Nigel Farage has hinted he plans to run in a by-election so he can grab a seat off Labour, according to the Daily Express. The UKIP leader said his party had torn “vast chunks” out of Ed Miliband’s vote and he would “look forward” to a by-election against Labour – but not if the EU referendum set down for 2017 comes first.
Farage told BBC Radio 5 Live: “UKIP significantly helped the Conservatives to win this election by tearing vast chunks of the Labour vote in the East Midlands, West Midlands and the North. I have been telling all the Westminster commentators for years that UKIP’s greatest potential was among the Labour vote.”
He was asked if he was waiting for the next Labour seat to become available, Mr Farage replied: “I would look forward to a by-election in a Labour seat very much indeed.”
Although UKIP have only ever won two by-elections, both from the Conservatives, the party has come close in a number of Labour seats. Last October UKIP came within 617 votes of winning the safe Labour seat of Heywood and Middleton. This was in addition to a pile of second places throughout the last parliament including Eastleigh which was held by the Liberal Democrats with a majority of just 1,771 over UKIP
Farage also explained his reasons for staying on as leader despite only gaining one seat in the election. He said: “Nobody in UKIP feels like we have been beaten. People in UKIP are angry, we want change. Never before in the history of the British Parliament have so many people been so under represented.
“I will now increasingly campaign for us to have a Parliament and electoral system that stops the negativity and actually gives us MPs that represent the way people vote.”
By-elections are known to throw up unexpected results, and there is a consensus in UKIP circles that Farage’s profile would have delivered a win against Labour in one of the polls of the last parliament.
Despite that, a UKIP spokesman told Breitbart London that Farage, “will be concentrating, not on by-elections, but on the forthcoming EU referendum in 2017”.