And so it has proved.
An account supposedly belonging to UKIP Newark on Twitter posted the following just minutes after Hope not Hate started posting their own internet memes on Helmer:
Interestingly, the UKIP Newark account above was set up on the 2nd June 2013. Patrick Mercer resigned the Conservative whip on the 31st May 2013 after being caught taking bribes to ask parliamentary questions.
|The first tweet, on 2nd June last year|
It would have been clear as the Mercer scandal broke that he would ultimately have to resign - the question was only one of how long he would hold on. It was equally clear that in the event of a by-election, UKIP would be a significant force, and several newspaper reports at the time comment on this coming as it did after UKIP's success in the Eastleigh by-election and the local elections in May. The account was used for 6 days, and then not touched again until the 29th April when Mercer announced his resignation from Parliament.
As UKIP Director of Communications Patrick O'Flynn said earlier, the account does not belong to UKIP in Newark -
Despite this, the @UKIPNewark account has continued the pretence that it is an official one, with the following tweet being posted half an hour ago:
Who is responsible? Who can tell? It could be the Tories - certainly they would have the most to gain from halting the UKIP insurgency, but all of the establishment parties are in more or less the same boat. And then we have Hope not Hate, who already maintain a vast array of fake accounts and who used them to great effect in the run up to last year's local elections.
Whoever it was, we can be sure that it won't go away quickly. With Roger Helmer being a former Conservative MEP for the region which includes Newark, he is well known across the area and, in a constituency with a huge Tory majority, stands to give the Tories a run for their money with the by-election coming just days after what is expected to be a huge victory for UKIP in the European elections. For the establishment parties and their paid monkeys at Hope not Hate, it is imperative that UKIP does not gain it's first by-election victory and a toe-hold at Westminster. To them, it is a case of 'après Roger, le deluge' - if he can overturn a 16,000 Tory majority, then no seat is safe next May.