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Monday, October 6, 2014

Is Nigel Farage Taking UKIP Mainstream?

The UK Independence Party has long been seen as a bunch of racists on the fringe of British politics. But after two high-profile defections, they could be set to win their first ever Westminster seat. "Don't think of this as a Parliament, think of it as a temple", says UKIP's outspoken figurehead, Nigel Farage, of the European Parliament in Strasbourg. "And the people that come here, true believers in the European dream. It's almost heresy for someone like me to come here and, irony of ironies, take a front seat position. I mean, it's absolutely hilarious." His party, who for over a decade have campaigned for Britain's withdrawal from the EU, are curiously well-represented in the very organization they seek to dismantle. Their straightforward message to voters - that the UK would be better off without the unrestricted immigration it enshrines in law - won them the EU elections in May this year, delivering a sharp wake-up call to the British political establishment. Now, with a general election just around the corner, they are stealing votes left, right, and centre. "That is what sets us apart.", says one new recruit. "Nigel often says you can’t get a cigarette paper between the three main parties."


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