UKIP had a great opportunity to have a free and fair election for their next leader and by all accounts Steven Woolfe has been a consistent favourite. Perhaps this is why the campaign has been so nasty, UKIP’s NEC voted to expel Steven Woolfe’s campaign manager from the party.With Steven having such a strong stance on reforming Party structure and ensuring it is modernised it is no surprise that this has stirred up a hornets’ nest.
Still the sitting leader, Nigel Farage only yesterday described the Party’s National Executive as a “barrier to radical change and modernisation of UKIP” and that many of the sitting members are “among the lowest grade of people I have ever met” and Nigel has met a lot of EU Commissioners, so that is pretty damning stuff.
From my personal experience within UKIP there are many loyal people in the Party hierarchy, talented and capable, however most of these get pushed to the back of the queue because they want to change the Party for the better. Many of UKIP’s staff have been around a long time, some are excellent and some are absolutely useless, however unlike a business the Party seem unable to sort the wheat from the chaff.
It is no surprise to me how nasty the campaign has been, particularly when Lisa Duffy, a former Mayor of a small town is a candidate. Many UKIP members will know exactly what sort of person she is, along with her partner Pete Reeve who is helping to run her campaign. I have no doubt the mudslinging at Steven has come from this quarter, the same quarter which allies itself with Suzanne Evans and Douglas Carswell, the part many members have grown to despise.
This week Guido Fawkes revealed in a rather unscientific poll, but still a good indicator, that Steven Woolfe was vastly more popular than all the other leadership contenders combined. For many involved in UKIP across the land this would have been a warning signal. Across the Country useless people have been in positions of authority in the Party whilst modernisers and people with sensible heads are ostracised. For many it is not worth sticking around for, so the cycle of ineffective people in high positions continues.
If the Party reject on a technicality their most capable candidate then their future really does look bleak with members having nobody to rally around. The Party are literally inches away from falling off of a cliff and its own people will be to blame.