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Farage Sees UKIP Winning a 'Good Number of Seats' in U.K. Vote

Sunday, 25 Jan 2015 09:13 AM

U.K. Independence Party leader Nigel Farage predicted his party will win at least five seats in May’s general election as he batted away concerns about the defection to the Conservatives of one of the party’s European lawmakers.

“We are going to win a good number of seats on May 7,” Farage said in a BBC interview on Sunday. Asked what a “good number” means, he said “more than three or four.”

“Beyond that I’m not going to make any wild predictions,” he said.

Farage’s anti-immigration party is trying to build on last May’s European elections, in which it topped a national poll for the first time, winning 27 percent of the vote. An ICM poll for the Sunday Telegraph showed voters forecast UKIP will win 14.4 percent of the vote, down from 16.4 percent a month ago.

In a bid to show voters UKIP will invest in health care, Farage said his party will plow an extra 3 billion pounds ($4.5 billion) a year into the National Health Service, funded by no longer paying EU membership fees. He also said tuition fees should be scrapped for people taking medical degrees.

Reacting to the loss of Amjad Bashir, a member of the European Parliament, Farage said the lawmaker “reached the end of the road with us.” UKIP issued a statement on Saturday saying it had suspended Bashir.

In an article in the Mail on Sunday, Bashir said he had experienced racism in UKIP, which he described as a “vanity project for Nigel Farage.”

“This attempt to paint UKIP as a racist party is dead,” Farage said on the BBC, saying the main parties and the media are taking any attempt possible to damage his party.

Switching Sides

There has been movement of lawmakers in the past between UKIP and the Tories, with the former benefiting from two defections in the past year. Both triggered special ballots that were won by the defectors, giving UKIP its first election wins for seats in the national Parliament. UKIP MEP Marta Andreasen switched to the Conservatives in February 2013.

The Telegraph’s ‘Wisdom Index’ asked 2,000 adults to predict what share each party will win in the election, rather than express their own voting intentions. The Conservative share rose to 30.8 percent from 30.5 percent a month ago, while Labour dropped to 30.6 percent from 30.8 percent.

A YouGov poll of voting intentions published in the Sunday Times put Labour and the Conservatives in a tie at 32 percent, with UKIP on 15 percent and the Liberal Democrats and Greens both at 7 percent.

Also speaking on the BBC, Scottish National Party leader Nicola Sturgeon ruled out backing a Conservative government and said Scottish voters would prefer to see a Labour-led government “dependent on SNP support.” She said the SNP won’t “formally or informally prop up a Conservative government.”

Sturgeon also commented on U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron’s pledge to hold a referendum on membership of the European Union if the Conservatives win the election.

She said it would cause “huge consternation and concern” if the U.K. left the EU after a national vote to quit the bloc, but a Scottish vote to stay. There should be a “double- majority” system so that a national vote to exit had to be backed up by “a vote for that in each of the component parts of the U.K.”


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U.K. Independence Party leader Nigel Farage predicted his party will win at least five seats in May's general election as he batted away concerns about the defection to the Conservatives of one of the party's European lawmakers."We are going to win a good number of seats on...
farage, ukip, winning, good, number, seats
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2015-13-25
Sunday, 25 Jan 2015 09:13 AM
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