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UKIP – new leadership structure

 

How is it that after winning 52% in a referendum, the party that has consistently proposed it, has no seats after a General Election, about a year after?

Answer: poor leadership and processes and training. The current system is designed to pre-empt entryism and takeover by people who are anti-democracy. However the side effect is that at elections the party doesn’t win MPs in order to make the laws the country needs and are supported by opinion polls. There could be an October election, or at least an election within five years. There is a need for a genuine pro-democracy party in Parliament.

The suggestions below are linked to starting with the answer:

  • After the next election, 326+ UKIP MPs
  • UKIP Prime Minister and Cabinet
  • Possible membership of 250,000+ (around 400 per branch)
  • The majority of councils run by UKIP

Some suggestions:

Party Leader election:

From:

the members elect a leader, with candidates putting up a £5,000 deposit. Four year term.

To:

the PPCs elect the party leader using the Supplementary Vote system, a first and second choice, i.e. PR.  (The PPCs are elected by local branches, vetted by Head Office and are also elected every three months.)

the PPCs give feedback on performance, every three months, with vote options No = 49% support, Maybe =50 to 59%, Yes = 60%+ support. This allows the PPCs to let the leader know, with a ‘Maybe’ vote that he or she needs to improve, or in three months’ time, they may vote ‘No’;

Every three months, those members who have paid sufficient membership fees can also vote on the leader’s performance, using Yes, Maybe and No as above. If the members vote ‘No’ by a majority, then the PPCs need to elect a new leader;

when UKIP is 20%+ in the polls, then elections are held every six months; when 30%+, every 12 months – an incentive for growth;

if a current party leader is given a majority ‘No’ vote, then an election for a new leader is held within three weeks.

Benefit:

  • The PPCs have an interest in choosing a leader who will help them get elected and provide the branch support and professionalism needed;
  • The PPCs have some status, and this helps encourage skilled people to become PPCs since they have a say;
  • Even after an election and with UKIP having MPs, all MPs and PPCs vote, so keeping the leader as a national party;
  • PPCs have a day to day feel of how the party is being led, how the leader promotes on merit, develops a shadow cabinet, helps with training, media skills and is working towards 326+ UKIP MPs, the figure needed to implement the manifesto;
  • The doers are given more of a voice.

NEC: (currently 15 members)

From:

members currently vote for NEC members;

To:

The same approach for leader – using the Supplementary Vote system, every three months the party chairman is voted by branch chairmen, the treasurer by branch treasurers, general secretary by branch secretaries, and members who have paid sufficient membership fees can give a Yes, Maybe, or No vote. This voting would give three seats on the NEC;

the other 12 are made up of an organiser from each region, voted for every three months by organisers in the region using the Supplementary Vote;

The party leader, who should also be a member, can be voted for every three months, using the same system, by those members who have paid an additional membership fee.

Benefit:

  • those people, who, on a day to day basis, work with the party chairman, treasurer, general secretary and organiser, are well placed to see if they are delivering, or just good at PR;
  • encourages skilled people to be more involved and look for positions in local branches and be active;
  • Organisers are in a good position to know about what has been, and what is not, working for success in elections and also in their region.

I would suggest that before the members receive postal ballot papers, and vote on supporting or not, the three month results of PPCs, chairmen, treasurers, secretaries and organisers are made public, so they also can see who is supported, in case they are being swayed by poor media coverage against skilled people.

Local branches:

From:

electing PPCs, chairmen, treasurer, secretary and organiser every three years

To:

electing PPCs, chairmen, treasurer, secretary and organiser every three months;

using similar Supplementary Vote system and three months’ feedback, Yes, Maybe, No;

those members who pay additional membership fees can receive a postal ballot, others can turn up for the branch election meeting;

add an additional candidate option ‘More choice please’, which could encourage new people to stand for election at local branches;

Electing a shadow local council leader who also has a vote of confidence every three months;

Candidates for each ward are voted in by local ward members, using the Single Transferable Vote.

Benefit

  • encouraging active branch activities, professionalising, building teams, volunteers, fundraising, developing ways to win local and general elections

Shadow cabinet:

From:

none at the moment

To:

each county elects a leader from amongst the PPCs;

the county leader puts together a county shadow cabinet based on the cabinet ministries in Parliament;

The national party leader chooses a shadow cabinet from among the PPCs – likely by shadow ministry in each county;

The county shadow ministers vote every three months using similar system, i.e. Supplementary Vote, on performance of relevant national shadow cabinet minister, e.g. education votes for education – the vote opinion could well also include relevant manifesto policy support.

Benefit:

  • Career progression for active PPCs and opportunity to make a difference and get elected.

The above suggestions, can go a long way in energising the grassroots ‘doers’ with real power and also incentivises good people to stand at national level. When voting for people, the question can be asked on their actions ‘How does this help UKIP get 326+ MPs after the next election?’ 

The party – and democracy – needs re-energising. Giving the ‘doers’ and people who are working in branches all over the country a voice and a quick ability to replace non-performers, and give positive feedback on good performance, may be better way for the party to succeed electorally.

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About Hugo van Randwyck (38 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.

10 Comments on UKIP – new leadership structure

  1. Until the NEC is elected on a regional basis ( so that there can be local Hustings which all members have a reasonable chance, in practice, of attending ) the NEC will not be as representative / responsive as it needs to be ( this is in no wise a criticism of the current NEC members , just how it is ~ they get elected because of name recognition, largely ).

    This simple reform might have some chance of getting through.

    Certainly we should be campaigning loud and non stop for PR. I advocated that we should have mounted a legal argument to the effect that the Government was acting illegally in refusing to appoint any working peerages for UKIP after the 2015 vote.

    There is much we could be doing but which we are not doing. Unfortunately the vote tally on 8 June has not helped.

  2. “We should keep on banging on about PR until we get it instituted”. Some may be unaware that at 2.30pm this Saturday, 24th June, the organisation “Make Votes Matter” are holding a free bring-a-picnic garden party opposite Parliament with numerous speakers from across the political spectrum. See their website of the same name for details.

  3. Hugo van Randwyck // June 19, 2017 at 5:30 pm // Reply

    Hello CitzenKain, yes, any county could start anytime, even now. No need for anything from the NEC.
    Hello Rob, as you point out, UKIP could do with faster reaction times, as slow reactions demotivate members. Many of the ideas could be started without any approval, even on a trial basis, so people can see how they work, perhaps before voting on any changes.
    Hi Rob P., any PPC which doesn’t send in a voting reply could be listed as ‘not voted’ and a signal to a local branch to find another candidate who is able to simple administration. I’m not sure it is too bureaucratic, since there coudl only be a maximum of 650 PPCs to vote on the Party Leader, similar for General Secretary and also Treasurer, and also Organisers. Compared to voting by each member for a leader, 20,000+. Also shareholders in a business vote each year to keep the board or not. and also people are quite happy to vote each week for TV shows, it is a matter of motivation for people – hopefully attracting energising people.
    With PR, there was a referendum and it was comprehensively defeated. It seems voters like to be able to through out a government and have a link to a constituency – this is what the customer wants. Letting each constituency decide what type of system, FPTP or Supplementary vote, is a start, and may be enough, as we have seen in a number of by elections, UKIP coming 2nd. It also helps people have practice voting for the party they really prefer, either in the first or second choice. FPTP is actually an easy system to get elected, since around 60% of people vote and you need around 35% of those voters, i.e. 20% of the available electorate to vote you in. If a party cannot convince 1 in 5 people to get elected, perhaps a party needs to improve their performance, in all areas.
    I have done many turnarounds in business, and I am motivated by professionalism and speed of decision making. I have helped companies do in 3 to 6 months, what they could do in 5 years, even help companies grow 10% a week – so I see UKIP has huge opportunities for improvement.

    • Hugo, I’m afraid you misunderstood me. Our two local PPCs, for Norwich North and Norwich South, COULDN’T register this GE because the damn Regional Nomination officer failed to send the paperwork in time.

      On Proportional Representation, NO, you’re wrong – the referendum was for AV, which everything I’ve heard about is worse even than FPTP. There was no way Cameron was going to agree with Clegg who sensibly wanted a PR vote, Cameron knew his party would be in trouble that way, and like the idiot he is, Clegg agreed to an AV vote. I know what’s going to happen – lots of people are going to say what you just said, thnking we had a vote on PR, but we DIDN’T.such an excuse is tailor made to get the Tory party off the hook.

      FPTP isn’t an easy system to get elected, the number of seats you get bears little relation to your popular vote tally. Otherwise, how come UKIP polled more than SNP and LD combined in 2015 but ended up with ONE MP? It all depends HOW the votes are distributed! Ours were spread evenly across the country, so in each seat we came second against Labour or Tory typically. Is it any wonder that polling companies are effectively doing little more than taking a guess based on general popularity of each party.

      The UK Independence Party is not a business corporation and the voting public are not customers – I reject that. It is a group of likeminded people determined to do whatever they can to improve the future prospects of Great Britain. We persuaded people that Brexit was in the countries best interests and we can do the same with Proportional Representation.

  4. Hugo, you have clearly put some careful thought into your plan, and if the purpose is to improve vertical communication from top to bottom within UKIP then hats off to you, however I think doing as you suggest on a three monthly basis nationally and locally would be a bureaucratic and costly nightmare for everyone. I mean we have a system where local UKIP PPCs can’t even get their nomination certificates on time, thereby stopping anyone voting for the party in their area.

    I’m not sure if I agree with your definition of PR, this should be Proportional Representation, which is what we should all be banging on and on about from now on, until we get it instituted. Nigel tried this method with an In-Out Referendum and that worked, so why not? I’m not sure what he is doing since becoming Trump’s foreign adviser or whatever, but we need someone currently to go on and on about PR. If such a system were in place at the recent election UKIP would now be sitting on 12 seats in the Commons. With the best will in the world, I am afraid we are wasting our time trying to fight seats under First Past the Post. Under FPTP, we never have A general election, but 650 totally separate elections, people vying to represent geographical constituencies, but the second they are elected they go to Westminster and become part of a numerical tally for their party. With PR, threequarters of UKIP’s general problems would disappear. Plus the not inconsiderable fact that it is arguably the most democratic parliamentary system given we have a party-oriented system of government. Virtually no-one’s vote would be wasted if they choose one of the main national parties, and there are five of them now.

    Every national political party is amenable to PR, even Labour, the glaring exception is the Conservatives, who feel they would lose all chance of a landslide victory and five years ramming their selfish policies down the British people’s throats (followed by ‘The Other Lot’ doing the same when it’s their turn).

    • This is where chapter BB of the party rule book – electronic voting – which I wrote – comes into its own 🤓

    • Hugo van Randwyck // June 20, 2017 at 5:13 pm // Reply

      Hello Rob, Voters tend to vote for a party locally first, before voting for them as an MP. So the best way to help more people vote UKIP, is to go for a PR system locally first, the Single Transferable Vote (STV) can help https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NEb-xU3nCbw
      You may have seen in local election wards ballot papers: 2 Labour 1 UKIP, 2 Conservative 1 UKIP, 2 Green 1 UKIP, 2 Lib Dem 1 UKIP. Spending time working on PR at a local level, is more likely to help change national share in Parliament, and more MPs. The more UKIP councillors and running of Councils there are, the more people can see UKIP as a governing party, and vote more in General Elections.

  5. Thanks, Hugo, but you wouldn’t get the required constitutional change before at least the end of the year for starters…

  6. EXCELLENT
    Some really great ideas well worthy of discussion and research. I am a pragmatist and I would def like to see this be given a trail run at a local/regional level in say Wales or the West Midlands with a report back in 12 months. We need more effective regional meetings for proper studies/discussions of plans etc.
    Of course it may be too late to save UKIP if the NEC goons have their way on the new leadership. We are past the 11th hour “on the 27th Day”.*
    *ON THE 27TH DAY is a bizarre but fascinating anti communist scj fi film starring Gene Barry – if you have not seen it well watch it!!

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