Ukip Candidate: The Future is Purple

We were once told ‘the future is orange’ but Ukip’s new candidate for Eastleigh, Patricia Culligan, predicts it will be purple in 2015.

Last week the businesswoman and mum of three was selected by Eastleigh Ukip members to go one better than Diane James in the 2013 by-election when Ukip came a close second.

At the time James said she would be back to contest Eastleigh in the 2015 General Election so it was a surprise when she withdrew from the selection process.

James,who is now also a South East Regional MEP and the Ukip Home affairs spokesman, released a public statement saying

“There are some extremely strong candidates locally, who have a far better claim to represent the people of Eastleigh than I do.”

But in the event Eastleigh’s Ukip’rs chose Culligan, another Surrey resident, over Fair Oak county councilor and local man Martin Lyons.

Mrs. Culligan told me “I don’t want to people to think I’m some rich bitch from Surrey who has been parachuted in” and was anxious to stress that although she didn’t actually live in the area she was still close – five minutes from the Hampshire border -and she had good local business connections having previously worked here.

A Redhill postcode didn’t seem to dent her predecessor’s prospects at all and in any case Culligan said she also had experience of Crewe – which is also a former railway town.

“But Eastleigh is nicer… I’m so looking forward to moving here.”

Earlier in the year Nigel Farage had also been mooted as a potential candidate for Eastleigh after he hinted he was looking at a seat in Hampshire, as was Ray Finch who was previously the candidate here in 2010 and is now an MEP and County councilor.

Culligan strongly denied that the withdrawal of Ukip ‘big hitters’ meant that Ukip thought that this a ‘target seat’ they could no longer win following their failure to take any of the council’s wards from the Lib Dems in last May’s local elections.

Culligan said that Farage was always going to stand in Thanet and said she was serious about winning Eastleigh.

As she is sixth on the Ukip MEP list, if Farage wins a seat in in the General Election along with Janice Atkinson, Diane James or Ray Finch they would have to resign from the EU Parliament and Culligan would become a South East MEP by default (a situation she describes as ‘a win-win for Eastleigh’ ) but she said she is not prepared to simply sit and wait for that to happen – she is, she says, determined to represent Eastleigh at Westminster.

Culligan was born and educated in Manchester attending the central grammar school and obtaining a degree in literature and history at Manchester University.

She says she is in favour of selective education describing her own grammar school experience as “a wonderful ladder from a very ordinary humble background.”

University tuition fees should be scrapped, she said, to allow access but believed there was a place for non-vocational degrees.

Previous Ukip policy documents on education have suggested that free university education would mean fewer places and Culligan said there should be the “right number of places” but added that fee paying overseas students – an important source of revenue for universities – should still have access to higher education in the UK.

Culligan said she had worked in ‘millions of jobs’ but her experience as a doorstep seller and as a TV presenter on a home shopping channel will surely stand her in good stand on the campaign trail.

A Ukip member told me that the local party had been impressed with her presentation skills at the selection husting’s and during her interview with Eastleigh News she was able to maintain a steady stream of sound bites.

When Ukip held a rally at Fleming Park last May, Culligan had been the ‘warm up act’ for Diane James and Nigel Farage and her speech on the theme ‘Ukip welcomes immigrants’ – a surprising twist on the chants of the protestors outside the venue – had gone down well with the audience.

I asked Culligan if she could clarify her position on immigration and she said Ukip welcomes:

“All migrants, wherever they’re from, whatever their creed, whatever their colour – it’s irrelevant – as long as they are coming to Britain to integrate, to contribute via a points based system and not en masse, unregulated and not just from Europe alone.

I believe in worldwide immigration so we get the skilled people that we need and we can accept other people – we’ve got a demographic issue for the future- we are aware of that – but it is so uncontroversial to have a points based system that is used successfully in so many other countries.

That’s all that Ukip wants. We should have that anyway, but of course it’s impossible if we remain members of the European Union because they control our borders – we don’t control them. Therefore any number of migrants will come to this country and have complete parity of demand on all of our services.

You don’t have to be genius to see that’s just something a small island like Britain cannot sustain in terms of a decent quality of lifestyle for everybody here now. “

She currently co-runs her own business with her husband serving the oil and gas industry so it shouldn’t be a surprise that she opposes government subsidies to wind farms but nevertheless says she believes that private sector green energy initiatives have a role in an integrated energy strategy.

“Ukip are not against green issues but we are not prepared to throw a lot of money away on wind farms which should be erected by entrepreneurs willing to take the risk.”

Culligan says that although not previously politically active – she has been a member of Ukip for two years – she used to vote Labour and believes she can connect with Labour supporters in Eastleigh who share her disillusionment with the direction the party embarked on with ‘New Labour’.

In Eastleigh in previous elections, the Liberal Democrats have successfully relied on squeezing the Labour vote ‘to keep the Tories out’.

Culligan thinks there are still wavering labour supporters in the town that can be won over to the Ukip cause – interestingly there are signs the Lib Dems will be squeezing both the Labour and Conservative vote ‘to keep Ukip out’.

Culligan said she was a strong believer in ‘social justice’ and had experience as a qualified social worker and probation officer.

If elected she said she would be happy to work with the Borough’s current Lib Dem administration because an MP represent all the people of Eastleigh “not just those who voted for you.”

Although campaign manifestoes have not yet been published Mrs. Culligan said she expected the Ukip manifesto would have:

“A commitment to making sure that everybody has a decent lifestyle in the UK – wherever they are from, that matters an awful lot to me.”

Here is the full audio interview with Patricia Culligan:

  19 comments for “Ukip Candidate: The Future is Purple

  1. James Penders
    September 13, 2014 at 10:12 am

    Oh jesus, do we need to put up with this trash again?

    • Wiz
      September 13, 2014 at 12:05 pm

      What’s up Jim, is it all too much for you?

  2. Rob Neill
    September 13, 2014 at 10:28 am

    Go Patricia!!
    Like James – I used to be bitter and twisted, and then I saw the light which is UKIP and can’t wait for May 2015!

  3. Graham
    September 13, 2014 at 12:07 pm

    UKIP Eastleigh has never been stronger. Can someone remind Mike Thornton to close the door on his way out!

  4. Bolshie Betty
    September 13, 2014 at 1:23 pm

    Wow, UKIP’s Patricia Culligan is an fantastic advocate for the change that the party is now bringing to Britain. The Lib Dems just scraped in at the last by-election in Eastleigh with just 1,771 votes ahead of UKIP. But the Lib Dems have since been routed nearly out of existence in the European Elections in May with UKIP winning the national vote, pushing Labour into second and the Tories into third place. Is it any wonder that punters suspect that UKIP will storm home in Eastleigh in the General Election next May?

    Patricia Culligan is right of course, all the Westminster parties have betrayed our resident workers. The question that all socially responsible people should be asking is, “With European immigration adding 243,000 adults alone to Britain’s population every year and one in four of all British jobs now being taken by immigrants, why should our workers and tradesmen have their job prospects and businesses ruined by this relentless foreign competition? Horrendously one in four of all children born in Britain today are to migrants. We need to leave the EU immediately to remove the open door policy that is leading to this unsustainable and unforgivable situation.


    • September 20, 2014 at 1:52 pm

      Isn’t it a good thing that people who choose to live here have children? Otherwise we have the prospect of an ageing population with insufficient young people to generate the wealth needed to look after their elders?

  5. Jim
    September 13, 2014 at 3:31 pm

    This article highlights the fact that Only UKIP can beat the Lib Dems.

    Although UKIP never managed to take Borough seats back in May, UKIP have moved into 2nd place Borough wide.
    Look at Eastleigh South ward for example.

    FACT: in 2010 LibDem Steve Sollitt won by a landslide. He came in 1st with over 1000 votes ahead of his nearest competitor.

    FACT: in 2014, UKIPs Jim Saunders (A local entrepreneur, and employer who’s not a career politician) came second in Eastleigh south just 84 votes behind Steve!

    Jim narrowed Steves lead from over 1000 to just 84!

    FACT: The People of Eastleigh are now calling for change and the only party that can possibly bring that change is UKIP. A vote for Conservative or Labour here in Eastleigh is only going to help the Lib Dems to continue their joyride!


    Stop asking “why do Eastleigh people keep voting for the LibDems” and vote against them. You must vote for a party that can actually beat them or it wont work. Again a vote for Labour or the Cons will just help LibDems. It is really that simple.

    • Ross (ex Labour)
      September 13, 2014 at 3:49 pm

      What you are basically saying is: If all those people who vote Labour and Conservative hoping that the LibDems will be replaced stopped and thought about it, they would realise that they need to get behind UKIP who can actually replace the Libs?

      Makes sense!

      • rigel
        September 28, 2014 at 10:03 am

        But… I would consider voting Lib Dem to stop UKIP getting in…… because their policies are so daft ,

        we need immigration , the EU is not a problem, if we leave it we are still in it…..

        UKIP are a coalition between city bankers and essex boys which attract all the xenophobes inbetween

  6. September 15, 2014 at 10:35 pm

    Although Culligan says she would work with the Lib Dems, I wonder if the converse is also true…

    • Rose Vasconsella
      September 18, 2014 at 12:15 pm

      The LibDems are without doubt a nasty bunch. They put up this facade of being tolerant and oh so righteous yet the bitter truth is, underneath they are self serving nasty people who look down their long pointy noses at anyone who is not a LibDem or dares to question their self certified intellectual superiority.
      That is the truth!
      The only way to free Eastleigh from Keith Houses Dictatorship is to vote for a party that actually has a chance of defeating the Liars.

      Only UKIP can beat them, that IS the truth. The LibDems, they are running scared!

      • September 19, 2014 at 2:13 pm

        “Long pointy noses”? What on earth does the shape of somebody’s facial features have to do with it? Or is it an indication of the racism, antisemitism and islamophobia that seems to motivate a depressing number of UKIP cheerleaders?

        • Simon
          September 21, 2014 at 5:39 pm

          I picture it as them all standing around a cauldron stirring up their Liberal poison

        • john martin
          September 30, 2014 at 1:01 am

          Oh come on ! . . .I read the pointy nose thing to be Pinnochio related..

          Funny enough, I understand where Rose V is coming from.

          That aside, I support in principle what UKIP Supporters stand for.

          I find it amazing that an ignorant ill informed assessment of what UKIP people believe can be described in such offensive terms.

          I suggest you talk up those you previously stood by i e, the K.House lead Lib-Dems. If you can claim a sense of honour having aligned yourself with that lot, then for you to insult Rosie’s opinions in the way you have is very disappointing.


  7. Jim Saunders
    September 21, 2014 at 5:46 pm

    EU elections of 2014 in Eastleigh, UKIP Came first with 40% of the total Vote. On that same day, UKIP Came second place in all of the following Eastleigh Borough wards:

    Bursledon & Old Netley
    Eastleigh Central
    Eastleigh North
    Eastleigh South
    Fair Oak & Horton Heath
    Hedge End Grange Park
    Hedge End St Johns
    Hedge End Wildern
    West End North
    West End South

    You could say that there is certainly a very large number of UKIP Voters here in Eastleigh.

    BUT, The LibDem Leader of EBC had this to say on his facebook wall.

    Keith House – Leader of the Council at Eastleigh Borough Council · 17 May · ..
    “Now then, what is the collective noun for an area with UKIP voters? In my head it’s “an infestation”.”

    Insulting the Electorate, Nice one Keith!

  8. Ks
    September 26, 2014 at 9:55 pm

    UKIP are thatcherites on steroids! Do not listen to their lies (free tuition, where does it say that on their website, has Farage ever mentioned such a thing?), they would make the working class even worse off. Eastleigh has some nice assets they’d love to sell off (national rail etc.)

    • mm
      Eastleigh Xpress
      September 27, 2014 at 1:15 am

      Yes he has talked about free university tuition more than once – the kicker is there will be fewer places but OTOH they are suggesting technical colleges could be revived.

      The 11+, grammar schools, technical colleges, free (but restricted) university education – it looks like an 1970s style educational system is favoured by Ukip but we will have to see what is in the manifesto.

  9. Matthew Myatt
    September 30, 2014 at 9:34 pm

    Interesting to hear her speak about local issues, of which she seems very well informed. Strange how the local lad, Mr Thornton, has avoided talking about the green belt housing and the Eastleigh Link Road.?

  10. October 1, 2014 at 6:52 pm

    People’s rights to see council accounts.
    Every year councils must open their accounting records for the
    previous financial year for members of the public to inspect. The
    public can look at accounts over a set period of time (lasting 20
    working days) usually after June, once the accounts have been
    finalised. People have the right to review the council’s accounts
    and also “all books, deeds, contracts, bills, vouchers and receipts
    related to them. This means that people can look at information
    without having to submit Freedom of information (FOI) act request.
    Councils have to make clear their websites when their accounts
    can be checked by the public.

Comments are closed.