Elections 2014: Ukip sets target of 20 seats - ‘Farage mustn’t be our only MP’

 

Twenty parliamentary seats are to be targeted by the UK Independence Party at next year’s general election as it attempts to maintain momentum from its soaring support in the European and local elections.

Party chiefs are drawing up a hit-list of the constituencies into which they will pour resources in an effort to gain a foothold at Westminster.

Nigel Farage, the Ukip leader, has hinted he will stand in Kent and is expected to opt for South Thanet or Folkestone & Hythe. Ukip is certain to earmark Great Yarmouth in Norfolk, where it won 10 town hall seats last week – five each from Labour and the Tories.

The party is expected to aim at Essex after it made impressive gains in Thurrock, Basildon, Southend-on-Sea and Castle Point.

Read more: Ukip top poll as Europe moves to right
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Conservatives bid to ward off Ukip threat

One or more Lincolnshire constituencies will also be on Ukip’s list.

Other potential targets include the Labour-held Rotherham and Liberal Democrat-held Portsmouth South.

Ukip’s director of communication Patrick O’Flynn said: “We need to see Nigel Farage elected as an MP and he mustn’t go there on his own. Four, five, six, seven, 10, who knows? But we’re going to be having 20 target seats.”

More immediately, Ukip will attempt to capture the safe Tory seat of Newark in the parliamentary by-election on 5 June.

Mr O’Flynn said: “Newark is the equivalent of going from base camp to the summit of Mount Everest in about half an hour, but we’re going to give it a really good crack.”

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