I WOULD very much like to address some of the points raised by Tahlia Ridley in her letter (Mail, February 12).
A random survey of 171 people, out of an electorate of 70,000, showing Nigel Farage as most popular leader in the town (31 per cent) could never be considered as “scientific”.
However, when recent election results are examined, there is very much a consistency of real opinion as to UKIP’s popularity in the town.
For example in the European elections of 2014, which UKIP won nationally, figures for Hartlepool and the North-East bear comparison.
In the Hartlepool constituency UKIP topped the poll, beating Labour by 1,500 votes.
In the NE region it took 177,660 votes (29 per cent) and gained our first MEP in the North East.
On the same date in the Hartlepool local elections we contested nine out of the 11 wards, won two of these seats and came second in all of the others.
In the nine wards this equated to an average of 30 per cent, while Labour’s share was 31 per cent across all 11 wards.
As for the inference that the UKIP conference was a closed shop and “no-one saw them” I can only inform you that the event was extensively publicised and it was made abundantly clear that the event was open to the public.
There was ample opportunity to attend by anyone wishing to ask questions or just satisfy their curiosity as to UKIP’s policies.
As for the allusion that UKIP does not make contact with real people, I can inform you that over the last seven to eight months, in support of our General Election candidate, Phillip Broughton, we have delivered more than 80,000 leaflets.
A similar volume will drop through letterboxes between now and May.
Concurrent with this exercise, Phillip and his canvassing team have knocked on thousands of doors and spoken to many “real people”.
If Tahlia would like a UKIP spokesman to address her A-Level politics class to expand on our policies, all she has to do is contact me.
I will arrange a high-profile speaker to come and talk to them, whereupon they can ask as many questions as they like.
I can be contacted on (01429) 223754, or email me on firstname.lastname@example.org.
I’ll happily oblige.
Hartlepool branch secretary,