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Nuttall’s first goal as UKIP leader is winning under first past the post

November 28th, 2016

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BREXIT means no UKIP MEPs from 2019

Today marks another new chapter in UKIP’s short history with the election by a substantial majority of members of Paul Nuttall as party leader. He’s from the North West and has a very different back story than the public-school former city trader, Nigel Farage, that he replaces.

Nuttall said his first objective was to take the battle to Labour which under Corbyn has looked weaker and extremely vulnerable particularly in its heartlands. If Nuttall’s UKIP can do to the red team what the SNP did in Scotland then then Corbyn’s party could be in serious trouble.

Credible parties need elected representatives and this is where UKIP have really struggled when the elections are under first past the post. They’ve just one MP and a relative handful of local councillors given the vote shares that they’ve been managing in recent years.

The other area where they’ve had reasonable success has been winning the PR-related list seats on the Welsh Assembly where overall vote totals matter. Unfortunately the next set of these elections is 2021.

So with the sizeable UKIP representation in Brussels, elected under a form of proportional representation, due to end in less than four years Nuttall needs to build an electoral force that can win when what matters is coming top in a constituency or a ward.

Mike Smithson