It’s now clear that Paul Nuttall made a mistake in allowing himself to be hyped into the Stoke by election, partly by the media and also by Farage/Banks. (Remember that Nigel has never had the cojones to be a candidate in a by election) Paul should have brushed off the “frit” nonsense and let a local face stand – the result would then have been seen in a different light. At present May is riding a Brexit wave because she is not perceived as a con man like Cameron…which is why the Tories did well in Stoke. What everyone seems to conveniently forget is that Nigel lost at Thanet in 2015 for a similar reason – Tories were nervous about the possibility of a Miliband/Sturgeon majority in the Commons so UKIP were not able to siphon off those crucial votes and Nigel lost by a much larger margin than John Bickley did in the Heywood by election in 2014
Paul’s task is to rebuild the party from the mess left by two years of civil war so that it is ready for the next opportunity. Political energy should be concentrated on the target areas and educating the electorate, using the 2015 manifesto as a framework for policy. Selling this should be a collegiate task using as many voices as possible. This was a disappointment not a defeat. Hysterical overstatements should be avoided. Additionally it should be recalled that Nigel has tried to become an MP several times and always failed so his implied criticism of Paul was not only untimely but also a tad laughable……..