EXCL Ukip voters 'sensibly ate ice lollies' instead of voting in key by-election
Ukip just lost control of its only council in the UK - but it’s no biggie according to the party’s new general secretary.
Paul Oakley says Ukip supporters “sensibly sat in the sun and ate ice lollies instead of voting” - presumably unable to do both in one day.
The party plummeted 25.2 percentage points in the Margate Central by election last night, wining just 52 votes and securing 6.6% of the ballots cast.
Labour picked up much of its losses, gaining by 23.7 percentage points and winning the seat on a decisive 57.5% of the vote.
The result means Ukip failed to re-gain the balance of power on Thanet District Council and now has to run it as a minority administration.
But Oakley - who recently took over from Jonathan Arnott after he quit in the general election fallout - has come out fighting.
The new Ukip general secretary told PoliticsHome: “Labour's feeble 454 votes would normally be a poor loss.
“Anyway, we're in the middle of the summer holidays.
“Our supporters sensibly sat in the sun and ate ice lollies instead of voting. They'll be back in the autumn.”