Knives are out for UKIP aides after Farage Thanet poll disaster

Post-mortem into UKIP catastrophe sees party strategists criticised for advising Farage to spend time in America instead of in South Thanet

by the commentator on 10 May 2015 06:06

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Several members of Nigel Farage’s top team could face the axe after a string of PR disasters cost the UKIP leader his target seat of South Thanet, The Commentator can reveal.

Farage, who was tipped to win the South Thanet seat ended up losing by 2,000 votes to Conservative Craig Mackinlay. The devastating news forced the leader of the People’s Army to announce his resignation, triggering a leadership contest over the summer period.

Previous UKIP polling had given Farage a nine point lead in the constituency, and UKIP made no secret of its confidence of victory after pumping significant resources into the must-win seat.

But the campaign was beset by PR gaffes, including Farage’s heavily criticised focus on immigrants with HIV and allegations that was spending too little time in the constituency.

Bizarrely, Farage’s team advised him to respond to the allegations of ‘neglecting’ the people of South Thanet by reporting the Have I Got News for You team to the Police. The move undermined Farage’s image as a campaigner for free speech and implied that he was using the Police complaint to silence his critics.

Farage was also advised to spend several days in the USA at a Republican Party conference instead of on the campaign trail meeting the voters of South Thanet. The strategy backfired when hardly anyone turned up to the event, causing huge embarrassment for the UKIP leader.

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