Heywood & Middleton Constituency
Heywood and Middleton UKIP parliamentary candidate John Bickley believes that the General Election “will be the most unpredictable for 30 to 40 years”.
John, who came a close second to Labour MP Liz McInnes in the by-election in October last year, is ready to fight for the seat again, despite feeling that the election is going to be unpredictable.
Speaking to Rochdale Online, John said: “The past six months have flown by. I had previously stood in the Wythenshawe by-election a year previously and we knew that we would come second so we had an indication that we would come second in Heywood and Middleton as well; we expected it to be close because only a few days into the campaign, it felt better for us here than it had done in Wythenshawe.
“I think a lot of voters have a deep sense of frustration with the main stream parties and the political classes. I think people in Heywood and Middleton are frustrated because Labour are undermining the working class and they have been caught out.”
John lost out on the seat last year by 617 votes but says he isn’t complacent that he will take the seat.
He said: “I think I have a clear chance. I am not complacent though and I will fight for every vote. I am taking nothing for granted. I don’t think anyone knows how this will go and I think it will be the most unpredictable election for 30-40 years.
“Heywood and Middleton is traditionally a strong Labour seat and it has been for decades. I have had people approach me and say I didn’t vote for you last time because I didn’t think you could win, but now I do think you can win so I am going to vote for you.”
If elected as the MP for Heywood and Middleton, John will focus on issues that are affecting the people and will be an MP who will put Britain and local people first.
He said: “UKIP want a fair and ethical immigration policy that doesn’t discriminate against anyone wherever they come from. We want to adopt something that is similar to Australia and other countries outside of the EU to attract the brightest and best to Britain and take our fair share of refugees.
“We want MPs that are going to represent the people. There are over something like 650 MPs out there who think they have something to prove. Do the people of Heywood and Middleton want an MP who calls someone in Westminster their boss or would they rather have someone who says they are their boss?
“We also want to bring back grammar schools for the working classes so children have access to the right resources, whether that be technical or mental. When I grew up in Langley there was a grammar school at the heart of the community and we want to bring that back.”
John and his team are currently out campaigning and canvasing the area for votes and are seeing a positive reaction on the doorstep. John is doing all he can to make sure voters really do think about their vote.
He said: “When people say to me that they are going to vote for whichever party because their dad did and their granddad did and their great granddad did then I would say well hold on a minute because your vote doesn’t belong to a party. It is your vote and any party, whoever it is, doesn’t own that vote.
“You need to sit down and think about who you are going to vote for and not just vote for someone because someone else did. When I was growing up my dad was Labour and if you cut him down the middle it would say Labour but I know if he was alive today, then he wouldn’t vote Labour.”
Commenting on claims that the mainstream parties are scared of the UKIP threat, John said: “I don’t care about the other parties and I don’t worry about what they are doing. I will challenge the parties who go out of their way to smear us.”