Paul Nuttall Is Already Healing Ukip’s Wounds, And Will Take The Fight To Labour

Nuttall has also confirmed that Paul Oakden will stay on as party chairman. Like Whittle, Oakden is popular with activists, and has taken a hands-on approach in numerous by-elections in the north. One of these was the Oldham West and Royton by-election in December last year, which saw Ukip finish a distant second to Labour. The party was expected to do well in the seat, as a year before Ukip had come within 600 votes of winning the next-door constituency of Heywood and Middleton in another by-election. However, Labour scored an impressive victory in Oldham West (17,209 votes compared to Ukip’s 6,487) because the party focused on the popularity of its candidate – local councillor Jim McMahon, a working-class man from the area. Ukip’s candidate, John Bickley, was deemed to be “bussed in” and came out against a proposed cinema complex in the constituency that would have created jobs and fired a shot in the arm of the economy. It was a local election, focused on local issues, won by a local candidate.

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