Ukip has managed a near 100% coverage of English, Welsh and Cornish seats in the general election. But the kippers’ strength on the ground has a geography and clearly varies from place to place. This map shows the proportion of the local council seats they’re contesting next week.
As might be expected, the Kippers are strong in the far south east – Kent and Essex – reflecting the scenes of their two by-election victories last year. In some other parts of the rural English deep south they’re equally busy, in particular Hampshire and Buckinghamshire. But their greatest effort is less predictably being made in the conurbations of the west Midlands, Yorkshire, Tyne and Wear, Greater Manchester and Merseyside. It’ll be interesting however to see how successful this reaching out to the northern urban population will be.
In south west England, Ukip is surprisingly much less active. They’re only contesting just over a quarter of available seats in Devon for example, which was one of their strongest areas in 2010 election. In Devon the Greens have managed to stand a slate of candidates for the locals which is almost twice as big as that of the Kippers. Is Ukip turning into a regional party for the south east of England?