UK Independence Party (UKIP) leader Nigel Farage has said that he doesn’t intend to lead the party beyond 2020, meaning that the General Election next year may be the last one in which the ‘People’s Army’ is led into battle by the populist figure.
Farage, 50, disclosed the information to the Express and Star newspaper in an interview this week during which he was asked if he thought he’d make a good prime minister.
Farage replied: “We’re not going to win the next General Election. We’ll get a hell of a score. We’ll come third in the vote, win elected representation and we might hold the balance of power. The question isn’t directly relevant. By 2020 I will be too old and knackered and we’ll have found somebody else.”
The news may come as a disappointment to many UKIPers who have been attracted to the party by its leader’s down-to-earth, no-nonsense style of politics. Under Farage, the size of UKIP’s membership base has grown like no other party.
But speak to UKIPers and they give you a good idea of who might be the next in line for the party’s leadership. Inside sources point to pitched battles between two of the party’s new Members of the European Parliament: Steven Wolfe and Patrick O’Flynn.
Another front runner is Suzanne Evans, the party’s new Deputy Chairman and parliamentary candidate for Shrewsbury & Atcham.
But Farage fans need not panic just yet. There is a significant chance that he will make it into the British Parliament in 2015, and all things considered, should voters like the job he does, he will likely want to stay there for a very long time.
The task of leading a political party and being its only Member of Parliament is a tough one, something that Green Party leader Caroline Lucas found out in 2010. She stood down from the role in 2012, just two years into her parliamentary term.