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Nigel Farage Has Resigned As UKIP Leader

Farage failed in his bid to become an MP. But he may well try again.

Nigel Farage has resigned as UKIP leader after losing his bid to become MP for South Thanet.


The UKIP leader finished second behind the Conservative candidate, Craig Mackinlay. Farage ended up with 16,026 votes, compared with Mackinlay's 18,848.

Farage had vowed to resign if he failed to get elected. He said after the result was announced that he'd "never felt happier" and that it was a huge weight off his shoulders.

But he said he may well run in the party's leadership contest in September, after taking some time over the summer to think.

Farage had been expected to win in South Thanet, having enjoyed a lead in opinion polls since the start of the campaign.

However, the 51-year-old's grip on the constituency slipped in the campaign's final days, as BuzzFeed News found on a visit to the constituency.

Last night, Farage lashed out at the media after exit polls suggested UKIP would only win two seats.

Rob Stothard / Getty Images

"I want to congratulate the editors of The Sun and Daily Mail," he said. "They're geniuses. They said the UKIP vote would split the Tory vote. God help us."

Earlier this year, Farage admitted it would be "curtains" if he lost in the general election.

In his autobiography, published in March, Farage wrote:

It is frankly just not credible for me to continue to lead the party without a Westminster seat. What credibility would Ukip have in the Commons if others had to enunciate party policy in Parliament and the party leader was only allowed in as a guest?

Was I supposed to brief Ukip policy from the Westminster Arms? No, if I fail to win South Thanet, it is curtains for me. I will have to step down.

Hussein Kesvani is a reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in London.

Contact Hussein Kesvani at Hussein.Kesvani@BuzzFeed.com.

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