Former UKIP officers accuse party of ‘grossly exaggerating’ membership numbers
Former UKIP officers have raised concerns that “dishonest propaganda” is “grossly exaggerating” the party’s political relevance and membership numbers.
Despite social media posts seemingly celebrating the party’s membership growth, former UKIP directors have claimed membership is far lower than the party will admit.
Recent UK-wide voting-intention polling has shown current support for UKIP is at 0.1%-0.3% and the party is finishing last in almost all of the few elections it contested over the past year.
The party which is led by UKIP Member of the Senedd for Mid and West Wales from 2016 to 2021 and former Conservative MP Neil Hamilton, currently has less than five functioning branches, down from over 400 and has only five elected representatives, all set to be out of office on 4 May.
A pinned post published to Newbury UKIP Twitter reads, “It’s brilliant to see our membership grow” despite the fact the party’s own accounts document the number of members at 3,888 as of December 2020 – down from 15,674 the year prior.
The Newbury UKIP social media page also states it now covers Berkshire, Oxfordshire, Buckinghamshire and Thames Valley, and elsewhere admits it set up webpages for Surrey and Sussex – mergers deemed as “inconsistent with a healthy membership” by former UKIP officers.
The party held its Annual National Conference at The Vine Hotel in Skegness in October last year with a total attendance visibly fewer than 50 members.
During the event, a slide used in a presentation by Eastern Regional Chairman, Mr Fullerton, mentions that UKIP’s current total membership is 2,000 – 3,000.
Although accounts have not yet been filed for 2022, ex UKIP director, Alun J. Elder-Brown – who recently resigned from all his UKIP positions – disclosed via Twitter that current membership actually stands at “just over 1000”.
Senior officials who’ve left UKIP have stated that even such a low total of 1,000 was likely the “bosses’ exaggeration” but even if accurate would include members either deceased or with no interest in the current defunct party.
The former officers also claimed current membership numbers include lapsed members automatically granted 3-month extensions, or even much longer so as to bolster the count.
During UKIP’s recent annual conference, a journalist reporting on the event claimed members of the national executive committee asked if he would consider joining and even offered to waive the £30 annual fee.
Former directors and members of UKIP claim an increasing proportion of free memberships along with infiltrators and saboteurs becoming members is leading to inaccurate numbers.
It’s thought that true UKIP activists numbers are fewer than 50 in the UK which is consistent with evidence from the 13 parliamentary by-elections held after 2020, five of which were not contested by UKIP.
UKIP’s official webpages reveal spiralling vacancies along with a declining number of officers carrying out multiple roles within the party.
In 2022’s local elections, UKIP contested 28 seats out of 7,000 (0.4%), finishing second-from-last in one contest and last in all the others.
The former UKIP officers said: “In May’s 8,500 seats’ elections, we are sure it won’t find even 28 candidates, as will be confirmed on 5 Apr.
“Why do they still bother? Is it the prospect of legacies and damaging, by association, the prospects of Reform UK?”
Neil Hamilton was approach by Nation.Cymru for comment.
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