Tuesday, August 26, 2014
Nigel Farage has been chosen by UKIP members to fight the South Thanet seat in Kent at the 2015 general election.
Speaking before the hustings where he was selected, the party leader also suggested he would stand down if UKIP failed to win any seats in Westminster.
Mr Farage beat three other candidates in the hustings vote held in Ramsgate.
He hopes to become UKIP's first MP as the party seeks to capitalise on the momentum of its recent first place in the European Parliament elections.
The Conservatives have chosen a former UKIP leader, Craig MacKinlay, to contest the seat they won in 2010.
Mr Farage insisted he was the man to campaign for the South Thanet seat, given he has served as an MEP for the area and has "good personal relationships" with its county councillors.
He said, although he was busy, he would be there to do the job.
"Yes I'm a busy person, I'm a party leader, but I will be an MP for you and I'll help put this place - that's at the end of the line, a bit forgotten, a bit left behind - and I hope I can help put it back on the map," he said.
Mr Farage said the idea that UKIP could not win seats in Westminster was now gone.
"I always set the bar as high as I possibly can," he said.
"I said three years ago we'd win the European elections. Everybody thought I was stone bonkers and we did it.
"I am telling you today we will win seats in Parliament next year. If we don't I will have failed as leader and I won't be here."
He refused to put a number on the amount of seats the party might win but speculated "we may win enough seats to hold the balance of power".
Meanwhile, Mr Farage said it would be "difficult" to work with David Cameron in any coalition, but said he would do a deal to get a referendum on the European Union with "almost anybody".
"The point is if UKIP win seats in Westminster in sufficient quantity, we will get a referendum on our membership of the EU and we will get one that conducted in free and fair terms," he added.
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