British elections: Nigel Farage is back

Photo of author
Written By Maya Cantina

British Brexit politician Farage is now running for parliament. His Reform UK party wants to profit from the Tories crisis.

Nigel Farage speaks into the camera

Britain’s ruling Conservatives have betrayed voters, says Nigel Farage Photo: Yui Mok/dpa

KLACTON taz | There was an unusually large crowd on Clacton pier on Tuesday afternoon. The small town in the southeast of England has a new resident: Nigel Farage. Britain’s best-known right-wing populist surprisingly announced on Monday that he has declared his candidacy for the July 4 general election and will take over the leadership of the Reform UK party he founded, the successor to the Brexit Party and before that the United Kingdom. The Independence Party (Ukip), whose strength is Great Britain, is being pushed into Brexit.

With Clacton, Farage now wants to achieve what he has not been able to achieve seven times before: entry into the British House of Commons. When Conservative Prime Minister Rishi Sunak called new elections for July 4 almost two weeks ago, Farage had ruled out running for parliament and instead wanted to help Donald Trump in the US. Now the 60-year-old declared his sudden candidacy as an “emergency” given the failure of the other parties on immigration, and also spoke of feelings of guilt towards those who long supported him.

“I will stand up and fight for you,” he shouted in a dark blue suit with a purple tie before hundreds of people gathered outside a fish and chip shop. The Conservatives had betrayed the voters: “They have opened the borders to mass immigration in a way we have never seen before. They have to pay a high price for this!”

In 2022, Britain’s immigration balance was 745,000 people, more than ever before, and in 2023 it was still 672,000. Conservative Prime Minister David Cameron once promised to reduce the number to “tens of thousands”. He attributed his failure to free movement within the EU and in 2016 this was one of the main reasons for the British vote for Brexit. Now, despite Brexit, even more people are coming, and Farage wants a zero balance: many people would have to immigrate, but no more than emigrate.

The most boring election campaign ever?

The Tories are on the brink of collapsesaid Farage. They and Labor are similar and have delivered the most boring election campaign ever. Where nothing works anymore, only courage can change something. Reforming Britain could even defeat the Tories.

Christopher and Simon are excited. On the terrace of the Wetherspoon pub opposite the pier, the 47-year-old musician and the 42-year-old shopkeeper declare that they are satisfied. “Farage has a good reputation for speaking out and shaking up politics,” praises Simon, while Christopher praises Farage as a “revolutionary”.

Farage has already made history in Clacton. Farage’s then party Ukip won its first seat in the House of Commons there in 2014 when Conservative MP Douglas Carswell switched to Ukip. That lasted just three years, and in 2017 the Tories took back the seat. But at one point during the 2016 Brexit referendum, Clacton was at the top of the country with 70 percent of the Brexit vote.

Clacton is an impoverished town, almost entirely white; according to the 2021 census, more than half of the 53,208 residents were over 65 years old. They are considered Farage’s most important voters.

He exaggerates his arguments

At 25, Victoria Bowen is one of the few young people in Clacton. When asked about Farage while shopping, she responded by describing a rear part of the body below the belt. “I will leave town if he scores points here,” she promises and complains: “He is exaggerating his arguments and, in my opinion, a borderline racist!” She admits that she will vote Labor on July 4, but that is not a great belief, because she liked the ambitious Corbyn better than Starmer. Victoria’s mother sees things differently. She leans more towards the Tories, but she doesn’t live in Clacton at all.

“Farage cannot help the people here, but there will certainly be a media circus,” says 47-year-old Peter Hoare as he walks his dog on the beach. He will vote for the Labor Party, the only party his disabled mother has ever benefited from, he says.

On the beach, 39-year-old IT expert Lisa Lee-Jacobs is also bewildered. Farage does not represent British values, she says: “British values ​​are tolerance and having something in common with people from other cultures, Farage, would instead pit people against each other!” But she also believes Farage has a chance because of the old people.

Not all old people are for Farage. Ex-carer Steve, 71, also on the beach with his dog, does not want to vote for Farage, nor does almost toothless former milk delivery worker Steve Tyler, 72. They remain with the Conservatives. “The Tories were just unlucky with the pandemic and the war in Ukraine,” says Steve.

Farage wants to solve the problems

Opinion polls ahead of Farage’s candidacy have the Tories narrowly ahead in Clacton. Farage could lead his party to victory there, many political observers believe, but it is unlikely that Reform UK will win national constituencies. At best, they could take Tory votes everywhere and further consolidate Labour’s expected victory. In some current polls, Labour’s lead over the Tories is currently 24 percent, and Keir Starmer could even surpass Tony Blair’s success in 1997.

The worse the Tories do, the more opportunities Farage sees for his political future. In the long term, his party could replace the Conservatives as the main force of the British right – or he could take over their leadership himself.

In any case, Farage will prove himself in the election campaign in his own way by redefining matters, as he did during the Brexit years. Tories and Labor talked on Monday and Tuesday about nothing other than how they would reduce immigration numbers. Already a political victory for Farage.

Source link

Leave a Comment

AcUk AcUk AcUk AcUk AcUk AcUk AcUk AcUk AcUk AcUk AcUk AcUk AcUk AcUk AcUk AcUk AcUk AcUk AcUk AcUk AcUk AcUk AcUk AcUk AcUk AcUk AcUk AcUk