The UK Independence party (UKIP) today made their mark on Sheffield’s council elections, taking the third highest number of votes across the city.
Despite winning no council seats, the party scored a total of 13,612 votes- more than both the Green Party and the Conservatives.
This year was the first that that the party, which stands on an anti-EU, libertarian platform and only won 2,914 votes last year, had run in every ward of the city.
Its best showing came in Stocksbridge and Upper Don, where Grant French took 1386 votes, just behind Labour winner Richard Crowther on 1770.
Jonathan Arnott (pictured, centre), leader of UKIP Sheffield, who polled 890 in Woodhouse, said: “I suppose a lot of it is people are getting more and more disenfranchised, disillusioned with Labour, Lib Dems and Conservatives. People are looking around for something else to vote for and we provide that something else.
“Year on year we’re making progress. It’s difficult in first-past-the-post to take that step and actually win a seat.”
Tom Booker, UKIP candidate in Mosborough, who polled 518, said: “These things don’t happen unless there’s something drastic that people want to say. People are saying, ‘a plague on all your houses’. Just fantastic. We’re really chuffed.”
Not in attendance at the count was Steve Moxon, UKIP’s candidate for Dore and Totley, who was suspended by the party after the discovery of a year-old blog post in which he sympathised with Norwegian mass-murderer Anders Behring Breivik. Despite his suspension, Moxon couldn’t have his name removed from ballot sheets, which had already been printed, and polled 363.