Havering ‘Ukip’s best chance of general election success in London’

Romford MP Andrew Rosindell and his Ukip opponent Gerard Batten, currently an MEP for London

Romford MP Andrew Rosindell and his Ukip opponent Gerard Batten, currently an MEP for London - Credit: Archant

Havering parliamentary constituencies are where Ukip stands the greatest chance of winning a London seat at next year’s general election, according to pollsters.

The “Essex bits of London are almost certainly the most Ukip-friendly”, YouGov associate director Anthony Wells this week told the Recorder, but the party still has “no realistic chance” of winning because its popularity across Greater London is so low.

“Most expectations are for Ukip to get a handful of seats,” he said.

“In their wildest dreams UKIP would be hoping to get up to 20 or so seats, and none of Romford, Hornchurch and Upminster (H&U) and Dagenham and Rainham would be in the top 100 most likely.”

“They’ll get some support in those seats - Romford and H&U at least - but not enough to form any serious challenge, nor to really cut into those huge majorities.”

The claims sparked reaction from incumbent Romford Conservative MP Andrew Rosindell, who said he was “more Ukip than Ukip in some areas”, and his Ukip opponent Gerard Batten, a London-wide MEP.

Mr Rosindell, a staunch Eurosceptic who has been Romford’s MP since 2001, said: “My views and Ukip’s views are not actually that far apart.

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“I do not really have any objections with their policies - it’s their delivery.

“Standing across the country can only result in a Labour victory and Ed Miliband in No 10.”

He added: “While I agree with Ukip on many things, I’m more Ukip than Ukip in some areas.

“I’ve been arguing that we should not be part of the EU since long before Ukip even existed.”

Mr Batten called Mr Rosindell a “phoney” and said his party’s 43 per cent vote share in this year’s European elections showed Ukip was in with a shot.

“It’s true that Rosindell has a very large majority, but it’s also true that the seat has changed hands in the past – it’s been both Labour and Conservative,” he said.

“Who can say when Ukip has just got 60pc in Clacton, which is similar demographically to Romford?

“I’d say that people are increasingly fed up with the political class and a government that’s paralysed in indecision because all the power has been moved to Brussels.”

In May’s Havering Council election Ukip won seven seats, more than half the 12 it carried across London.

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