Third in Two By Elections

Whilst yesterday was undoubtedly calamitous for the Conservative Party it was a very strong night for Reform UK who came a clear third in both Wellingborough with Ben Habib and in Kingswood with Rupert Lowe. The party got over 10% of the vote in both constituencies while support for the Liberal Democrats sank like a stone as they lost both of their deposits in those seats. The Ed Davey factor is rubbing off.

Joining me now in the studio is the man who stood for Reform UK in Wellingborough, Ben Habib who of course is the Deputy leader of the Party. Welcome to the show. So in the by election last night you stood, you got 13% of the vote Reform UK’s best ever by election results. How do you feel? Can I just first say what a delight it is to be back on GB News, you know when you’re fighting an election you’re kept in purdah so this is my coming out!

I was on with Patrick Christies and a bit in the counting room but this is properly in the studio, having a proper interview and it’s wonderful to be here. Wait, you’re welcome, now get on with it, how’s it feel? It feels great you know, when you enter a race you want to win it don’t you? You absolutely swing the bat in order to win. We obviously didn’t win but the third place that we got was the best ever election result of any description that Reform UK has had. And you remember, just a few months ago in Tamworth we got a just over 5% few months later we’re getting 13% nearly three times as much, so a dramatic shift in the way people perceive Reform UK.

Reform UK Gaining Ground

Every time we make a bridge head we move on to something else. All the noise around our performance yesterday both Rupert Lowe’s performance in Kingswood and mine in Wellingborough advances the party, advances the cause, establishes the principle which is critical Martin that people realise there is a third Party for which they can vote. You know the two main legacy Parties, I call them the legacy parties, the old parties, the parties that have delivered the United Kingdom to the precipice of disaster.

They seem to think that the Baton should be just exchanged seamlessly between them but no, there is a new force in Party politics and it is Reform UK.

I’ve got to put it to you 13% is a respectable turnout, but it’s not as good as UKIP did in the same seat in 2015 they got 19%. We’ve got a Tory party on its knees, they were there ripe for the taking. Is 13% really good enough is it cutting through enough at this stage Ben? Martin, I came from a standing start on the 3rd of January when I put my hat in the ring the odds were 66 to 1 when I put my hat in the ring by the time it came around to the actual uh by election the voting day I was 7 to1.

It was a dramatic campaign we went from not being recognised or known in Wellingborough to actually on the last day we went around in the open top bus and people were waving at me and saying hello Ben how are you today?

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Wellingborough Candidate

You know, a huge change and I’m going to stand there again in Wellingborough in the general election. I’m not going to turn my back on the good people of Wellingborough I’m going to go and visit and I’m going to develop our case between now and you know whenever the general election is and make sure that we’ve got an agenda for the people of Wellingborough for the country.

Of course you know a lot of the the things that Wellingborough suffers from are born out of bad National policy, but we need to reveal how it is that bad National policy is having a material adverse effect on the people in Wellingborough and I’m going to do that between now and the general election and I tell you what Gen Kitchen and Helen Harrison if Helen Harrison stands for the Conservatives again they need to watch out because Reform is not stopping here as I said, this is a bridge head we’re going to use it to come forward again.

A lot of people of course as sure as night follows day are saying that reform will simply split in the vote and letting the Labour Party in, is that true? Is there anything in that is there a feeling that what you’re doing by taking away the Conservative vote as they would say it is handing the keys to number 10 to Sir Kier Starmer? Well, it seems to me that the Conservative Party views anyone that takes a vote is splitting the vote. They’re the biggest split of vote, that the Conservatives have got from Labour is from the Labour Party you know they take Conservative votes. Don’t they I mean it’s an extraordinary sense of self-entitlement that they think that these are their votes that we’ve taken.

Reform UK is Earning the Vote Share

These are votes that have been cast by the British electorate in favour of Reform UK because they like what we stand for they voted in favour of our party the Conservative Party has no right to these votes. The Labour Party has no rights to these votes, you get lent them at each election by the British people and we are not a Party that’s going to be here today gone tomorrow, there’ll be no deals with the Conservative Party.

We are here for the long term. We provide a democratic alternative to the other Parties and we’re not spitting anyone’s vote. These are our votes, if the conservatives gets thumped in the next election which is what everyone is predicting it’s because they failed the country. It’s because they failed to perform because they’ve brought the country to the precipice of peril.

They deserve to be thumped for doing that. Did you find on the doorsteps a phenomenon that reflected a very low turnout cross the two by elections, apathy or even anger an what was on the GB News election night special last night. She said that when she came to help campaign with you lot people like say, just clear off, I’m not interested in talking to any of you they’re so disenfranchised, disengaged, disappointed with British politicians that they’re staying at home apathy being the enemy.

I’d say I think it’s not really apathy. I think it’s great disillusionment, a lack of trust in the institutions which govern the country because of how damaging the effects of governance has been on their lives over the last few years and I have you know tremendous sympathy for them.

British National Interest

The reason I’m in politics is because of the damage that’s been done to the country. If we were being run by competent people with the British national interest and the British people’s interests at heart I wouldn’t be in politics and I think the optimistic side of this is that it is now getting established that it isn’t simply a choice between the awful Conservatives on one side of the coin to the awful Labour Party on the other side of the same coin.

You know they’re sort of versions of each other aren’t they? When you look at the Conservative track record in office national debt at a post-world War II high. Taxation at a post-world War II high. Six million people surviving on Universal Credit to a greater or less extent. The country in recession, rampant immigration, these are all symptoms of having been governed under socialist policies for a protracted period.

Yet it’s a Conservative government and so I think Reform UK offers a genuine third Party to those voters who are disillusioned who are upset with the way that the country’s been governed.

No Deal with the Tories – Ever

One final question, you’re a conservative, Richard Tice is a conservative, Nigel Farage is conservative at heart is this chess moves ahead about watching the Tories imploded at the general election and then rebuilding the Conservative Party maybe with you guys getting involved in the Tory Party is that what this is about or is Reform UK a general Standalone party to take the fight to them?

It is a standalone Party, no deals with the Conservative Party. The Conservative Party has failed. If there are any genuine conservatives in the Conservative Party what I say to them is you’re in the wrong party, join Reform UK. Not that this is an invitation to any Tory MPs. If they wish to join Reform UK they can get in line with everyone else. Super Ben and thank you for joining us.

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