Nigel Farage Ukip
Nigel Farage resigned as leader of Ukip after failing to secure a seat in parliament Suzanne Plunkett/Reuters

Ukip leader Nigel Farge has resigned after he failed to win a seat the South Thanet constituency sticking to his promise to stand down if he did not get elected. However, he did not rule out the possibility of putting his name in the hat when it comes to choosing a new leader in September.


"The definition of whether you're having a good day or a bad day – and many of you may think I'm having a bad day – but let me tell you, five years ago on election day I was in intensive care after an aeroplane crash so compared to that this feels pretty damn good.

"I do congratulate the Prime Minister – he has secured a Tory majority, something nobody thought was possible. Now, there was an earthquake this election, and it happened north of the border – it happened in Scotland.

I think the First Past The Post system is bankrupt. It’s bankrupt because one party can get 50% of the vote in Scotland and nearly 100% of the seats, and our party can get 4m votes and just one seat.
- Farage

"I think what you saw were a lot of voters so scared by that Labour-SNP coalition that they drifted towards the Conservatives and that included some of the people here who had voted Ukip last time around.

"But I saw another shift at this election: I saw Ukip, the party apparently for the retired old colonels suddenly as the party for people under 30, particularly young working women.

"There is a big change going on in politics and I think what is really interesting is that we've always been here to believe that Britain gets back its democracy. We shouldn't be governed from Brussels.

"But what is interesting is what's happening within our democracy in this country. We've got a party in Britain who got 50% of the vote in one of the regions and nearly 100% of the seats and we've got another party that scored nearly as many votes -- four million -- as well as the European elections last year, that has finished up with one seat in parliament and I think the time has come for real, genuine, radical political reform and I think it's Ukip that'll be the party that leads it.

Nigel Farage
Farage has not ruled out a return in September. Getty

"On a professional level I express today a degree of disappointment. On a personal level I believe an enormous weight has been lifted from my shoulders and I've never felt happier.

"I have seen a shift in our vote and I saw it in Broadstairs, I saw people saying 'Nigel, we're going to vote for you in the local elections, we love what you stand for, but we can't afford to have a Labour-SNP coalition'.

"I think some of those older voters who'd been voting Ukip for the last couple of years did vote Conservative yesterday and yet that vote was supplemented, augmented, replaced by a different kind of voter.

"The new Ukip voter is predominantly working class and I would characterise our strength in this constituency and it's seen in this constituency – young working couples and in particular young women now voting Ukip.

"They're looking for change, they're the kind of people who work hard, do their best, pay for childcare but are frankly little better off than those that don't work and that is a big social problem within this country. Personally I think the First Past The Post system is bankrupt. It's bankrupt because one party can get 50% of the vote in Scotland and nearly 100% of the seats, and our party can get four million votes and just one seat.

"I think for those reasons there'll be a lot of angry Ukip people up there – not giving up on Ukip but absolutely determined that we get a fairer, more reflective system. There's something deeper about this First Past The Post system.

"What it's led to is a general election in which because the system that was designed to produce majority government couldn't do it has led to a totally negative general election campaign. Everybody says 'these guys, they're slightly worse than us' and my feeling is if we have a proportional system, actually you'd say 'please vote for me because every single vote counts and this is what we stand for'.

"I think electoral reform wouldn't just make our politics fairer, I think it would make it more open, more honest, and we'd see some real, real debate.

"Now, I said as this campaign went on that if I didn't win I would stand down as leader of Ukip. I know that you in the media are used to party leaders making endless promises that they don't actually keep, but I'm a man of my word, I don't break my word, so I shall be writing to the Ukip national executive in a few minutes saying that I am standing down as leader of Ukip. I will recommend that pro-temp they put in place as acting leader Suzanne Evans, who I think has emerged from this campaign as an absolute tower of strength within Ukip.

"She works in London, she's based in the London office and I think that's the right way for us to go. As far as I'm concerned personally well, yes, there's a bit of me that's disappointed, but there's a bit of me that's happier than I've felt for many years.

"I intend to take the summer off, enjoy myself a little bit -- not do very much politics at all. There will be a leadership election for the next leader of Ukip in September and I will consider over the course of this summer whether to put my name forward to do that job again."