A DEFEATED ex-councillor has hit out at a rival party for splitting the non-Labour vote and effectively costing him his council seat.
Deputy leader of the Wigan Independent Network (WIN) Norman Bradbury lost in Atherton last week to Labour’s Martin Aldred by margin of just more than 500 votes.
I warned residents that this would happen if they voted for another party, and that only Win could beat Labour, sadly I was proved to be rightNorman Bradbury
In response to his polling failure, Mr Bradbury has urged “Ukip to think before they stand in local elections.”
He said: “It wasn’t the Labour Party and their pathetic leaflets that beat me, it was the Ukip candidate who picked up 950 anti-Labour votes, letting Labour in.
“I warned residents that this would happen if they voted for another party, and that only Win could beat Labour, sadly I was proved to be right.
UKIP need to think more strategically and only contest seats held by the ruling group and not destroy the little opposition there is on Wigan Council.
“If they do the same in 2016 there will be no credible opposition left, so please think again UKIP before you wipe us all out.”
Ukip had a strong performance in the local elections, gaining 20 per cent of vote across 24 out of 25 borough wards.
Ukip Wigan branch chair Maureen McCoy said: “To some extent I have sympathy for Norman because he is right the non-Labour vote is split in the wards where independents stand and Labour are able to dominate.
“But it has been our policy to have a candidate in as many wards as possible because people want that option to vote for Ukip.
“We have six to nine months now to think about next year’s elections and maybe it is something that needs looking at, but that’s not my decision.
“I’m happy with our performance this year because we’re going in the right direction but we didn’t get a seat so that is something we will be working on.”
WIN were reduced to three members as leader Gary Wilkes also lost his seat.
The remaining trio have entered into an opposition alliance with the three Conservative councillors.