UKIP LEADER Nigel Farage has admitted he has been ‘a bit surprised’ by the speed of the party’s success.
In an exclusive face to face interview with the Observer, Mr Farage said he felt his party had built momentum, excitement and claimed politics had come alive again because of UKIP’s successes.
Speaking at an event at Worcestershire Cricket Club’s New Road ground, Mr Farage said the recent poll successes had been driven by voter disenchantment with the established political parties and the fact UKIP had been right about the Euro and
“We are kind of a form horse, we have made some big calls and been right and that’s given us credibility and a fair bit of respect.” he said.
“We made some big calls about the Euro where it would go, big calls to ten former communist countries what the implications be.
“There’s a feeling out there amongst those who vote for us we are standing up for them and representing them, we are on their side.” he added.
The party have named Malvern vet Richard Chamings as its candidate for the West Worcestershire seat and held a meeting in
Evesham last month for residents to find out more about the party.
Analysts suggest UKIP could win anything from four to 100 seats at next May’s national poll.
But Mr Farage said if the election resulted in UKIP holding the balance of power they would not go into coalition with any party but would be willing to support a minority Conservative or Labour government, in return for a guaranteed referendum on
Britain’s EU membership before 2017.
“Mr Cameron wouldn’t naturally be my perfect choice of friendship but you have to be sensible about things like this and if we get ourselves into a position of considerable responsibility we have to use it.” he said.
Mr Farage also took the opportunity to spell out some of the party’s other policies it will be campaigning on, including axing subsidies for onshore and offshore wind farms, supporting nuclear power and fracking.
He said saving £8.5billion by leaving the EU, scrapping HS2 and cutting £9billion from the foreign aid budget would form part of their strategy to reduce the nation’s budget deficit, while tax on the minimum wage and tuition fees for engineering and
science degrees would be scrapped.
Mr Farage said the NHS would remain free at the point of use but the organisational structure would be simplified with elected health boards running hospitals and primary care.
“If you want things to stay the same, go on voting the way you always have. If you think there’s a chance of changing things, we are the vehicle for that.” he added.
* Mr Farage was speaking at a fund-raising dinner at Worcestershire Cricket Club for Redditch’s UKIP candidate Peter Jewell.