscape of Europe is shifting before our eyes. And the Labour Party is marching towards oblivion determinedly ignoring the concerns of the working men and women on whose support it was built.
Now, we have a heaven-sent opportunity to achieve the radical and permanent political change that Britain is crying out for.
Stoke-on-Trent Central was one of the highest Leave-voting constituencies, at 69.4%. All the signs on the ground are that the Labour vote is softening. The bookies have two parties in it – Labour at around 5-4 on, and UKIP shortening to 7-4 so far, with everyone else (Tories, Lib-Dems and also-rans) at 10-1 or worse. Clearly, only UKIP can beat Labour here. If the Tories fight us, it will only be because they cynically want to keep Corbyn in place.
This is another crucial moment for us, in UKIP’s ongoing mission to break the monopoly of the political class, and take back control for the people.
With your help, we can do it. We have just under five weeks. Come to Stoke-on-Trent and help us canvass, or send a donation to help us reach every voter with the message that only UKIP offers real change.
Let’s do it.
If you want to donate to Paul’s campaign, you can click on the Donate button below, or send a cheque to UKIP Head Office, King Charles Business Park, Newton Abbot, Devon, TQ12 6UT.
Lisa Duffy will be on the ground in Stoke from today so come and help play your part in sending Paul to Westminster. You can contact Lisa on 0333 800 6800.