UKIP have no ground game – Sunday is the day to expose them

With their Farage-reliant party structure, the idea of a ground game is alien to UKIP

Nigel Farage ncr


This Sunday in South Thanet Labour’s campaign against Nigel Farage will be helped by a day of campaigning on the doorsteps led by Owen Jones. Several hundred people are set to come down, and there’s a lot of excitement in advance.

The mass canvass comes after Nigel Farage’s call to arms last weekend, when the UKIP leader became belatedly alert to the fact he would not receive the coronation he had expected in South Thanet.

What was striking about Farage’s plea to supporters was quite how novel it was to his party. Whereas for Labour the custom of campaigners seconding themselves to marginal seats from safe ones is a mainstay of the electoral cycle, for UKIP it generated national headlines.

Indeed, with their tadpole-like, Farage-reliant party structure, the idea of a ground game is in many ways alien to UKIP. This week in Thanet they paid for their second £8,000 wraparound of the local newspaper, and the area is now decked out in expensive purple and yellow advertising. But those who have seen their supporters out and about report a shambolic and often undirected canvassing operation.

Increasingly this is the story in South Thanet, with UKIP (and the Tories, for that matter) pumping vast amounts into big budget marketing and advertising – effectively deploying a high volume, low engagement strategy. Farage’s tinny claim to lead the “people’s army” is hollower than anyone quite appreciates.

With Ukip ploughing the lion’s share of national party resources into two or three seats they believe they can win, the paradox is acute. Farage’s team use Goliath-like resources to plaster every billboard, newspaper and bus with the message that they are the David-esque electoral underdog.

The only way Labour can counter this is by doing what we have been doing for the last two years in South Thanet – and are doing across the country – and continue with a methodical, street-by-street, house-by-house approach that genuinely engages with people. By ramping this up, through mass canvassing events like the Owen Jones one this weekend, this election can become British politics’ great Wizard of Oz moment – a sign of quite how little there is behind the purple curtain.

For more information about Sunday’s event, click here.

Will Scobie is the Labour candidate in South Thanet

69 Responses to “UKIP have no ground game – Sunday is the day to expose them”


    I was drunk.

  2. Leon Wolfeson

    And that, afaik, is an exacerbating factor and not a mitigating one.

  3. Guest

    You’re utterly ignorant of the professional certification requirements, I see. That was a degree-level certification, the name “college” there reflects the way a royal charter was at the time required for a University.

    And against them? I dislike financial leeches.


    Francis Walsingham attended a college no need for University for him. I rest my case.

  5. treborc1

    When was the last time a left wing government ruled in the UK thinking back it was in the 1970’s it then slowly went to the right .


    The Wilson government was progressive and centre left.

  7. treborc1

    Harold was to the left but he was the last, and many of our young will not remember him and his pipe, when he took his pipe out and pointed it you ducked , but that was pretty much it.

  8. sarntcrip

    maybe because some people outside westminster do have asocial conscience

  9. sarntcrip

    we have never had a left wing government wilson’s was centre eft,blair’s was barely labour at all

  10. sarntcrip

    towards the left,certainly not left wing

  11. sarntcrip

    both farridge and camerwrong have lost the plot


    5 6ths should have made up a fair audience representing each speaker. The other 6th should have been neutral. Farage hardly got any applause inspite of being the best speaker. The conclusion is obvious the audience were loaded.

  13. Leon Wolfeson

    …If you’re a conspiracy theorist.


    Not a conspiracy just unfair.

  15. Leon Wolfeson

    Politics IS unfair. If you want fair, stick to academia.

  16. Guest

    Oh yes, one person makes your “case”. Let’s see..

    ” principal secretary to Queen Elizabeth I”



    The Golden Age.

  18. Robert

    Towards the left will do, but where is labour now with Miliband.

  19. Guest

    Average life expectancy ~35
    “Golden Age”.

Leave a Reply