How Brexit leader Farage could be the U.K. election's kingmaker
TORONTO -- Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage could be a kind of kingmaker after the U.K.’s historic election Thursday, even though he recently announced he will spoil his own ballot.
Polls suggest British Prime Minister Boris Johnson could win a majority government, for which Farage could be given both blame and thanks.
Last month, Farage announced he wouldn’t run any candidates in more than 300 ridings with Conservative incumbents, paving the way for a Tory win.
The former leader of the U.K. Independence Party, Farage was a key figure in the country’s elections to the European Parliament and the Brexit movement from the beginning. In an interview with CTV News this month, Farage said his influence continues to “shift the agenda.”
“We have dragged the Conservative party kicking and screaming back towards the Brexit direction,” he told CTV's London bureau chief Paul Workman. “We’ve now got a prime minister who virtually mimics every word I say.”
Instead of running candidates in hundreds of Conservative ridings, the Brexit Party is campaigning in staunch Labour Party ridings only. In Yorkshire county, where 70 per cent voted in favour of Brexit in 2016, Farage’s party stands a good chance Thursday.
“I agree with everything he says. He’s the only man that speaks truth,” said resident Sharon Gillis in an interview with CTVNews.
But Farage, who has run for parliament seven times and lost seven times, won’t run again this election. He also says he rejected offers of Conservative seats over the years and other official U.K. ranks.
“I said ‘No. I’m not for sale,’” he told CTV. “I didn’t ask for anything. There were various suggestions that I should be offered this and offered that.”
With a report from CTV's London bureau chief Paul Workman.