It was always questionable if the Brexit Party stood any prospect of winning a Parliamentary seat next month, given the challenge for all small parties to do so. Thankfully we face the prospect of an increase in Green, Plaid Cymru and Liberal Democratic seats in Parliament as a consequence of their work together and their years of work to tackle the First Past The Post obstacle in key locations. Sadly Paul Sanderson who stood as an Independent in Bognor and Littlehampton is not able to stand this time, but his results in 2017 are clear examples of how difficult it is for a credible candidate to get elected if they are not part of a political party. Whilst I have no personal support for the views of UKIP or Brexit, the reality is that they have not been very successful in building on the significant gains they have made at elections for Council representatives. They will of course get the same amount of publicity for standing on 333 seats as if they stood for 650 seats, but the decision to not stand in some of the areas where they stood the best chance of winning makes no sense at all if they wanted to get a single MP elected, let alone as they claim to play an active part in Parliament.
Perhaps the experience of not ever winning seats with only two exceptions when Mark Reckless and Douglas Carswell both stepped down from the Tories and went to a by-election is sufficient to persuade Farage that Brexit won’t win any seats in 2019. However and this for me seems a rather significant issue, the fact that local settings where their candidates would have done best, even though they would not have won demonstrates that Farage and Banks do not want to build up a political party. After all if they did they would have created a party that allowed people to join as opposed to simply be associated with. The only people who want to get seriously considered are Banks and Farage.
In 2017 across Sussex, Surrey and Kent UKIP got 63,080 votes which is 2.6% of the votes cast, but they did not stand in every seat. So at this election Brexit are standing in one constituency in Kent, which is Canterbury, yet in 2017 UKIP did not have a candidate and indeed the win by Labour over the Conservatives was via 187 votes. So in fact Brexit may reduce the votes for Rosie, but they are likely to also reduce the votes for the Conservative candidate. In Surrey there were 12,370 votes in 2017 for UKIP, but no candidates will be standing for Brexit and then in Sussex when UKIP stood in 11 seats, this time Brexit plan to stand in 4 but of those 4 seats that Brexit plan to stand, only one had a UKIP candidate in 2017 and that one is my constituency where whatever the outcome, Brexit will struggle to do better than in 2017 when they achieved 630 votes. Clearly the tactic by Farage and endorsed by Banks as putting the country before the Party will achieve very little for the people who voted UKIP in 2017, but perhaps Farage and Banks are less concerned about the people who live in these constituencies and are more concerned about the journalists who are writing pages for national newspapers!