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Professionalising from 12% to 48% has gained UKIP 1 MP, 118 second places – What next?

Originally published in the wake of the general election, this analysis of how professional UKIP is as a party may prove thought provoking as we all consider which candidate to back in the leadership contest.

 

 

So where from here? How does UKIP get 100s of MPs? The votes are in, from 3% to over 12.6%. Votes quadrupled to around 3.88 million, and UKIP has only 1 MP, with 118 second places. Aside from the usual issues of media bias, people voting for different reasons, e.g. what you say, how you say it, what you look like, whether they like you and more, there is vast scope for professionalising UKIP and gaining over 100 MPs. With around 65% turnout, there was opportunity for many UKIP MPs, with motivating more voters.

My experience in business, looking at various areas to improve organisations includes the leader and team as role models. Also a system/process is as strong as its weakest link.

As UKIP has been improving, some things have been helping move from protest group, to think tank to political party.

I have listed below areas that most parties do, in the areas of people/training, structure/processes and policies. I have given a ‘Yes’ or ‘No’ depending if it is happening and also shown 2010 in brackets. Also assessments are from my experience in London, with some branches in the country better organised than others, and their results show this.

People/Training out of 15 – 4 (0)

  • A shadow PM who would like to be PM (this helps motivate voters, activists and donors) – No (No).
  • Shadow Chancellor, who is also credible – No (No)
  • A Shadow cabinet that would like to run Ministries – No (No)
  • Media training of candidates – No (No)
  • Public speaking courses for candidates – No (No)
  • Local council training – No (No)
  • Leader and shadow cabinet are role models for party with local website/facebook and branch activities, as examples – No (No)
  • Training candidates and branch chairmen, secretary and treasurer on meeting skills and organising skills – No (No)
  • Attracting better candidates than the previous election, with better chance of winning – Yes (No)
  • Attracting 30 or 40 activists for each constituency – No (No)
  • Public getting to know shadow cabinet members – No (No)
  • Training for candidates in running a campaign – Yes (No)
  • Training for agents and other support activities – Yes (No)
  • Professional media advisors, with media experience – Yes (No)
  • Professional election experts with success records – No (No)

Structure/Processes out of 30 – 16 (5)

  • Shadow cabinet meeting, weekly, near Parliament – No (No)
  • Building up locally to win nationally – Yes (No)
  • Professional website – No (No)
  • Website with easy to find contact details for every constituency – No (No)
  • Whips office/team to help with teamwork – No (No)
  • Head Office in London, near Parliament – No (No) (Ed: There is an office in London, but head office is in Newton Abbot)
  • Leadership election processes, incentive with getting other candidates elected, i.e. leader gets elected by MPs and candidates – No (No)
  • Use of social media professionally, Facebook/Youtube and more – Yes (No)
  • Use of email to generate funds/donations – Yes (No)
  • Use of emails to update and encourage support – Yes (No)
  • Professional by election team – Yes (No)
  • Professional candidate selection team, run by Head Office – Yes (No)
  • Hustings and voting at local level for candidates – Yes (No)
  • Candidates standing in most seats – Yes (Yes)
  • Monthly branch meeting, with agenda emailed out before, summary emailed afterwards – No (No)
  • Ways to include local members more, with email updates of news – No (No)
  • Campaigning between elections also, e.g. stalls, canvassing, leaflets – No (No)
  • Part of membership fees returned to branch to grow the branch – No (No)
  • Each constituency has a Facebook and/or website, with how to contact, volunteer, how to donate, including, bank account, where to send cheque, paypal and also a Crowdfunder site – No (No)
  • Branch meetings that are held locally, with location to attract new members, with space for 30 or more activists, and presentations using laptop and screen – No (No)
  • Branches have clearly defined understanding of roles and activities of the candidates, chairman, secretary and treasurer – No (No)
  • More media exposure – Yes (No)
  • Head office prompt response for help/campaign materials/emails – Yes (No)
  • All national and local leaflets and adverts have information on how/where to join – No (No)
  • Getting large donors – Yes (Yes)
  • Having one or more national media supporting – Yes (No)
  • National Executive, Policy Unit and elections to executive – Yes (Yes)
  • Membership team and updates sent to members – Yes (Yes)
  • National Fundraising activities – Yes (Yes)
  • Resource website for candidates and branches for help in winning elections, e.g. My UKIP – Yes (No)

Policies out of 7 – 5 (1)

  • Professionally looking manifesto, easy to read, fully costed – Yes (No)
  • Incremental approach to polices, e.g. EFTA referendum option, as well as In/Out EU referendum, 1 year working visas instead of straight to points system, so helping gain new voters, men and women, and also business support, i.e. avoiding the 100% or nothing approach, 70% of something is better than 100% of nothing – No (No)
  • Addressing root causes in polices, e.g. EU is a symptom of: not having a petition/referendum process, not having a genuine pro-democracy party in parliament and a TV news which is biased – No (No)
  • Easy to understand summary of policies in a leaflet – Yes (No)
  • Simple small card with policies – Yes (No)
  • Getting more policies over to the public – Yes (No)
  • Professional billboards and broadcast that has positive as well as negative approach– Yes (Yes)

Grand total out of 52 – 25 (6) or 48% (12%)

The above are action ideas for UKIP to win an election, as well as other ideas generated. Many cost little or nothing, some – e.g. head office in London – do. Professionalising, and an enormous amount of work, has helped UKIP gain more votes, and 1 MP. To get to 326 MPs – which is a necessary target for people to choose UKIP in the polling booth – new questions, new ideas and new actions need to be looked at. Large improvements have been made, getting to 100% professionalism could help UKIP achieve greater electoral success and government – and restore democracy and prosperity for the people of Britain.

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About Hugo van Randwyck (41 Articles)
Hugo van Randwyck has been researching fast track options for self-government, via EFTA options, including opinion polls. He has business experience in change management and management training.

31 Comments on Professionalising from 12% to 48% has gained UKIP 1 MP, 118 second places – What next?

  1. Hugo van Randwyck // August 18, 2016 at 8:11 am // Reply

    There is a choice of doing things the ‘easy way’ or ‘struggle way’. With UKIP at over 30% in the polls, there is also a chance existing MPs may join UKIP, and grow the party representation in Parliament, before the next election. There are around 150 Brexit MPs in Parliament, so there is potential. Professionalism helps attract people.
    I organised a free public event in Putney, London, to show and talk about EFTA, European Free Trade Association, a vast improvement on EU membership – in 2014. Only delivering 9,000 leaflets, i.e. around a third of the constituency, membership rose by 50% in 2 months. The £450 generated by joining online, went to Head Office, of which the branch got none, 0%, the cheques sent to the local branch, we kept. This does not help local branches expand, if they invest and all the new membership funds are kept centrally! Even 50% returned would help, since without the local effort Head Office wouldn’t have had any new membership funds at all. There are so many counter productive practices, or actions not taken, which are easy to fix.
    The first priority, is for a new leader to publicly aim for PM job after the next election, or why be leader? Then ask local branches, what could be done to get UKIP to 30% in the polls in 6 months – yes a large goal:)
    Some branches have 100 people turning up to their meetings – good customer service for members, interesting new speakers, positive meeting space, pro-active branch committee, wanting to win seats everywhere, professional. They also attract good people to join, so not relying on one person, i.e. developing talent for all kinds of roles. The example I am talking about is Eastbourne, there are others. This link gives an idea of their proactiveness:
    http://www.ukipeastbourne.com/

    There are branches all over the UK which are also professional, and are energising to be a member of.

    • Hugo,
      Speaking from the periphery, I still cannot discern who “pulls the strings” in UKIP, I cannot discern who the warring factions are, I cannot discern who initiates policy, never mind who enunciates it.
      I cannot discern whether there is actually anybody “in charge” or whether there is a hierarchy quietly working away beneath the surface to make it all “come right” (I doubt it)
      I have been invited to a meeting to decide if there should be an EGM in September.; are we likely to get a full explanation of why we need an EGM?, what is its purpose?, will we be presented with an itemised agenda which the EGM will discuss changes which will become “law” within UKIP?
      Which faction is the initiator of the EGM?
      If it is used to define the powers of the new leader, then I don`t mind as long as it is Nigel – he`s the only one who can get UKIP moving forward again! and weld the “squeaky cleans” with the” mucky street fighting Grass Rooters” into an united populist people`s army
      Remember its the sin of “populism” we are most guilty of.

  2. Hugo van Randwyck // August 17, 2016 at 5:02 pm // Reply

    I have helped many companies, and organisations, with growth and leadership training, some over 250% in 6 months. Growing UKIP is easy, the demand for the UKIP policies is huge. A new leader setting a goal of 30% in the polls in 6 months (yes, is achievable), is likely to help focus branch attention on winning and growing membership. The best practices for growing UKIP are in many branches and can be shared.
    A new leader, public stating that UKIP aims to form the next government after the next election, or be part of the government, is realistic with professionalising.
    People invest, if they see a return, and good leadership is essential. A shadow Cabinet is possible, even without enough MPs – who says you need to be an MP to be a Shadow Cabinet member? It is possible to meet via conference calls, as well, on a weekly basis, by video and also phone – as a start. 50% of something, is better than 100% of nothing. Continuous improvement 🙂
    Look at the other parties, do you really believe their policies would be better for the UK?
    UKIP being the change, with a new leader, setting the pace, can help energise and grow the party.
    The focus has now moved from winning the referendum to having a new pro-democracy party in Parliament, with good policies, i.e. for benefiting the majority, not the cartels in banking, business, finance, media and unions.

  3. A very interesting article. It’s my feeling that Shadow Ministers – Chancellor and Home Affairs would help voters know who they were voting for, otherwise Spokesmen/women (sorry hate Spokespersons) would probably do the job?
    Media Advisors conjure up pictures of Campbell – so I hope not. I wonder whether we need professionals, we just need people who speak for UKIP to come across as professional and well versed in party policy, surely.
    I think at the moment, when let’s face it we don’t have much spare cash, above all we need a Leader loyal to the aims and policies of UKIP, and candidates and members loyal to the Leader, whoever that is. It is my humble belief that the other parties have clearly shown how factions and infighting sap energy and focus, and we must hope that a Leader will be surrounded by a loyal and focused team, which is why the letter the other day with the pledge was so important to me.

  4. “Many cost little or nothing” is far from obvious. The party is reduced to skeleton support staff and UKIP’s further development does require secure funding for staff and premises costs alone. At present we appear to be losing members with many on social media announcing they are not renewing. One patron in my branch has put his cheque book away. The current spate of leaks and smear campaigns are not helping the party’s image at all. I believe party officials and the leadership candidates know there is much to be done but without serious improvement in funding it is all wishful thinking. The party needs more permanent support staff – it really does – to carry out a variety of functions and that does not cost little or nothing. Funding needs a significant increase in membership numbers first. Lets get a theoretically sound structure first then seek new members is to approach the party’s problems the wrong way round. We need to stop competing with the Labour Party for the factionalism of the year award otherwise recruitment will fail. Such a pity the captain and his lieutenants did not stay to lead a recruitment drive then walk away at the same time.

  5. Hugo I really like your article. As a new member I see it giving a snapshot of where UKIP is now.
    I strongly support your idea of a ‘shadow cabinet’. Not a real one of course, not possible with one MP!
    Nonetheless I think UKIP should be assigning responsibility to individuals able to write press releases and speak (generate YouTube videos) both positive and negative relating to current existing portfolios in government. This would provide practice, opportunities for training and assessment of performance. It would give us credibility with the electorate and perhaps save us the embarrassment of getting new MP’s into parliament who perform badly or do absolutely nothing.

    Clearly this would need to be built up slowly and should not detract from efforts at the local council level.

  6. Professionalism, not just in the sense of beng paid for it, but actually showing we are on top of any subject or circumstance that politics and life throws at us.
    Amateurism is about keen and enthusiastic volunteers, giving of their best, but maybe requiring some finessing and guidance?
    We can still be real and local and say what we mean, but without the unbalanced bias and basis for a good argument case. The unintended consequences are also being forgotten, such as being sucked into the system by not challenging the motives of some of the cannon fodder, elected to Parliament.

  7. There is a most pressing need for training of members at branch level.

    We will not progress to where we want to be until we have training in:

    Canvassing – its role in getting voters out by knocking up;

    Production of newsletters/leaflets;

    The importance of getting teams of leafletters, on an organised basis so no areas are duplicated and no areas missed;

    Fund-raising to meet the costs of a campaign;

    Candidates who want to win – and training for them;

    Media relations;

    The need to build membership so we can do more fund-raising, find more council candidates, produce and deliver more leaflets and canvass more (including keeping canvass returns for knocking-up purposes).

    The above is just a start. Head Office seems very reluctant to provide training but it is grassroots activity that will result in seats on local councils – and that is the start to challenging at a parliamentary level.

    Training need not cost much.

  8. The author has missed out on the single most important part…

    Without records through tellers and canvassing of local support any campaign is going to be scattergun.

    How can we accurately identify our demographics and hotspots without data? Poring over results after an election is simply too late.

    I suspect most branches don’t even have rudimentary records.

    As we enter the era of big data our opponents will merely pull further ahead if we do not embrace technology.

    • Hugo van Randwyck // May 10, 2015 at 12:17 am // Reply

      Yes, you are right.
      I am also limited to how many words, so have left out other ideas as well. Yes, canvassing, computer software, running surveys locally, also having local branch constitution available online would help, also having overseas UKIP branches, for postal voting and also for fundraising.
      There are many areas. Any successful organisation does continuous training – not just football teams – it works and pays dividends. This is what I also meant by the Party Leader and Shadow cabinet being role models in how their branch operates, running a professional branch in all areas, is important.

      • Postal voting simply doesn’t work in many places overseas owing to the time taken for deliveries. Overseas branches are probably a good idea, but members need an effective way of voting.

        This is probably best facilitated by the various British Embassies acting as collection points / polling stations but would still require some method of voting remotely.

        • Lots of expats have left due to not liking how the country is going, I would have thought efforts to solicit funds from them would pay rather well.

          Not sure whether this has been persued by the party though…

    • Fully agreed. Also, all branches must recognise that next year’s campaign (Local elections) starts NOW and act accordingly.

    • Absolutely spot on. Some members are involved because their branch is local. For others like myself there is no chance of doing anything for the party. Why? Scotland branch is a huge area. Apart from a couple of contacts at the top I do not know if there is another UKIP member within 50 miles so how can we organise. All I am is a UKIP voter who donates £30. Apart from this site (which I discovered via another non UKIP website) my only news is in the media. Feeling left out? I am and I bet I’m not alone.

      • It is difficult for UKIP members in Scotland, but please don’t feel alone. You can keep in touch on this site and express your views on any topic. I know that you have only one MEP in the whole of Scotland, but he’s a heavy hitter! Scottish Kippers are especially brave and valuable members and we’re glad to hear from you, William.

        • My main point is, as hinted at in a post above, why can’t members even know about other members i.e. local records available to members only. If branches cannot organise then the members cannot engage. It is no use telling us to get out and campaign when we don’t even know each other.

      • Hugo, forgive me if I have missed something here; I grant you loads of management tweaking is necessary and doable, probably as in many organisations and what is really necessary is all the members and helpers being sold on a common purpose to implement it.
        But with the best will in the world, I am finding it hard to discern or work out what is the UKIP post BRexit mission.
        I understand UKIP is responsible for a sizeable chunk of 17 million odd votes and somehow all those must be utilised to ensure what I term TOTAL BRexit – but, to date, I see no sign of our utilisation or organisation of these people.(If we don`t do something soon we will lose them – how about re-erecting our market stalls and giving out “thank you stickers – plus personal info of course – but level with them and show their pkace in the scheme of things))
        We cannot hope to prevent the government acting with bad faith unless they “FEEL” Grass Roots is fully mobilised against their inherent xenophobia (love and idealisation of the EU )- they`ve imbibed it with their mother`s milk many of them -( that`s what they went to Uni for – a political career slanted to and by the EU and in essence they have been groomed)
        They may mouth the words “BRexit means BRexit”, but until the Remainians understand that they are the ones out of step, they are the ones who have been wrong for years and they have a responsibility to the Nation to confess and renounce their sins, we are not going to get anywhere either practically or politically.(EUism/mania has also got to be eradicated from the education system, the teachers, the Universities, local government, industry etc)
        Hugo, in your comment of 5.02pm you say we need a “new” democratic party in parliament.
        Yes! I agree with you, but to wait for 2020 is far too late.
        I believe it is there now , the collection of present MPs (cross party) who followed the Leave.eu and GOooooooooo campaign, primarily organised by UKIP, but open to people like Gisela Stewart and Frank Field and even Michael Gove who argues there should be a points based immigration system.
        But let`s get such a group weaving NOW,meeting and acting within parliament as an entity, even if there is no formal floor crossing at this stage.
        I would also feel better pleased if Nigel was included in the negotiating team (what happened to the petition, I heard there were 60k plus signatures a month or so ago).
        This group can be the basis of the “New Look” UKIP for the 2020GE, but should already be formalised for the next Council election, County and By elections.
        “Old” UKIP was and must still be a revolutionary pressure group
        “New” UKIP and GOooooo must be a peaceful united democratic group dedicated to making BRexit work for the greater wellbeing and prosperity of ALL the British people including Grassrooters of all and no political persuasions.
        So that to me is the PURPOSE Hugo, can you adapt your plan to ensuring it is a success?
        I cannot for the life of me see anybody other than Nigel with the presence, nous and guts to be able to put anything together.
        Better roll his sleeves up and shave off the “tash”! and come off the fence and start kicking some life into this moribund corpse (well at least this load of headless chickens)

  9. I’m in two minds about this.
    Some ‘professionalisation’ may be worthwhile, but others – such as ‘shadow cabinet’ and all that simply are not feasible because we have only one MP right now.
    Some, such as help with gearing up communication between branch members and indeed branches are important and well worthwhile, especially as some younger (age-wise, that is) members do want and expect this.
    However, too much ‘training’, down to local council candidate level, will be counter-productive, because people, especially locally, vote for us exactly because we are not ‘like the others’.
    So – I’m in two minds …

    • I think that the ‘shadow cabinet’ is an absolute necessity; otherwise voters wonder who is going replace, for example, George Osborne. Maybe they fear the appointment of a rank amateur (not that Osborne had a particularly relevant background). I know on recent performance that we are way off having to appoint government ministers but voters need to understand that we have suitably qualified people in place as well as a sensible manifesto.

      Even without an outright win there is the possibility of elected party members taking ministerial positions in a coalition, or even as shadow ministers. We could hardly do worse than the likes of Balls, Clegg and Cable.

      All they see now is a great manifesto but no plan for implementation.

      • Hugo van Randwyck // May 12, 2015 at 9:56 pm // Reply

        Thank you. Yes, the shadow cabinet is the implementation team. They can still need to be elected, this could help them get elected as local people could see what influence they could have in a government.

    • I thought the published list of Spokesbodies was supposed to be more or less the shadow cabinet now

  10. UKIP have taken Thanet council.

  11. “Professionalization” seems to be another name for compromising UKIP’s core policy and converting it to just another establishment party.

    • Yes, I also got that feeling from many of the points made in that article.

      • Hugo van Randwyck // May 10, 2015 at 12:10 am // Reply

        The ‘compromising’ party got 330 MPs. The party – UKIP – in favour of Out in an In/Out referendum, got 1 MP. To make any changes. UKIP needs 326 MPs. How many laws will Labour be able to pass with over 200 MPs? Likely zero. Being practical and going for an incremental approach has worked for the Pro-EU parries, we can learn from their success formula. If UKIP had offered the public 2 referendums EFTA/Single Market with 1 year working visas for Eastern Europeans, with a points system for staying longer, and also an In/Out in 2017, could we now have 100 MPs and more donors and activists?

    • Professionalism in any business enhances its ability to compete; it does not have to compromise its core values and culture.

      • I suppose we’ll see.
        In my experience, “professionalism” is just a way for people without much ability getting forward.

        • To be professional requires training, experience, support and attitude. It means being better than you were before, whatever your previous abilities. That’s got to be a good thing.

          • But there are so many meaningless buzzwords going around, and the business community seems responsible for most of them … second only to the education profession.

      • It just sounds like meaningless jargon to me.
        And the use of meaningless jargon is what the establishment relies on.

      • The CEO’s of for example British banks were and are “professionals”, but it did not stop them from nearly destroying their banks or indeed nearly the whole country in their zeal for personal greed. Professionalism also has to be accompanied by principles, trustworthiness and respecting others opinions. Nigel Farage, in my humble opinion embodied all those assets, probably without any “training”. Can that be said of other well paid so called professionals in UKIP?

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