UKIP’s candidate in Croydon Central has confirmed that he is running a subdued election campaign, and claims it does not matter whether Gavin Barwell or Sarah Jones wins the seat in next week’s General Election. According to Peter Staveley, both Labour’s Jones and Tory Barwell “will have just as disastrous effect on the constituency and that democracy will be the poorer because of it”.
Most observers agree that a properly run UKIP campaign in Croydon Central would be more likely to take votes from the Conservatives than Labour; therefore, a “soft” UKIP campaign – what’s been called “Blukip” – might just help Barwell hang on to what has become a tightly contested marginal seat.
Staveley was responding to Inside Croydon‘s report of his remarks made at a hustings event on Monday, when the UKIP candidate said that he would not “waste his time and money” canvassing against Barwell, the Tory MP for the constituency, and the landowning Whitgift Foundation, since 2010.
Today, Staveley said, “With the massive resources that both Labour and Conservatives are putting into Croydon Central, I said that UKIP would not attempt to fight either of them.
“Much as you would like there to be one, there is no pact between myself (or UKIP) and Gavin Barwell or any other candidate or any party. Instead UKIP and the UKIP branch decided to concentrate UKIP’s efforts into Croydon South, which is what we have been doing.”
UKIP’s candidate in Croydon South is Kathleen Garner, who gave an underwhelming performance at her constituency hustings last night, where her most interesting intervention was to admit that she showers with a bucket.
Staveley, who is chairman of UKIP’s Croydon Central and South branch. He said: “My time has been filled doing numerous media interviews and 12 hustings, which are far more than most other UKIP candidates have been asked to do.
“I am pleased that you think that my campaign will have an effect on the outcome in Croydon Central. However, I think that shows more about how ridiculous our first-past-the-post voting system is than any ‘king-making’ powers arising from my campaign.” Last year, Staveley stood in his home ward of Addiscombe in the local elections where he finished seventh in the poll, behind the Labour and Conservative candidates, with 659 votes.
“Ultimately I do not care whether Sarah or Gavin wins the constituency either will have just as a disastrous effect on the constituency and that democracy will be the poorer because of it.”
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