Ukip contender: I don’t know why our vote has fallen

Former Ukip leader Nigel Farage (centre) with Noel Jordan, and ex-Ukip MLA David McNarry to the left
Former Ukip leader Nigel Farage (centre) with Noel Jordan, and ex-Ukip MLA David McNarry to the left

The man who had been Ukip’s sole hope as an Assembly candidate in the Province has no explanation as to why his vote dropped despite the anti-EU spirit displayed in the successful Brexit campaign.

Although Noel Jordan has been one of many Ukip hopefuls standing in recent years, he had led his colleagues in terms of the liklihood of him taking a seat in the last Assembly vote.

During that election in 2016, Mr Jordan – who declared himself “shocked” when he won a council seat in Carrickfergus in two years previously – was just about 100 first-preference votes below a successful DUP candidate.

He had also performed well in the constituency’s 2015 Westminster poll, when he won more than half the votes that his rival in the UUP.

This time his share of the first-preference votes in East Antrim fell from 6.8% to 4.2%,

He was out of the running by the fourth count (out of nine in total).

He had been the sole candidate this time.

“Very disappointed obviously,” he said.

“We just don’t know what happened.

“I can’t explain why our vote has dropped.”

Ukip in the mainland is currently undergoing a period of turmoil, with major funder Arron Banks recently stating that it was being run like a “jumble sale”.

Asked if the failure to make electoral inroads could be due to these organisation problems, Mr Jordan said: “There is no doubt we need good news [in the] media, and unfortunately because of difficulties within the party, the good news hasn’t been coming forward. But all political parties undergo restructuring. They will always have their problems.”

He said it would be “unfair” of him to discuss the notion that Nigel Farage should be returned to the helm of Ukip nationally, because current leader Paul Nuttall, “must be given a chance”.

He said they are now seeking candidates for the 2019 council elections.

For full East Antrim results, see here.