With Ukip tipped to top the popular vote in the European elections, Nigel Farage conceded his party would struggle to win seats at Westminster unless it could shed its “one-man band” image.
The anti-EU party could pick up around one-third of votes cast, winning more than 20 representatives in the European Parliament. That would be a triumphant performance in light of the succession of embarrassing headlines endured by Ukip in the run?up to polling day.
But Mr Farage acknowledged his party would not be able to maintain its current momentum unless Ukip was able to put more “high calibre” people into the public eye. “I intend to change that over the summer,” Mr Farage said.
He also indicated he was open to deals at the next election at a local level between Ukip and MPs of any party who supported leaving the EU. He was speaking at the end of a turbulent campaign marred by allegations of racism and homophobia among Ukip candidates.
An interview with a Brussels magazine resurfaced today in which Mr Farage was reported to have denounced the “lunacy” and talked about the number of women he had made pregnant. No Ukip spokesperson was available to comment on the interview.
Ukip’s Oldham party was reported to police over a leaflet which appeared to warn that Asian candidates were planning to rig the European election results. The author said it was to highlight worries about electoral fraud.