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8 May 2015updated 25 Jul 2021 6:38am

Ukip leader Nigel Farage loses in Thanet South

Ukip's disappointment is compounded by its leader's failure to win a seat.

By Anoosh Chakelian

Nigel Farage has lost in Thanet South. He won 16,026 votes to the Conservative candidate’s 18,838.

This compounds Ukip’s general election disappointment; they have only won one seat – a Clacton hold for Douglas Carswell.

Farage has said in the past that he would resign as Ukip leader if he didn’t win a seat. He hasn’t specifically referred to this yet, but did say he felt “an enormous weight” lifted from his shoulders.

In his speech, Farage said he was proud of Ukip moving from being the party of “retired old colonels” to “suddenly” being “the party for under-30s, particularly young working women”.

He decried the fact that his party, which has won 4m votes as well as the Euros last year, has ended up with one seat, and called for “radical” voting reform.

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On a professional level, I feel an enormous degree of disappointment – on a personal level, I feel an enormous weight has been lifted from my shoulders, I’ve never been happier,” he added.

He was defeated by the Tory candidate, Craig Mackinlay, who is a former deputy Ukip leader. There was an 18 per cent swing from Tory to Ukip in Thanet South. There was a similar swing in Rochester & Strood and Thanet North.

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