Page last updated at 15:42 GMT, Monday, 28 April 2008 16:42 UK

UKIP bids for London 'foothold'

The UKIP bus
The UKIP bus has been taking the party's message across London

UKIP's Gerard Batten is hopeful the party will "gain a foothold in London" in this week's mayoral elections.

The mayoral candidate told the BBC the party was hoping for three or four seats on the London Assembly.

He said his battle bus, a purple open-top Routemaster, had been catching voters' eyes across London.

"We knew we would have a problem with getting onto the mainstream media. It's all Boris, Ken and Paddick... It cost a fair bit of money but was worth doing."

The London MEP, who has been travelling across London in the bus for two weeks, will spend the final few days of campaigning in south London including Bromley, Bexley and Sutton.

He said he was aiming for the "best result possible" and the party hoped to get three to four London Assembly seats.

Asked how he felt he would do, he said: "I honestly don't know, you can't tell ... I'm aiming for the best results possible, but what I really want is seats on the assembly in order for UKIP, apart from me as MEP, to have a foothold in London."

Mr Batten said he had found plenty of sympathetic ears among voters along the campaign trail.

He said most of those he talked to had seen the party's TV election broadcast, or their pages in the election booklet that has been distributed across London.

But the bus - and Scots piper Ben Buckland who has been playing the bagpipes on top of it - have been drawing attention.

"We have been getting lots of toots and thumbs up from people as we go along," said Mr Batten, who said it had proved a good way to reach people.

Among places where he got the best reception was Smithfield meat market, where he says his policy to axe the congestion charge was warmly welcomed.

Meanwhile a spokesman for the party said, in local elections across England and Wales, its activists would be doing last minute door knocking and leafleting and general "hard graft on the doorstep".



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THE ELECTION RESULTS
COUNCIL RESULTS
  Councillors Councils
Party +/- Total +/- Total
CON 257 3155 12 65
LAB -334 2365 -9 18
LD 33 1804 1 12
PC 31 205 -1 0
OTH 10 898 0 0
NOC - - -3 64
159 of 159 councils declared.

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London Mayoral results
Overall results
Name Party Votes
Johnson CON 1,168,738
Livingstone LAB 1,028,966
Paddick LD 878,097
Berry GRN 409,101

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Results in more detail

London Assembly Results
Overall results
Party Constit' Top-up Total seats
CON 8 3 11
LAB 6 2 8
LD 0 3 3
GRN 0 2 2
BNP 0 1 1

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Results in more detail


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