back to top

Anti-UKIP Group Plans To Drive Voters To Polling Stations To Keep Out Nigel Farage

As the race in South Thanet tightens, UKIP's opponents are doing everything they can to swing the race against the party.

Posted on

The UKIP leader is engaged in a tough battle to secure victory in Thanet South, with some observers suggesting that the victor may well be decided by which party manages to get the highest turnout.

A poll by Lord Ashcroft, released on Wednesday, put the Conservatives two points ahead of UKIP in the constituency. Labour is a further six points behind UKIP, according to the poll.

Zack Cochrane, of Stand Up To UKIP, told BuzzFeed News that his group "will be going around and helping and will be offering lifts to people on polling day".

"At this stage a lot of people who aren't swayed might not go out and vote and we'll be going to encourage people to vote and we'll see ways they can do that," he added.

Stand Up To UKIP has been encouraging voters to support any party but UKIP in South Thanet. It is having a rally on Saturday, which will be followed by a leafleting session.

"We've held protests and things," Cochrane said, "but because the election is so close, we're trying to galvanise the anti-UKIP vote."

However, the group won't be encouraging locals to support the Conservative candidate, Craig McKinlay, even though a tactical vote for him could keep out Farage.

"We wouldn't tell anyone who to vote for. That's a difficult game because with the rise of UKIP, other parties are also scapegoating immigrants," Cochrane said.

Although Stand Up to UKIP has various branches across the country, the main emphasis is on the seat where Farage is standing.

"I suppose Farage dangled a carrot [by] saying he would resign if he doesn't win the seat," Cochrane said.

Stand Up To UKIP was founded by some of the country's most prominent left-wingers: its launch statement was signed by Labour politicians Diane Abbott and Ken Livingstone, journalist Owen Jones, union boss Len McCluskey and others.

Another anti-Farage group, the Beyond UKIP diversity cabaret, hopes to perform a show called "Farage Against The Machine" in a local pub before the election but is still trying to confirm dates.

The group gained notoriety after it invaded a pub where Farage was eating, forcing him and his family to flee.

Despite polls for Thanet South showing the Conservatives ahead, UKIP strategists believe that having Farage's name on the ballot paper will ensure a UKIP victory. However, the party has abandoned its tentative plans to hire a tank on polling day for its leader to pose with.

Siraj Datoo is a political reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in London.

Contact Siraj Datoo at

Got a confidential tip? Submit it here.