Running up to Thursday’s Oldham West and Royton by-election an ebullient Nigel Farage was predicting a close race. There was even a possibility of UKIP taking the seat by a few hundred votes, thought Farage.
Farage was wrong. He was wrong to the tune of almost 11,000 votes, the margin by which the Labour candidate John McMahon won. Yet despite the Labour candidate winning the seat with a 62% share of the votes cast Farage is unhappy. Accepting defeat with the grace of a sewer rat, Farage is blaming the postal ballot and the fact some of the Oldham West and Royton constituents didn’t speak English
Farage told the BBC: "The northern correspondent of the Guardian wrote last Saturday that she knocked on the doors of a street in Oldham where nobody spoke English, nobody had ever heard of Jeremy Corbyn, but they were all voting Labour…”
There is no prerequisite under UK voting rules that demands voters must have English as a first language. Neither is there any rule that states voters must be familiar with the party leadership structure of their preferred constituency candidate.
The UK does not operate a presidential election system. Voters in bye- or general elections vote for a constituency MP, they do not vote for the leader of a particular party or indeed the prime minister.
Once again the cheeky chappie one-of-boys persona Farage likes to masquerade behind is exposed as a front; and the true message of UKIP as an ultra right-wing racist party comes shining through.