Nigel Farage confident of European elections victory
Riding high after significant success at the ballot box in the English council elections, the leader insisted his party has caused “tremors” and will now be “serious players” at next year’s general election.
Pollster have predicted the anti-euro party has outperformed the main Westminster parties in the European Parliament election results, which are due to be announced from 10pm on Sunday.
Mr Farage told the BBC: “I have been saying for three and a half years that I wanted to cause an earthquake in British politics. We have certainly seen a few tremors today. I’m not going to count any chickens before they are hatched but the signs are encouraging. My big focus isn’t so much the number of seats we win, it’s can we top the poll across the UK. That’s the marker.”
Asked if he thought Ukip would win, he replied: “I do, yes. I’m sticking my neck out, but yes I do. It may be tight but I think we are going to get there, yes.”
Ukip’s results are being viewed as heralding in a new era of four-party politics in Westminster and a jubilant Mr Farage declared the “Ukip fox is in the Westminster hen house”.
Taking to the streets of Essex for a victory tour after his party made significant gains in the county at the expense of Conservatives, he revealed the party would spend the summer identifying the areas where they have performed best, then “throw our kitchen sink at them”.
Mr Farage waved away suggestions from some Tories of an electoral pact between the parties, claiming the Tories would not go for it because they viewed him and his party as “members of the lower orders”.
But the Conservatives, as well as Labour, adopted a less dismissive tone towards the insurgent party today as they counted their losses to it.
Education Secretary Michael Gove congratulated Mr Farage’s new councillors and insisted the Conservatives “appreciate and understand why people have voted Ukip”.
Labour’s election strategist Douglas Alexander said the country appeared to have entered a period of “four-party politics” and reflected the “deep anger and alienation” felt by voters.
Ukip chairman Steve Crowther dismissed suggestions voters were turning to the party simply as a protest, telling the BBC: “They are saying that but there is an air of desperation about it to be perfectly honest because this has now been going on for sometime and it’s a consistent thing.
“Ukip have been building for 20 years consistently and we have now reached a point where we have broken into the old party system. It is now four party politics and this is not a flash in the pan.”