UKIP vow they will “not go away” as candidates more than double in 2019 Sheffield local election

UKIP will field 22 candidates in the upcoming local elections tomorrow, increasing from the the nine who contested for them last year.

One of their candidates Shane Harper, contesting the Southey ward, said: “I think this year is going to be a big one for UKIP. We could easily have fielded 28 candidates.”

“The kicking that we have had over the last couple of years has not stopped us. People are astonished that UKIP has been here for 25 years now. We will not go away.”

Mr Harper is realistic about his party’s chances of improving on the three seats they currently hold.

When asked about the possibility of gaining in certain wards, he said: “Half a dozen would be nice, 10 would be great. I think I would be stretching it if I said 22.”

UKIP faces a battle to hold Stocksbridge & Upper Don, according to The Sheffield Star.

Incumbent Councillor Jack Clarkson will struggle to hold onto his seat, with candidate Julie Grocutt in pole position to win back the area for Labour.

Nationally, commentators have said UKIP have decreased in popularity since the resignation of leader Nigel Farage after the EU referendum.

Polling stations open at at 7am and close at 10pm, with Sheffield counting the votes on Friday morning and revealing the results later in the day.