Super Sunday: UKIP Leadership Declarations Coming

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Stand by for UKIP leadership contenders to make their minds up by Sunday. There are op-eds being lined up in the weekend papers, before Suzanne Evans and Paul Nuttall tour the Sunday morning politics programmes. Suzanne has been gathering signatures so she looks set to announce. All eyes on Nuttall, who some prominent Kippers think has plucked up the courage to run. Farage is also appearing on Peston. Raheem Kassam will be spending the weekend with the grassroots, trying to close the gap on the others who’ve done years on the rubber chicken circuit. We’ll have a better idea of who the next leader will be in 72 hours time…

UKIP Leadership State of Play

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With Steven Woolfe out and more candidates throwing their hats into the ring, Guido brings you an update on the UKIP leadership race:

Suzanne Evans: Quietly gathering signatures for her nomination. Her suspension has lapsed, she should be a member in good standing for 28 days (we think) and thus eligible. Bookies’ favourite. Will her closeness to the Farage-hating Carswell faction cost her with the grassroots?

Paul Nuttall: Other candidates fear Nuttall will win if he stands. This Telegraph article sounds like he wants it. Though there is no noticeable effort to gather signatures, he didn’t want to run last time and will be asking himself if it’s really worth it. Dithering or not bothering at all?

Raheem Kassam: Loudly gathering the necessary signatures. Has been campaigning hard online and thinks he has enough signatures to submit the paperwork on Sunday. If Nuttall doesn’t run there is a possibility Raheem could actually do it. His price to win is tighter than Trump’s!

Peter Whittle: UKIP’s London mayoral candidate is popular in the capital. While campaigning in Witney he appeared on one of Kassam’s campaign videos and even said his rival’s slogan: “Make UKIP Great Again”, though he tells Guido he is not on Team Raheem. Also quietly gathering signatures.

Bill Etheridge: Said he’d stand unless there was somebody he could back 100%. Accused of cheating by his fiancee. Has been round the rubber chicken circuit.

David Kurten: Lower profile, tried to be nominated as UKIP’s mayoral candidate with a false London address. When Breitbart asked him how he responded to allegations of racism in UKIP he replied: “UKIP isn’t racist, I love white people!”

Suzanne, Nuttall and Raheem are the frontrunners…

Suzanne Evans Bookies’ New Front Runner

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Above shows the latest odds from the bookies courtesy of Betdata.io. In a situation that is very fluid the betting markets are probably the best place to gain insight into the candidate’s support – real money rather than spin. Woolfe pulling out is good for Kassam, his chances have since shot up, with a lot of his Faragist support going to Raheem. He’s running a characteristically energetic campaign online.

Suzanne Evans is the bookies’ favourite and the truth of that position is bolstered by YouGov polling:

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This situation will change rapidly. The YouGov polling above was done before Woolfe had quit and Kassam had declared. It is still unclear if Nuttall is definitely running. Suzanne has not exactly been campaigning hard having only had it confirmed yesterday by the UKIP NEC that she could be a candidate. Nominations close on Halloween, the full horror show finishes on November 28…

UKIP Leader Runners & Riders

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After the surprise resignation of new UKIP leader Diane James, Guido brings you the latest runners and riders in UKIP’s leadership battle (odds from Betfair):

Paul Nuttall – Evens

Forever in Farage’s shadow, Nuttall has been deputy leader of UKIP for the last six years. His Liverpudlian roots could appeal to the working class north in a way that Evans or Kassam could only ever dream. The favourite after the fracas despite not yet confirming that he is standing…

Steven Woolfe – 2/1

The front runner in the last leadership contest until he forgot to submit his papers on time. Woolfe seemed to take the latest UKIP fight literally when he was in an alleged punch up with fellow MEP Mike Hookem. No longer the favourite post fracas and leaking of his talks with the Conservative Party.

Suzanne Evans – 4/1

Suzanne Evans was a  Conservative Party councillor who defected to UKIP in 2013.  Highly praised for writing UKIP’s 2015 manifesto, she was later suspended from the party for criticising a fellow candidate. Close to Carswell. Evans’s suspension has lapsed just in time for the latest contest.

Raheem Kassam – 15/1

Nigel Farage’s former chief of staff and current London editor of Breitbart, Kassam has already launched his online campaign to be leader with the slogan “Make UKIP great again” but his odds have been widening in the last few days. Most observers think he’s really running for the deputy-leader spot. The former Conservative Party activist is making a big thing of attacking “Blue Kippers”Like Nigel he’s very much a Marmite character.

Bill Etheridge – 27/1

MEP for the West Midlands and another former Conservative Party member. In the last leadership election he was accused of cheating by his fiancee when she found a half empty packet of Viagra in his car. Lad.

UKIP’s NEC is meeting this coming Monday to determine rules and timeframe…

UPDATE: Guido is told that Peter Whittle AM, UKIP’s former candidate for London mayor is also in the running (currently 27/1). A cultured fellow, if Guido’s memory serves him right he too is also a former Conservative Party member.

Nuttall Not Running For UKIP Leader

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Paul Nuttall has just told UKIP’s North West conference that he won’t be standing for the leadership. It’s come as something of a surprise to his supporters and will be well received by allies of Nigel Farage, who wanted him stopped at all costs. A senior UKIP source says: “The race will not be straightforward.”

MEPs Open Book on When Kamall Will De-Syed

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Fierce Tory Eurosceptic Syed Kamall’s continued dithering on his referendum decision has inspired MEP colleagues to open a book. Beatrix von Storch and Marcus Pretzell, both Alternative for Germany MEPs, have a £50 bet on whether he will actually manage to decide by June 23rd:

From: VON STORCH Beatrix
Sent: 10 March 2016 13:43
Cc: MEPs & ASSISTANTS-8th-Legislature
Subject: RE: BREXIT

Even in the ECR group we are wondering where Syed stands on this crucial issue. I personally think Syed would like to campaign to Leave – in line with his convictions. However, I also think that he, talented politician that he is, might in the end be campaigning to Remain, for whatever reason.

I have a £50 bet with Marcus Pretzell that Syed will actually manage to decide before June 23rd. Marcus is betting that Syed will not have decided then and completely miss the Referendum.

Best wishes,

Beatrix

UKIP’s Gerard Batten and Paul Nuttall have also entered into a wager: Nuttall thinks Kamall will back Leave, Batten thinks he’ll come out for Remain. Kamall’s delaying tactics have seen Batten attempt to settle the issue once and for all:

From: BATTEN Gerard
Sent: 09 March 2016 22:31
To: KAMALL Syed
Cc: MEPs & ASSISTANTS-8th-Legislature
Subject: BREXIT

Dear Syed,

Your speech this morning contained much to agree with, well done. Unfortunately I did not get the opportunity to Blue Card you and ask a question.

In short, can you let me know which side you are going to campaign on in the Referendum: Leave of Stay?

I have a €50 bet with Paul Nutall that you will campaign to Remain, he is betting you will campaign to Leave. Can you please confirm one way or the other so that one of us can collect.

Regards,

Gerard

A reply was not forthcoming…

UKIP Wars: Who is Backing Whom

As UKIP’s civil war plays out in the open, here is Guido’s guide to who is backing whom:

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The “coup team” led by O’Flynn and Carswell has the support of much of UKIP HQ, especially in the press office, where Gobby and other junior spinners are on board.

Steven Woolfe and Tim Aker signalled their support for the plotters by publicly tweeting back Carswell, but they are said to be sitting on the fence rather than outright supporting a coup.

The Farage loyalists are made up of the old guard ‘Kippers like deputy leader Paul Nuttall and Steve Crowther, as well as money man Arron Banks. They are joined by three of Farage’s closest aides, Raheem Kassam, Chris Bruni-Lowe and Matthew Richardson, whom O’Flynn declared war on this morning in the Times.

Whose side are you on?

UPDATE: UKIP donor Stuart Wheeler now says of Farage “I would like him to step down at least for the moment.”

UKIP Manifesto: Picture Worth a Thousand Words

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On the page of the UKIP manifesto about the importance of education Deputy Leader Paul Nuttall is holding a book called ‘British Rebels and Reformers’.

According to Amazon, it’s a picture book…

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