Wednesday 13 May 2015

The king is dead, long live the king

So Nigel Farage has resigned as leader and come back into the post for the second time in his UKIP career. But what does it mean for UKIP?

I did say before the election that he hadn't ruled out a return as leader if he failed to get elected as MP for Thurrock South but I didn't expect his return to be quite so soon. To be honest, I expected him to resign, wait and see who looked a likely replacement and then put himself forward if he wasn't happy with his potential successor. I very much doubt that the manner of his return was pre-planned but it does look somewhat cynical.

There is no doubt that Farage is a huge asset to UKIP and a big chunk of the party's membership and supporters are thanks to his reputation and presence but he's also the far left bogeyman and his gradual slide to the political centre is never going to be enough to stop the hate cult created by trade union sockpuppets. UKIP isn't Cuba or North Korea or Rotherham, we don't have leaders for life. One day he will resign and he won't be convinced to do it again.

We have some excellent people in the party who could take over as leader tomorrow and UKIP would continue to thrive. Part of me says let them have a go, part of me says it's too soon and I know that many members I've spoken to have had the same thoughts. Very few people actually want Farage to step down but the idea of him not being leader any more not being unthinkable shows how much the party has grown.

Nigel Farage is the most successful leader the party has had and he will continue to bring the party success in the future. We now need to get on with the important business of next year's local elections and then the local elections and possible EU referendum in 2017.