Ukip success could see Scotland vote for independence, claims Baron Tony Giddens

Lord Giddens warned that some Scottish voters see Ukip as an 'English party'

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The Independent Online

Ukip’s staggering performance in the recent European Parliament elections may push Scotland to vote for independence, because of the view it is an "English party", according to a senior academic.

Baron Tony Giddens' comments come after the euro-sceptic party gained 27.5 per cent of the vote in the European Parliament poll- the first time a national election has not been won be either the Conservatives or Labour for 100 years.

During a speech at the Hay Festival, the former head of the London School of Economics described Ukip’s victory as a“howl of pain” by members of the electorate who see the EU as part of the “forces of cosmopolitism” which "impinge" on them.

Lord Giddens used the result to warn that if the UK lost Scotland's electorate in September's referendum, Britain could leave the European Union and revert back to Nigel Farage’s “beer and fags society of the Fifties”, the Telegraph reported.

“The success of Ukip could tip the balance for an independent Scotland,” he said.

“Personally I hope the Scots will stay in because I think ‘better together’ is a good strategy. But in reality we don’t know what will happen and referendums are unpredictable.

“Scotland thinks Ukip is an English party.

“If Scotland left and there is a European referendum then you might lose two to three million pro-Europe votes,” he added.

However, he did not predict the Ukip could repeat its success in the 2015 general election.

“The impact of Ukip is formidable but that impact will not be felt in the general election.

“They will have an impact on British politics but probably not as great as they have had over the last few days," he said.

Lord Giddens also cautioned against UK leaving the EU, and said that its “global influence” would “shrink”.