Man who failed to become an MP seven times thinks his party can win a general election
PUBLISHED: 10:13 16 April 2019 | UPDATED: 11:19 16 April 2019
Jean-François BADIAS / AP
Nigel Farage has claimed his pro-Brexit party would win a general election.
He made the claim after suggesting Theresa May and Jeremy Corbyn could agree to a permanent customs union compromise, which he deemed a “betrayal”.
He told the European Parliament: “The Brexit Party will sweep the board in these elections and there is only one way it can be stopped and that is if the governing party of Mrs May and the opposition of Mr Corbyn come together and agree to a permanent customs union, and indeed effectively membership of the single market.
“If that happens, the Brexit Party won't win the European elections but it will win the general election because the betrayal will be so complete and utter, so I don't believe it's going to happen.”
That is despite the fact Farage has failed seven times to win a seat in the House of Commons - having stood in general elections and by-elections in 1994, 1997, 2001, 2005, 2006, 2010 and 2015.
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn was quick to dismiss Nigel Farage's claims.
He said: “Nigel Farage is not the answer to anyone's problem. We have to have a relationship with Europe in or out of the EU. We have a major trading partnership with Europe and all Farage is offering is some kind of never-never-land, saying we'll walk away from everything.
“Well, he should say that to those people whose jobs would be at risk in manufacturing industries and food processing industries. He should say that to those people who are really going to suffer as a result of this.
“We're serious about having a trading relationship with Europe. We're serious about our relationship with the rest of the world. I'm not sure he is.”
Asked whether the Brexit Party was a risk to Labour and Conservative in the European elections, Corbyn said: “We will fight the elections as a party that is committed to that relationship with Europe but above all it's about uniting people however they voted in 2016, they're suffering from austerity.”
The latest YouGov polling currently finds Labour the clear leader in the European election race with 24% of support.
The Conservatives are in a second place with just 16% of support and Nigel Farage's Brexit party is in third place with 15% - just ahead of UKIP with 14%.
Pro-Remain parties the Lib Dems and Greens are on 8% with Change UK on 7% of support.