Ukip lose nearly one in ten councillors since 2013 local elections

Research comes after newly elected councillors have been hit by a series of controversies in recent months

Ukip has lost nearly one in ten of its councillors who won their seats during last year’s local elections, according to new research.

The party is currently down by 12 county representatives out of the 139 who were elected a year on from the May 2013 poll, The Guardian has found.

Newly elected councillors have also been hit by a series of controversies in recent months, which include Peter Lagoda in Cambridgeshire, who has pleaded guilty to benefit fraud totalling almost £25,000.

Victoria Ayling, a parliamentary candidate, was caught on camera saying “I just want to send the lot back but I can’t say that”, a comment she claimed was made in regards to illegal immigrants.

Eric Kitson resigned after 12 days as an Ukip county councillor after sharing offensive material about Muslims on his Facebook page. Worcestershire councillor Martin Jenkins also resigned in protest against Ukip’s stance on gay marriage.

While the party has gained councillors through defections, with 19 coming from Labour and the Conservatives in London, its county council losses throughout the past year are “many” times higher than the other parties, according to the research.

Sanya-Jeet Thandi, a young rising star within Ukip, quit the party this week in disgust at Ukip’s campaigning on immigration issues, writing that “while the party deliberately attracts the racist vote I refuse to be associated with them.”

However, the Ukip was also found to be extremely active in their communities, with statistics showing they have the highest attendance record over any other party at more than 92 per cent of compulsory meetings.

Party leader Nigel Farage has also claimed his councillors come under an unfair amount of scrutiny because other parties are going through social media to uncover controversial statements.

But Dr Matthew Goodwin, a politics expert at Nottingham University, told The Guardian controversies will not undermine support for Ukip, and may even add to the party’s appeal.

"While it is tempting to think the performance of radical right councillors or members of the European parliament might impact on their support, it clearly does not," he said.

"With the radical right, and figures like [party leader Nigel] Farage, it is as if voters are willing to give them a free pass – to use them as a vehicle through which they can express their intensely held concerns over Europe, immigration and the state of our politics while overlooking their own failings or those of individual councillors and candidates."

Ukip have not yet responded to requests for comment on the research.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
2015 General Election
May2015

Poll of Polls

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Key Sales Account Manager - OTE £35,000

£25000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Have you got a proven track rec...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Executive - OTE £40,000

£15000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a great opportunity for...

Recruitment Genius: Senior Designer / Design Director

£38000 - £48000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This B2B content marketing agen...

Austen Lloyd: Law Costs HOD - Southampton

£50000 - £60000 per annum + Excellent Salary: Austen Lloyd: An outstanding new...

Day In a Page

Syrian conflict is the world's first 'climate change war', say scientists, but it won't be the last one

Climate change key in Syrian conflict

And it will trigger more war in future
How I outwitted the Gestapo

How I outwitted the Gestapo

My life as a Jew in wartime Berlin
The nation's favourite animal revealed

The nation's favourite animal revealed

Women like cuddly creatures whilst men like creepy-crawlies
Is this the way to get young people to vote?

Getting young people to vote

From #VOTESELFISH to Bite the Ballot
Poldark star Heida Reed: 'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'

Poldark star Heida Reed

'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'
The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

Netanyahu knows he can get away with anything in America, says Robert Fisk
Families clubbing together to build their own affordable accommodation

Do It Yourself approach to securing a new house

Community land trusts marking a new trend for taking the initiative away from developers
Head of WWF UK: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

David Nussbaum: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

The head of WWF UK remains sanguine despite the Government’s failure to live up to its pledges on the environment
Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Set in a mythologised 5th-century Britain, ‘The Buried Giant’ is a strange beast
With money, corruption and drugs, this monk fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’

Money, corruption and drugs

The monk who fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’
America's first slavery museum established at Django Unchained plantation - 150 years after slavery outlawed

150 years after it was outlawed...

... America's first slavery museum is established in Louisiana
Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

The first 'American Idol' winner on how she manages to remain her own woman – Jane Austen fascination and all
Tony Oursler on exploring our uneasy relationship with technology with his new show

You won't believe your eyes

Tony Oursler's new show explores our uneasy relationship with technology. He's one of a growing number of artists with that preoccupation
Ian Herbert: Peter Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

The England coach leaves players to find solutions - which makes you wonder where he adds value, says Ian Herbert
War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn