The U.K. Independence Party, which wants Britain to leave the European Union, plans to put up a candidate for every parliamentary seat in the 2015 election in a bid to maximize support, its leader, Nigel Farage, said.
The party, which is holding its annual conference in London today and tomorrow, has grown in membership and popularity since the last election in 2010, drawing support from Prime Minister David Cameron’s Conservatives. Amid growing anti-EU sentiment, Cameron has promised a referendum on leaving the bloc in 2017, if he retains power after the next election.
The commitment by UKIP leader Nigel Farage, in an interview with the Daily Telegraph newspaper, means a rejection of suggestions from individual euro-skeptic Tory lawmakers who’d hoped to persuade UKIP not to run against them. A YouGov Plc (YOU) poll published today put the party on 11 percent, the same as the Liberal Democrats, currently the junior partners in Cameron’s coalition government.
“We will fight every single seat,” Farage told the Telegraph. “Who knows? What if UKIP held the balance of power - - there would be a referendum then.”
UKIP candidates ran in 572 seats out of the 650 in the House of Commons in 2010. Farage, who is addressing the conference today, said UKIP would also contest the 18 districts in Northern Ireland that are not fought by the main British parties.
Today’s YouGov poll for the Sun newspaper put the opposition Labour Party at 35 percent support, one percentage point ahead of the Conservatives. YouGov questioned 1,878 people on Sept. 18 and yesterday for the survey, for which no margin of error was specified.
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