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12 Dec, 2019 23:34

Victory for Brexit, but not Brexit Party: Farage says he’s ‘comfortable’ with winning no seats in UK election

Victory for Brexit, but not Brexit Party: Farage says he’s ‘comfortable’ with winning no seats in UK election

Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage said his party influenced the UK general election, despite not winning any seats in Parliament, moving the issue from being ‘in the weeds’ earlier this year to a decisive factor at the polls.

“I am comfortable with the decisions I made in this election,” Farage told the BBC on Thursday evening, defending his choice not to contest some 317 seats across the UK and let those votes go to Boris Johnson’s Tories.

Though he admitted it would have been good to win some seats – exit polls show his party at zero – Farage argued that it was his party that moved the issue of Brexit from being “in the weeds” back in February to front and center of the campaign.

“We set this thing up, we put it back on track. If we get there we’ve done a good job,” Farage said. 

All parties encouraged ‘tactical voting’ to some extent in the December 12 election, but Farage’s BP seems to have taken it to the logical extreme, standing down in a number of battleground constituencies to help the Conservatives trounce Labour in many places they would have otherwise lost. Farage argued that this “poleaxed” the Liberal Democrats and helped avoid another hung Parliament. 

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Exit polls on Thursday evening showed Johnson’s Conservatives winning 368 seats, with Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour down to only 191. 

“My purpose was to try to get the right kind of Brexit,” Farage said. If this does not happen in six months, he added, “I will have to put my hat back in the ring.”

Farage has been a member of the European Parliament since 1999, and served as leader of the UK Independence Party (UKIP) on two occasions, before founding the Brexit Party earlier this year to campaign for honoring the results of the 2016 referendum, in which the UK voted to leave the EU.

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