Nigel Farage, the leader of the Euro-sceptic United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP) puts on a brave face as his seat in parliament is believed to be far from certain, after vowing to step down as party leader if he doesn’t win his seat. London mayor Boris Johnson says the exit poll is positive but celebrations are premature until final results are released.
MARGATE, ENGLAND, UNITED KINGDOM (MAY 7, 2015) (ITN) – UKIP leader Nigel Farage faces a nervous overnight wait as his leadership of the party hinges on securing a parliament seat where polling suggests it’s far from certain in his South Thanet constituency, whereas London mayor Boris Johnson says he will await the official results rather than celebrating prematurely.
Farage arrived at a post-vote party and criticised newspaper editors.
“(Q: Nigel, your reflection first on the exit poll which suggests just two seats for UKIP tonight.) It does, and we’ll have to see, the first result we got was from Sunderland and we saw the UKIP vote up 7,000 and the Tory vote down by 1,000, and I want to congratulate the editors of The Sun and The Daily Mail, they’re geniuses. They said the UKIP vote would split the Tory vote. God help us.”
Farage has vowed to step down as leader of UKIP if he fails to win the seat he is competing to win in southeastern England’s coastal South Thanet seat.
London mayor Johnson, widely tipped to be a strong contender to lead the Conservatives once Cameron eventually decides to step down as leader of the party, refused to celebrate based on the exit poll which showed the Conservatives were only 10 seats short of a majority.
“I promise I’ll talk to you in great detail in the morning, you really can’t count your chickens here. As I’ve said before, if these exit polls are correct then clearly it’s a great success for the Conservatives.”
The exit poll gave the Conservatives 316 of 650 seats in the lower house of parliament and the main opposition Labour Party 239. If accurate, that would be one of centre-left Labour’s worst ever results.