Nigel Farage won’t stand at election as he dodges one other humiliating defeat

Nigel Farage has announced he will not stand as a candidate at the general election for Reform UK.

The former Ukip leader has unsuccessfully stood for Parliament seven times. His last bid to become an MP ended in failure in 2015 when he lost by 2,812 votes in South Thanet.

Mr Farage had been threatening to make a political comeback. But in an announcement this morning, he said: “Important though the general election is , the contest in the United States of America on November 5 has huge global significance. A strong America as a close ally is vital for our peace and security.

“I thought long and hard as to whether I should stand in the upcoming general election. As honorary president of Reform UK, I am fully supportive of Richard Tice’s leadership and urge voters to put their trust in him and Lee Anderson. I will do my bit to help in the campaign, but it is not the right time for me to go any further than that.”

Nigel Farage's last bid to become an MP ended in failure in 2015 when he lost by 2,812 votes in South Thanet

Nigel Farage’s last bid to become an MP ended in failure in 2015 when he lost by 2,812 votes in South Thanet

After leaving Ukip, Mr Farage made a return to politics in 2019 as Theresa May struggled to pass her Brexit deal. He led the Brexit Party to victory in the European elections when it got 29 MEPs elected, before it was later rebranded as Reform UK.

The 60-year-old, who has found a new career as a GB News, had his first unsuccessful attempt to become an MP at the Eastleigh by-election in 1994.

The Mirror revealed in December 2022 that Mr Farage was not planning another bid for Parliament because he feared yet another defeat. He said returning to politics was “not top of my bucket list”.

Nigel Farage is now a presenter on GB News

Nigel Farage is now a presenter on GB News

He added: “The truth of it is anywhere I stood they would cheat. They would break the law, they just would. No one went to prison last time, the result stood, one person got a suspended sentence.”

In January 2019, Tory official Marion Little was given a nine-month suspended sentence and fined £5,000 after being found guilty of falsifying election expenses. The party had declared that spending on the campaign in South Thanet came in under the strict £52,000 limit, but prosecutors alleged up to £66,600 more was spent on staffing, accommodation, advertising, posters and a bus. The judge said Ms Little had become “carried away by her conviction” that the Tories must defeat Mr Farage.

List of Nigel Farage’s seven election defeats

  • 1994 by-election – Eastleigh
  • 1997 general election – Salisbury
  • 2001 general election – Bexhill and Battle
  • 2005 general election – South Thanet
  • 2006 by-election – Bromley and Chislehurst
  • 2010 general election – Buckingham
  • 2015 general election – South Thanet

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