UK INDEPENDENCE Party leader Nigel Farage will today try to draw a line under its disappointing General Election result and urge supporters to focus on the referendum on Britain’s membership of the European Union.
Mr Farage will tell supporters at its annual conference in Doncaster that they can be proud of the four million votes the party secured in May and criticise the first past the post system which only delivered the party a single Westminster seat.
He will raise the prospect of Ukip making breakthroughs in the devolved administrations and in London where elections will take place next year under proportional representation.
And he will tell supporters that they can now look forward to the in-out referendum on Britain’s membership they have “fought for for so long”.
Amid suggestions that Ukip will be sidelined by opponents of EU membership concerned the party will harm their chances of securing a no-vote by alienating centre ground voters, Mr Farage will renew his offer to work with anyone who shares his aim of securing Britain’s exit.
The Ukip leader will say his party can provide a platform that can take the ‘no’ message out across the country.
The conference represents a vital opportunity for Mr Farage to rally Ukip supporters after the General Election failed to deliver the Westminster breakthrough the party had hoped for.
He will also be hoping the party can offer a show of unity after a summer which saw internal divisions become public.
Yorkshire MEP Mike Hookem is among the other speakers today.
Mr Hookem joined UKIP in 2008. He stood as UKIP candidate in the constituency of Hull East in the 2010 general election. He finished fourth with 2,745 votes.