Over the last few months we have reselected sitting MEPs and selected new candidates to fight next year’s European elections. I feel confident that as a Party we have done a good job in assembling competitive teams across the country, teams that will be well placed to fight what will be a very tough election.
Let’s be honest with ourselves, it going to be tough, anger with the EU is at an unprecedented level, understandably, UKIP are fancying their chances and huge swathes of the electorate will likely be tempted to remain at home and not vote.
In many ways, our eyes are fixed on the 2015 general election, which will be a huge battle with monumental consequences for the direction our country will take in the future. Many of us are concerned by the UKIP showing in the 2013 county elections and look forward to the European elections next year with trepidation.
Many people with whom I have spoken to within the Party shrug their shoulder when asked about the forthcoming European elections. It’s hard to get motivated about elections when you see there is little to gain, but much to lose, by way of representatives, support and morale.
This sense of pessimism is further accentuated by an electoral system in the undemocratic EU’s own image. Barroso would be proud of it. The closed list system is impersonal and remote. No doubt this was the intention of those who promoted it. It’s also problematic to fire up the troops to campaign in an election to send party representatives to a political body many of us don’t want this country to part of. In other words, why waste your energy, resources, and time on an election which you don’t connect with, you find dull and generic, where you know your party could find it tricky, and all to send representatives to an institution you abhor?