Nigel Farage to decide on Eastleigh by-election

Nigel Farage. Picture: Getty
Nigel Farage. Picture: Getty
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UKIP leader Nigel Farage will make a decision in the next 48 hours whether to stand in the Eastleigh by-election.

• Eastleigh by-election an important test for UKIP’s eurosceptic stance

• UKIP had their most successful by-election showing last November

• Bookmakers have UKIP at 8/1 to take the seat behind the Lib Dems and Conservatives

Mr Farage has previously stood unsuccessfully in the seat.

Party sources said UKIP would be fielding a candidate in Eastleigh and Mr Farage would consider the situation, adding that the constituency was “very close to his heart”.

The by-election follows UKIP’s most successful by-election showing last November when in one night they finished second in Middlesbrough and Rotherham, and third in Croydon North.

The results that night led Mr Farage to claim that his party is on the verge of an historic breakthrough.

He said: “If UKIP’s a protest vote then there are lot of protesters out there.”

Mr Farage has said that he believes political voting in the UK is changing away from the stablished parties.

He has likened his party’s rise to that of the SNP but is still looking for the equivalent breakthrough to Winnie Ewing’s victory in 1967 in Hamilton.

And with Euroscepticism at its strongest in the south of england, the Eastleigh by-election will become an important test for the party.

However, it also means that for the first time UKIP will be entering a by-election with many seeing it as a potential winner, even though the bookies had it at 8 to 1 yesterday behind the Lib Dems and Tories.

There was a lot speculation onthe social media website Twitter that UKIP could win the seat if Mr Farage stands.

But Mr Farage has not stood for parliament since the Westminster election when on polling day he was involved in a plane accident during a last minute stunt when he was trying to unseat the Speaker John Bercow in the Buckingham seat.