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Monday, 22 December 2014

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Eurosceptic rival cost us South Cumbria victory, says Ukip

BUOYANT Ukip believes it could have gone one better and got the most votes in Furness in the European elections if not for a party with a similar name which it claims confused the electorate.

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PROTEST Noel Matthews

Labour came out on top in the area with 4,297 votes, narrowly ahead of Ukip which got 4,096. The Conservatives were a distant third with 2,437 votes, the Green Party fourth with 627, while the Lib Dems only managed 264.

Noel Matthews, the Barrow-based North West regional organiser for Ukip, told a public meeting in Dalton that new Eurosceptic party An Independence From Europe prevented Ukip from being the most popular party in the borough in the Europe Parliament election.

The group, which were top of the ballot papers, were formed earlier this year by former Ukip members including ex-MEP Mike Nattrass, who was given the boot from Ukip. They got 197 votes in Barrow and Furness – practically the difference between Labour and Ukip.

Elsewhere, AIFE got 23,000 votes in the South West, leading Ukip to protest to the Electoral Commission amid claims it could have won an extra MEP seat, in addition to its 23 and a 29.07 per cent share of the vote nationally.

Mr Matthews told the Ukip branch meeting in the Newton Arms, which attracted around 30 people on Wednesday night: “It’s been an amazing few days, phenomenal really.

“The only downside was a party called An Independence from Europe which was set up by an ex-Ukip malcontent who was discredited and it was felt he was not up to representing the party any longer.

“He set up the party as an act of revenge and has been quite open about this. Here in Barrow, that party got 197 votes. If you assume they had gone to us, we would have beaten Labour in Barrow, from nothing.

“If they can’t look at this party and see it’s a vicious move against Ukip…well it’s beyond us that they can say it’s sufficiently different to stop people getting confused.

“This is the kind of thing that’s been happening to us. The Westminster bubble doesn’t want us upsetting the apple cart.”

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