Newark by-election: - Newark on Newark
12:06pm Thu Jun 05, 2014
 
An author and historian named Newark who has released a book on protest voting is in Newark today - on the day the constituency could produce one of the most significant protest votes in recent times.
Tim Newark
Tim Newark
Tim Newark, author of 'Protest Vote: How Politicians Lost the Plot', predicts a strong second place for UKIP during his visit to Newark Market Place.

"It's a really key moment, can UKIP keep that momentum going from the European elections?" he said.

"What they need to do is get a very strong second place at least.

"I was speaking to senior UKIP members last night and they don't think they will win, but it's cutting back into that massive Tory lead, that's what they could well achieve.

"There's only one way UKIP can go now, to get a cluster of MP's [next year], and they will have to show they can perform well and get to know this constituency well."

Mr Newark said UKIP would aim for seaside constituencies which were on their target list.

"They were going to do well in a European election, everyone was expecting that," he said.

"But they need to show they can get MPs, otherwise voters will ask is it purely a protest party, or can you replace the Lib Dems?"

He said UKIP had swept up large numbers of protest votes from the Lib Dems, a more traditional protest party.

"They could sweep up all the protest votes, they could pick up Labour and Lib Dem votes, as well as people who have not voted for some time," he said.

"They pick up all these votes, they could pick up a huge chunk of Tory votes and because they appeal to the supporters of the main parties, that's what makes it so exciting."

Mr Newark's whose rare surname originates from Norfolk and is not connected to the town, said UKIP leader Nigel Farage was right not stand in the constituency.

"You only go into battle if you know you're going to win," he said.

"The fact you've had David Cameron here four times shows that they are scared stiff, and next year is going to be so exciting, it's unprecedented."

He said the UK had never seen a protest party do as well as UKIP.

"The Green Party did well at the European elections in 1989, where they got 2 million votes, that was a game-changer, and the main political parties had to think in a Green way and steal all their policies," he said.

"The mainstream parties can't think in a UKIP way, they can't steal their policies.

"People are fed up with mainstream politics and it goes back to the expenses scandal, to Cameron abandoning the Conservative grassroots and Blair turning his back on Labour's grassroots.

"That's what's happened now, all those disappointed voters, have finally got someone who can represent them.

"I predict a handful, at least, of UKIP MPs at the next election and they could hold the balance of power, and that's why I have written the book now."

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