Conflicting policies don’t add up for spent force UKIP
At the last Senedd Elections five years ago, UKIP rode a wave of Euroscepticism and picked up seven of the 20 regional seats in the Senedd.
The late Sam Gould – an energetic and passionate campaigner – finished third in the Caerphilly constituency for UKIP, collecting 22% of the vote – finishing ahead of the Conservative candidate, and behind only Labour and Plaid Cymru.
The party finished second in the Islwyn constituency with 22% of the vote, and second in Merthyr Tydfil with 21%.
But a lot has changed in the last five years.
UKIP has endured a somewhat rocky time in Wales since 2016 – hit by a number of its Senedd Members leaving for newly-formed parties, including the then-named Brexit Party – set up by Mr Farage himself.
At the end of the most recent Senedd term, the party was left with just one Senedd Member in Cardiff Bay – Neil Hamilton.
Born in Fleur de Lis, he will contest the Islwyn seat this time around, having served as a regional Senedd Member for Mid and West Wales.
Policy-wise, the party is advocating getting rid of the Senedd and reversing devolution in Wales – giving power back to the UK Government in Westminster.
The party has pledged to hold a referendum on scrapping the Senedd if elected.
Their manifesto also pledges to stop sex education in primary schools, end the ‘smacking ban’ and scrap measures to help asylum seekers and refugees in Wales.
UKIP are also promising to end the smoking ban in pubs.
However, this ban is also in place across the border, and so by scrapping the Senedd, the UK’s ban on smoking in pubs would come back into force in Wales anyway.
Mr Hamilton said he was “relishing” the chance to stand in Islwyn and described his party’s maniefesto as “the bravest, most radical manifesto ever set out for moving Wales forward”.
He said: “After 20 years of failure, the Senedd has been a good deal for politicians but a bad deal for Wales.”
UKIP has not put up a candidate in Caerphilly, while George Pykov is contesting Merthyr Tydfil and Rhymney.
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