Hand that you're dealt

UKIP rosette Image copyright PA
Image caption Lack of organisation has worked in favour of a party whose members portray themselves as outsiders

Many people have been wondering what kind of election campaign UKIP would be running.

Critics had claimed that well-documented problems over some of their candidates would continue to plague them.

It's early stages but so far in Wales at least it has followed that script.

Rows over the selection of candidates have continued to bubble away and the entire local branch committee in Brecon and Radnorshire was suspended by UKIP Wales.

And now the national organiser has stepped down just as we head into the campaign. The significance of the timing will be lost on no-one.

Radically different

UKIP Wales leader Nathan Gill told me there's never a good time for this to happen and in politics you have to cope with the hand that you're dealt. He says that overall the party is light years ahead of where it was five years ago.

John Atkinson had been in the role during last year's successful campaign in the European elections, in which it failed by just 4,000 votes to beat Labour and come top in Wales.

Despite the problems, the party still has plenty to build on.

UKIP has opened shops in Holyhead, Penarth, Shotton, Merthyr and Llanelli. It says it has 22 constituency branches and is fielding candidates in every Welsh constituency.

However, it operates in a radically different way to the other more established parties.

Image copyright UKIP
Image caption Andrew Haigh (left) was deputy to John Atkinson, whom he replaces as UKIP Wales national organiser

Plaid Cymru, for example, has already launched its campaign and manifesto, while UKIP don't have a date for its manifesto launch which will be the party's one set-piece event in Wales.

And yet UKIP have been higher in the polls than Plaid.

In fact the lack of organisation has been a factor which has worked in its favour as its members portray themselves as the outsiders and natural home of the protest voter.

The question is whether that is going to work in the full glare of a general election campaign.