UKIP leader Nigel Farage says he was ‘stunned’ by the amount of votes his party won in Boston at the European Elections - but revealed he is unlikely to bid to become our MP.
Nowhere else in the country gave a bigger percentage of votes to UKIP in the European election, with 52 per cent of those who turned out in Boston choosing to support the eurosceptic party.
Mr Farage, who had predicted a ‘political earthquake’ when visiting Wyberton last April, said he was ‘absolutely stunned’ by the amount of votes his party won here.
Confirming that the borough had the highest level of support in the whole country he said: “Boston was numero uno.”
The national press have reported that UKIP now has a hitlist of 20 seats for next year’s General Election – with Mark Simmonds’ Boston and Skegness said to be on it.
Mr Farage told The Standard: “I haven’t mentioned the figure 20, that’s pure speculation. Whatever the number it would seem extremely unlikely that Boston is not on it.”
He added: “UKIP has got a big commitment to Boston and by the looks of things the people of Boston have got a big commitment to UKIP.”
The party leader, who himself was re-elected as an MEP in the south east, has been subject to a great deal of speculation about where he will stand to try to become an MP.
He is still yet to decide, but revealed to The Standard that he is unlikely to contest Boston’s seat.
He said: “I don’t think I will be going for Boston. I am from the south east of England, I am very Home Counties in terms of my background.
“Boston needs somebody from the East Midlands. I think the general public are sick to death with candidates being parachuted into constituencies all over the country. For me to do Boston is unlikely, despite the result.”
He feels UKIP’s support in the area comes from the fact Boston has been ‘uniquely affected’ by the free movement of people coming from other parts of Europe.
Farage, who says he has ‘no doubt’ he will be returning to Boston soon, said the party will address critics who highlight UKIP’s lack of policies on issues other than Europe at its conference in Doncaster in the autumn.
While many are already turning their attention to the General Election, Boston borough councillors also face re-election on the same day next May.
The UKIP leader vowed his party will be just as keen to try to win power on the council, saying: “Oh yes, make no mistake about it.”