The new UKIP leader will be announced later today. The election follows Diane James’s resignation in early October. Paul Nuttall, Suzanne Evans and John Rees-Evans are the candidates running for the leadership.
The former party leader quit her post after just 18 days. Ms James admitted the lack of support from her colleagues was the main reason for her quick resignation. Nigel Farage has since been running the party on a temporary basis.
Paul Nuttall, the former deputy leader, is the frontrunner alongside Suzanne Evans, former deputy chairwoman and writer of the 2015 election manifesto.
UKIP has recently been under increased pressure, having some of its supporters and members defected to the conservative party following the Brexit vote. All three candidates aim to introduce internal reforms and unite the party.
Nuttall, who is expected to become the new UKIP leader, has pledged to bring back the party from “the edge of a political cliff”. The MEP for North-West England has strong views on crime, opposing abortion and agreeing to a referendum on the reintroduction of death penalty for child killers.
Ms. Evans, the expected runner up, is a former conservative councillor who defected to UKIP in 2013. She claims there has been a bit “too much testosterone in the party” and plans to occupy the “common sense centre” ground, despite some sections of the party’s skepticism.
The third candidate, Mr. Rees-Evans, a former soldier, has yet to hold an elected office. He has promised to open up decision-making to party members.
UKIP’s next leader will be named later this morning.