2019 UK Independence Party leadership election


The 2019 UK Independence Party leadership election took place following the departure on 2 June of Gerard Batten from the leadership of the UK Independence Party. The result was announced on 10 August 2019,[1] with Richard Braine being elected to lead the party. This was the party's fifth leadership election in three years. Braine resigned just two months later, triggering a sixth leadership election.

2019 UK Independence Party leadership election
 2018 10 August 2019
Turnout19.1%
 
Candidate Richard Braine Freddy Vachha
Percentage 53% 20%
Popular vote 2,935 1,134

 
Candidate Ben Walker Mike Hookem
Percentage 14% 13%
Popular vote 753 717

Leader before election

Gerard Batten

Leader after election

Richard Braine

Background

On 6 May 2019, and following media reports that Batten was to step down as leader on 2 June, he said that his election in April 2018 was for a twelve-month period, and that the party's National Executive Committee had asked him to remain in office until after the European elections in May 2019.[2]

Former leader Nigel Farage was one of a number of senior party figures to leave during Batten's leadership over Batten's association with far-right activist Tommy Robinson.[3] In April 2019, Farage launched the rival Brexit Party.[4] UKIP won 24 MEPs in the 2014 European Parliament election, but 21 had left the party by the May 2019 European elections, with most defecting to The Brexit Party. It lost all three remaining MEPs, falling to 3.3% of the vote.[5]

Candidates

Freddy Vachha, UKIP London Regional chairman, announced his intention to run on 6 May.[6]

Mike Hookem, the party's former Member of the European Parliament for Yorkshire and the Humber, resigned as deputy leader and announced that he would run for the leadership on 24 May, criticising Batten for associating the party with the far-right.[7]

Gareth Bennett, a member for the National Assembly for Wales for UKIP, announced his candidacy on 3 June.[8] His policy platform included national identity cards and a possible referendum on bringing back the death penalty.[8][9] On 11 July, he announced his withdrawal from the race and his support for Ben Walker's bid for the leadership.[10]

Walker, a former Parliamentary candidate, member of the UKIP NEC and branch chairman, announced his candidacy on 6 June.[11]

Richard Braine, chairman of UKIP West London, and formerly a UKIP Parliamentary candidate for Ruislip, Northwood and Pinner (2017), and EU Parliamentary candidate for the London Region (2019),[citation needed] also stood.

Helena Windsor, the chairman of the UKIP Surrey Branch and county councillor for Godstone from 2013 to 2017,[12] was a candidate,[13] but withdrew on 17 July, and publicly backed Mike Hookem.[14][15]

Applications for the party leadership closed on 27 June. Despite having previously said his position as leader "would be untenable" if he lost his seat in the European Parliament,[16][17] Gerard Batten announced that he would stand in the leadership election, claiming he had "overwhelming support from UKIP members".[18] The party's National Executive Committee blocked him from standing, leaving five candidates up for election.[19] Batten supported Braine instead.

Candidate Past and present political roles Endorsements
Mike Hookem Helena Windsor
Freddy Vachha
  • UKIP London Regional Chairman (2016–present)
Stuart Agnew[citation needed]
Ben Walker Gareth Bennett

Neil Hamilton[citation needed]

Richard Braine
  • UKIP West London chairman (2016–present)
Gerard Batten[24]

Result

Candidate Votes %
Y Richard Braine 2,935
52.9
Freddy Vachha 1,134
20.5
Ben Walker 753
13.6
Mike Hookem 717
13.0
Spoilt ballots 194
3.5
Total 5,539 Turnout 19.1%

References

  1. "Ex-Ukip leader Gerard Batten to stand again just weeks after quitting". Evening Standard. 2019-06-27. Retrieved 2019-07-01.
  2. Dalton, Jane (6 May 2019). "Ukip to hold leadership contest after European Parliament elections". The Independent. ESI Media. Retrieved 6 May 2019.
  3. Duffy, Nick (2019-05-19). "Ukip leader Gerard Batten says his position is 'untenable' if he loses MEP seat". inews.co.uk. Retrieved 2019-05-29.
  4. "Nigel Farage: No more Mr Nice Guy". BBC News. Retrieved 2019-07-02.
  5. Quinn, Ben (2019-05-27). "Ukip's defeat in EU elections cast doubts on party's future". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 2019-05-29.
  6. "BREAKING: Batten To Stand Down On June 2nd | Kipper Central". Retrieved 2019-08-02.
  7. "Hookem quits as deputy UKIP leader". 2019-05-24. Retrieved 2019-05-24.
  8. "UKIP Welsh Assembly member Gareth Bennett in leadership bid". 2019-06-03. Retrieved 2019-06-03.
  9. Mosalski, Ruth (2019-06-04). "Gareth Bennett wants to be leader of Ukip and bring back the death penalty". walesonline. Retrieved 2019-06-08.
  10. "Gareth Bennett abandons UKIP leadership bid". July 11, 2019 via www.bbc.co.uk.
  11. Walker, Ben (2019-06-06). "I am announcing my intention to stand for UKIP leader. My Grassroots manifesto was written by branch officers, for the members. Now is the time for a grassroots revolution". Twitter. Retrieved 2019-07-02.
  12. Chapple, James (2017-05-05). "'Standing up for Surrey' pledge as council leader retains seat". getsurrey. Retrieved 2019-07-02.
  13. "helena4leader". votepurple.co.uk. Retrieved 2019-07-02.
  14. "UKIP LEADERSHIP: Agnew Endorses Vachha As Windsor Withdraws To Back Hookem | Kipper Central". Retrieved 2019-08-02.
  15. Windsor 💜, Helena (2019-08-01). "Time to vote No I'm not showing my number 2, you'll have to guess pic.twitter.com/onDOqN88kj". @helena4leader. Retrieved 2019-08-02.
  16. "UKIP leader Gerard Batten: My position 'untenable' if I lose seat". Sky News. 2019-05-20. Retrieved 2019-07-02.
  17. Duffy, Nick (2019-05-19). "Ukip leader Gerard Batten says his position is 'untenable' if he loses MEP seat". inews.co.uk. Retrieved 2019-07-02.
  18. Batten, Gerard (2019-06-27). "Because of overwhelming support from UKIP members I have decided to stand in the Leadership contest. My platform will include: * National Democracy * Economic Democracy * Political Democracy * Freedom of Speech * No backtracking or surrender to political correctness". @GerardBattenMEP. Retrieved 2019-07-02.
  19. "Gerard Batten banned from standing again for UKIP leader". Evening Standard. 2019-07-09. Retrieved 2019-07-09.
  20. "Town Council Confirms Youngest Mayor". bradleystoke.gov.uk. Retrieved 2019-07-02.
  21. "Bradley Stoke Mayor hit by smear campaign". Bradley Stoke Journal. 2012-05-14. Retrieved 2019-07-02.
  22. "UKIP Bristol & South Gloucestershire". UKIP in the South West. Retrieved 2019-07-02.
  23. "NEC Results Announced". ukip.org. Retrieved 2019-07-02.
  24. "Richard Braine elected as UKIP leader". August 10, 2019 via www.bbc.co.uk.