Supporters of UKIP reckon that the party’s strong showing in Thursday’s Eastleigh by-election is just the trigger they need as they look to make inroads in Dacorum.
They’re putting forward a candidate in the poll for the vacant Adeyfield West seat on Dacorum Borough Council later this month.
But it’s at the Herts County Council elections in May that they aim to show that they’re no longer a marginal choice for voters.
Hemel Hempstead branch chairman Howard Koch, an Old Town dentist, said that Eastleigh voters had put his party on the map and added: “We are now working hard to do the same.”
Noel Swinford will be wearing the party’s colours in the borough council vote, and there will also be UKIP candidates in every Herts County Council ward in the Hemel Hempstead constituency.
Party activists hope that an open evening tomorrow at Hemel Hempstead Town Cricket Club will bring more supporters to the cause.
Guest speaker is East of England MEP Stuart Agnew and doors open at 7pm.
Meanwhile wards in the South West Herts constituency, covering Berkhamsted and Tring, will also have UKIP candidates on the ticket come May.
Norman Cutting, who will be standing for the Berkhamsted area, got talked into joining the party while having his teeth done by Dr Koch.
The 66-year-old, from the town’s Chestnut Drive, said: “They rang me and said: ‘Will you stand for UKIP?’ and I said: ‘Surely you can find someone better than me.’
“Apparently they have not got anybody better than me, so I thought I would do it.”
Norman represented the town as an independent on Berkhamsted Town Council and Dacorum Borough Council from 1995 to 1999. He said people should vote for him, as he will fight for the area rather than towing a party line.
He said: “I care and I have lived here since I was a little grasshopper, have worked here and nowhere else, my family lives here – I am Berkhamsted.”
UKIP members Mike Siveyer will stand for Tring and Mark Anderson for Bridgewater in the May elections.