Two of UKIP’s leading figures in Yorkshire have predicted a ‘seismic’ change in South Yorkshire politics following elections later this year.
The county’s regional chairman, Mike Hookem, and constituency manager Jane Collins say membership across Sheffield, Rotherham and Barnsley is growing on a daily basis.
They say the majority of new supporters of the anti-EU party are former Labour voters ‘disillusioned’ with its inability to represent ordinary working men and women in the area.
Party leader Nigel Farage will visit Sheffield in April to drum up support for South Yorkshire candidates in local and European elections - both of which will be held on May 22.
Last May rumours were rife that flamboyant Mr Farage planned to go head-to-head with Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg for the Sheffield Hallam seat in the next general election.
UKIP has also chosen the city to host its annual conference in September.
Mrs Collins, who came second to Labour’s Sarah Champion in the Rotherham by-election last November, said: “People have had enough of Labour – they’ve let them down.
“It used to be the party of the working-class people but they feel abandoned by it.
“In Sheffield you’ve got a Labour-run council who are very much governed by the party line.
“With UKIP we’re about bringing back the local democracy, so you put your constituents and not your party’s view first.”
Across Yorkshire and North Lincolnshire UKIP membership has more than doubled since 2012.
Mr Hookem said: “In the South Yorkshire local elections we’ve got schoolteachers, doctors, solicitors - all sorts of men and women fed up with other parties. We’re looking to do well in May.”