So Mike Nattrass has been selected as UKIP's candidate for this month's by-election in Crewe and Nantwich. This is a bit of a surprise as Nattrass represents the West Midlands in the European Parliament and has no link to Crewe. He is also one of the least assiduous MEPs - he has made a grand total of 3 interventions in the Parliament in 2008 and has one of the worst attendance records. The obvious candidates to stand would have been John Whittaker, UKIP MEP for the region Crewe is in, or Nigel Farage.
Farage fought the Bromley by-election in 2006, following the death of Tory Eric Forth but took a measly 8% of the vote despite spending £70,000 on the by-election campaign. Rumours that most of this largesse was spent providing 'entertainment' for renowned UKIP party boys Farage and Godfrey Bloom remain unconfirmed.
By selecting Nattrass, who has achieved precious little since becoming an MEP (save for being taken to court by one of his employees), UKIP are clearly going to do this election on the cheap.