After days of lukewarm speculation, the UKIP leader Paul Nuttall has broken off from comparing himself to Gandhi, and formally announced that he will be standing in the upcoming general election on June 8th. He has not yet named the seat he will be finishing fourth in; presumably because a party staffer hasn’t been able to rent him a house in the area by the time of his announcement.
To be fair to Nuttall he has had whirlwind week. Launching an entire election campaign on the issue of banning an item of clothing, is not easy work. This, coupled with not attending his full-time job in Brussels, and his ongoing responsibility for managing the winding-down of the UKIP project, would test the resolve of better men than Dr Nuttall.
The unlucky constituency that Nuttall will parachute into is anyones guess; there are however, several likely options being considered as Nuttall has connections galore.
He could stand in Tranmere. As a former professional footballer at Tranmere Rovers, and a member of their Hall-of-Fame, Nuttall could try to exploit his local folk hero status as a springboard to Parliament. He may choose to again stand in his beloved second home, Stoke. He owns property in the city and is a founding member of the Potteries darts and dominoes league.
Another option would be his home town of Bootle. He is well known and respected in the Bootle district, having been awarded the ‘Freedom of the Borough’ for acts of bravery during the Falklands conflict.
He may choose to stand in Wavertree, Liverpool. An area very close to his heart, as he was awarded a PhD from the local University. Nuttall was always a face around campus, and would no doubt be a popular candidate.
He may believe that standing for a second time in his other second home, Oldham East and Saddleworth, would be his best option. The Nuttall family has farmed on Saddleworth Moor for eight generations, and are considered to be local royalty.
Whichever constituency Nuttall chooses to exploit for the benefit of his own career, voters will be no doubt be pleased to discover that only 5 MEPs out of 751 have a worse voting record than him. While Nuttall may draw vainglorious comparisons with Gandhi – a follicly challenged pate being the only obvious shared ground, it is often joked by EU parliamentarians that Gandhi spent more time in Brussels, than Nuttall.