United Kingdom Independence Party (Ukip) were delivered a blow yesterday after their only representative in Westminster, Douglas Carswell, quit the party. Nigel Farage has had a long running feud with Carswell and has often claimed that the MP for Clacton has only ‘sought to undermine the party.’

Recently, the feud has grown with UKIP’s largest donor, Arron Banks, stating that he would run against Carswell at the next general election.

UKIP’s lack of direction

Since the referendum and a vote to leave the European Union (EU) the party has struggled to find its message to voters.

With new leader, Paul Nuttall, stoutly claiming that they would attack the Labour heartlands, who feel left behind by current government policies and Labour leadership. However, his attempts faltered after he lost the Stoke-on-Trent by-election, confirming that UKIP’s reach beyond the anti-EU agenda is limited.

After several attempts by Farage and multiple UKIP members to become MPs, they all did not win seats in parliament. Their only MPs to date were both defectors from the Conservatives, with Douglas Carswell winning the subsequent by-election he called after defecting and regaining his seat in the 2015 general election. However, since he has joined UKIP, him and Farage have often been at odds with Carswell even getting the blame for Farage not getting a knighthood.

Carswell’s last laugh?

In an interview with Channel 4 Douglas Carswell stated that he bore no ill will towards UKIP and wished them well for the future. But he also addressed the allegations that he was a Conservative ‘agent’ to undermine the party by saying “well, some people say that I was never UKIP. I’m not sure what they mean by that.” He continued “Do they mean that I had a habit of winning elections?”

With many claiming that UKIP have no point anymore, was this the last dig at their inability to represent the people they claim to?

He further added “Do they mean I had a habit of being upbeat and optimistic and focused on the hyper-local?” continuing to “plead guilty to” being optimistic, winning elections, and focusing on local issues as a constituency.

UKIP’s ‘problem’

Whilst Nigel Farage and Arron Banks can celebrate that they are finally rid of what they saw as the problem with UKIP, it is in no doubt that most commentators and analysts see Carswell as the winner.

He represented his constituency within parliament by doing and voting as he wanted, irrespective of whether you agree with his ideology, he has stuck to his word and still does.

After he said that it is the honourable to call a by-election when defecting from the Conservatives, he has previously stated that MPs should only do this when defecting to another party. Meaning that he will not trigger a by-election after leaving UKIP, either way Carswell stays consistent to his word. UKIP must regroup and find an issue to focus on to reignite themselves as a party, however, it is unlikely that they will be able to gather the same amount of support as before.