However, when one looks more closely at the figures, it was a hollow victory.
In 2009, Mid Sussex Conservatives received 20,483 votes out of a total of 43,009. This equated to 47.6% of the vote.
In 2013, Mid Sussex Conservatives received 13,874 votes out of a total of 32,808. This equated to 42.2% of the vote.
In other words, between 2009 and 2013, 6,609 or nearly a third of those people who had voted Conservative, stopped voting Conservative.
Now compare and contrast that experience with UKIP’s phenomenal progress in Mid Sussex:
In 2009, UKIP stood in just 3 seats and received 1,106 votes out of 10,506. This equated to 10.5% of the vote
In 2013, UKIP stood in all 12 seats and received 7,882 votes out of 32,808. This equated to 24.0% of the vote
In other words, between 2009 and 2013, 6,776 more people started voting UKIP and our share of the vote more than doubled, to where 1 in 4 voters are voting UKIP. This resulted in UKIP winning 10 seats on West Sussex County Council to form the official opposition and achieving a further 50 2nd places, 12 of which were here in Mid Sussex.
And UKIP have by no means peaked. In 2014 UKIP are widely expected to beat the Conservatives, to win the national European elections.
UKIP should then, building on their victories in the 2014 European elections, the 2013 County Council elections, be clearly qualified to participate in the televised General Election debates of 2015, with their engaging, popular and straight talking Leader, Nigel Farage.
Nigel Farage will also run to be an MP in 2015, which even under the first past the post system, should ensure UKIP’s much anticipated breakthrough, into Parliament.