UK Independence Party leadership election, September 2016

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UK Independence Party leadership election, September 2016
Logo of UKIP.svg
← 2010 11 July 2016 (2016-07-11) – 16 September 2016 (2016-09-16)[1] November 2016 →
Turnout 54.5%

  Diane James at Eastleigh.png No image.svg No image.svg
Candidate Diane James Lisa Duffy Bill Etheridge
Running mate Patrick O'Flynn Mike Hookem
Percentage 46.2% 25.1% 13.7%
Popular vote 8,451 4,591 2,052

Candidate Phillip Broughton Elizabeth Jones
Running mate Lawrence Webb
Percentage 8.4% 6.6%
Popular vote 1,545 1,203

Leader before election

Nigel Farage

Leader after election

Diane James

The September 2016 UK Independence Party leadership election was triggered after Nigel Farage, the leader of the UK Independence Party, announced on 4 July 2016, following the Leave result in the UK referendum on EU membership, that he would step down when a new leader took office.[2]

As more than one candidate ran for the party leadership, it was the first contested UKIP leadership election since 2010; Farage won the 2014 leadership election unopposed.[3][4] Diane James won with 8,451 votes.[5] However, just 18 days later, she stepped down as leader and Farage was reinstated as interim leader. A second leadership election was held in November, which was won by Paul Nuttall.


Suggested potential candidates at the time of Nigel Farage's resignation included Paul Nuttall, Steven Woolfe, Suzanne Evans, Diane James, Peter Whittle, Douglas Carswell and Patrick O'Flynn, among others.[6] Farage stated he would not endorse any candidate.[7]

Evans was ineligible at the time, because she had been suspended from the party.[6] She declared that she desired her suspension lifted so that she could stand for the leadership. Evans did not, however, at the time pursue an appeal, which is the only means under the party constitution to lift a suspension.[8][9]

Paul Nuttall announced on 9 July 2016 that he would not stand for the leadership and that he would step down as Deputy Leader of the party.[10]

The party's National Executive Committee (NEC) stated that the position of leader would be advertised online. Anyone wishing to apply would need 50 nominations from party members and would be required to pay a £5,000 fee. There was to be a series of hustings over the summer. Every party member would have a vote, and the winner was to be declared at the party's conference on 15 September.[1][6]

On 10 July 2016 the NEC decided that eligible candidates had to have been members for at least five years, ruling out several possible nominations including Suzanne Evans, Douglas Carswell and Arron Banks;[11] although the NEC later reduced this requirement to two years' membership, potential candidates previously thought to be ineligible did not stand.[12][13] Woolfe, however, was reported to have allowed his membership to lapse for a few months (along with previously failing to declare a conviction from 14 years earlier for being drunk while in charge of a scooter (not drink-driving) when he stood for a police and crime commissioner post, in possible breach of electoral law);[14] the NEC was to decide on his eligibility during final vetting procedures. (The NEC later declared him ineligible, not owing to these issues but because he missed the nomination deadline by 17 minutes).[15][16]

In late July 2016, party chairman Steve Crowther told UKIP Wales Leader Nathan Gill, standing for Deputy Leader on a joint ticket with Woolfe, to stop "double jobbing", i.e. to stand down as an MEP now that he was a member of the Welsh Assembly for North Wales, or instead face having his right to stand for election removed by the party.[17]

At the close of nominations on 31 July 2016, Woolfe missed the deadline for submitting his application by 17 minutes, owing to technical problems; on 3 August, the NEC ruled that this made him ineligible to stand.[16] Three members of the NEC subsequently resigned in protest. The vote was seen in the context of a tension within the party between Farage supporters, backing Woolfe, and the more centrist Evans/Carswell wing.[18]

Two candidates emerged in August only upon the finalisation of candidates: Phillip Broughton, a former parliamentary candidate for Hartlepool;[19] and Diane James, MEP for South East England.[20] Jonathan Arnott later withdrew midway through the contest on 15 August 2016, saying he thought he could only come second and that he was not prepared to "court controversy in order to gain column inches" to be elected Leader.[21]

James was criticised for not attending any hustings events.[22]

Bill Etheridge[edit]

His policy proposals included cheaper beer, better representation for fathers in the family court system and a referendum on bringing back the death penalty.[23] Also amongst his policy proposals were prison reform and a move to save the British public house by reintroducing smoking via the use of efficient extraction systems as used within the European Parliament itself. While in favour of Muslim faith schools and same-sex marriage, he advocates banning the Burka.[24]

Lisa Duffy[edit]

On 8 August she made a speech calling for a shutdown of Muslim schools and Sharia courts and a ban on Islamic full-face veils in public spaces.[25] The remarks were compared to those of Donald Trump. Duffy denied "chasing the bigot vote".[26]





The following people, whether they declared their candidacies or were considered potential candidates, were declared ineligible for various reasons:


The following individuals either declined to stand or were potential candidates who did not stand by the close of nominations:


Lisa Duffy[edit]


Other people

Bill Etheridge[edit]


Diane James[edit]

Other people


Elizabeth Jones[edit]

Other people

  • Lawrence Webb, UKIP candidate for Mayor of London in 2012 (stood for Deputy Leader, on joint ticket with Jones)[29]

Previous endorsements[edit]

Jonathan Arnott[edit]


Other people

Steven Woolfe[edit]

MPs and MEPs

Other people



Nominations opened on 11 July 2016 and closed on 31 July. Campaigning took place in August, with a series of hustings taking place, before ballot papers were issued on 1 September to every party member, with the winner declared at the party's conference on 15 September.[1][6] On 16 September, Diane James was elected leader of the party.

On 4 October 2016, 18 days after being elected, James resigned the party leadership, precipitating another election. Nigel Farage became interim leader.


Diane James was elected Leader with 46% of the vote. However, 18 days later she resigned the leadership, leading to the November 2016 leadership election.

UK Independence Party Leadership election, 2016
Candidate Votes %
Green tickY Diane James 8,451
Lisa Duffy 4,591
Bill Etheridge 2,052
Phillip Broughton 1,545
Elizabeth Jones 1,203
Turnout 17,842 54.5%
Diane James elected as Leader Green tickY

See also[edit]


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  9. ^ "The Constitution". UK Independence Party. 19 January 2012. Retrieved 15 July 2016. 
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  14. ^ "Ukip leadership hopeful Steven Woolfe admits failing to declare drink-drive charge". The Independent. 1 August 2016. Retrieved 3 August 2016. 
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  28. ^ a b c "Deputy rumours: @lisaduffy1968 will choose @oflynnmep and @JonathanArnott will choose Louise Bours MEP". UKIP Elects '16 on Twitter. 30 July 2016. Retrieved 31 July 2016. 
  29. ^ a b c d "Deputies so far: @BillDudleyNorth has Mike Hookem. @Steven_Woolfe has Nathan Gill. @joneselizab has Lawrence Webb". UKIP Elects '16 on Twitter. 30 July 2016. Retrieved 31 July 2016. 
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  53. ^ Woolfe, Steven (14 July 2016). "Thank you @NathanGillMEP for chairing my campaign and for this thoughtful piece. Please read. … via @HuffPostUKPol". Twitter. Retrieved 17 July 2016.  External link in |title= (help)
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  56. ^ Kassam, Raheem (31 July 2016). "It appears the UKIP national executive are planning to stitch up the leadership election by illegitimately keeping Steven Woolfe MEP off the ballot by lying to the press about membership lapses and timing problems with forms. I'm told is mostly coming from a team that supports Neil Hamilton AM. So I've been asked to share this and ask you all to do the same, and I will say the following too, from me... If someone like Steven Woolfe is kept off the ballot for spurious reasons, I will declare full scale war on UKIP, using all the assets and sources at my disposal to topple the Tory establishment that is trying to take over the party. That's a warning and a promise". Facebook. Retrieved 3 August 2016. 
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