UKIP will not pose a huge threat to Labour in Luton at next year’s general election, according to MP Kelvin Hopkins.
Last week UKIP polled 10,978 votes in Luton for the EU election– taking 28% of the town’s overatll vote.
The result was a meteoric rise for the party, which mustered just 3% of the town’s vote in 2010.
National trends were also reflected as the Lib Dems plummeted from 17% to 4% of the Luton vote– placing the party fifth behind the Greens.
UKIP’s showing hacked away support for the Conservatives from 30% to 16% but despite the spike Luton North MP Kelvin Hopkins expects the anti-EU party to remain a small fry in the town at the 2015 general election.
He told Luton News: “It is expected that UKIP will decline next year while the major parties will rise in percentage terms.
“For me it was surprising that they beat the Conservatives in Luton, who dropped in votes considerably.
“Just over 20 years ago the Conservatives had a big majority on the council and now they are in a poor place– it shows a significant change in Luton.”
In the 2010 general election UKIP failed to make any ground, polling fourth in Luton North and sixth in Luton South.
Mr Hopkins expects a largely unchanged picture next year.
He said: “UKIP focused their campaigning on EU elections and will do better in those than in national elections.
“They will get votes but it will be a significant decline in the general election.
“Nationally it will be a choice between a Labour government or a Conservative government and minds will be focused on this.
“Low turnouts traditionally benefit the Conservatives but we are hoping the turnout will double from the EU election.
“We take nothing for granted and will work hard to gain both seats again.”