Hartlepool has been identified by UKIP as its top target in the North-East at next year’s general election.
Despite finishing fourth in 2010 with just 2,682 votes, Ukip leaders claim it will be a two-horse race between their party and Labour in 2015.
UKIP is hoping that Hartlepool could become its first seat in the region – if the swing from Labour seen at last Thursday’s Heywood and Middleton by-election is repeated in May.
> But why would it be ? That was Heywood and Middleton, this is Hartlepool. That was a bye-election, the next one will be the General election. not the same at all.
UKIP’s grasp on how things work is so naive that I’m suprised anyone votes for them… except of course that there are far too many voters who are equally naive.
The party has pointed to its success at last May’s borough council elections when it picked up two councillors, and its good showing in the town at the Euro elections as evidence that it has strong support in the area.
Ukip’s North-East Euro MP, Jonathan Arnott, said:
“Hartlepool will be a two-horse race between UKIP and Labour next May.
“Lazy Labour have taken their voters for granted in Hartlepool and people don’t just feel neglected, but completely and utterly betrayed too.
“We got a fantastic result last week in Heywood and Middleton in what was an incredibly short campaign. If we emulate that next May, we will win here.”
UKIP’s prospective parliamentary candidate, Phillip Broughton, added: “Rather than focus on the tiresome left/right struggle, we’d much rather prioritise what’s right and wrong.”
“Hartlepool has always been my home and I will always work hard in Parliament for the people of my town.
“The Ukip candidate is an ex-Tory councillor from Stockton who doesn’t live in Hartlepool or have any connection to the town.
“He attended Tory party conference and praised George Osborne. UKIP’s policies include charging people money to see their GP, increased privatisation of the NHS and further tax cuts for millionaires while raising taxes for everybody else. UKIP has Tory policies, Tory politicians and is funded by Tory money. They are more Tory that the Tories.”
Cllr Ray Martin-Wells, leader of the Conservatives in Hartlepool, rejected the claim that his party would not stand a chance next year.
In 2010, UKIP came fourth in Hartlepool with 2,682 votes which represented a seven per cent share – its best result in the region.
Source – Northern Echo, 14 Oct 2014