Activists ‘count more than cash’

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ACTIVISTS on the ground are more important than vast sums of money, according to the biggest-spending UK Independence Party (UKip) candidate.

Jane Collins trailed in fourth in Scunthorpe with just 1,686 votes, despite spending £10,072 during the campaign – more than any of her rivals. Labour held the seat with 14,640 votes despite a strong challenge from the Conservatives, who polled 12,091.

“I decided I wanted to put some money into the campaign,” said Ms Collins. “It was a bit of an experiment to see how it affected the result in Scunthorpe. But because of the determination to keep the Conservatives out and the determination of the Conservatives to get in – they made very big inroads – my campaign made very little difference.

“You can spend what you like but if you don’t door knock and get in touch with the people and create enough of a rapport with them to get the ball rolling, you can spend what you like but it won’t make any difference.”

Labour’s Nic Dakin, who won the seat with a majority of more than 2,500, spent just £6,957.36 – less than half that of Ms Collins.

Across 39 seats in the region, UKip spent £66,088.47 but failed to make a breakthrough.

Meanwhile candidates for the British National Party spent nearly £20,000 failing to make a breakthrough in the region – including £1,171 fighting against former Cabinet Minister Ed Balls in Morley and Outwood.