He calls himself a “moderate eurosceptic” in Britain and his strategy appears to have paid off. During the European election campaign UK Independence Party leader Nigel Farage has used every opportunity to make his views on the EU clear to voters.
Farage’s mantra has been: “We want our money back from Europe, we want our borders back, we want our country back”.
The party’s controversial poster campaign, targeting immigrants and European bureaucrats, has been criticised for being racist.
Farage defended it by saying it deals with a “reality experienced by millions of British people living outside the Westminster bubble”.
“What we’ve seen over the last decade, is open door immigration on a scale this country has never, ever seen and it’s putting young people out of work, it’s driving wages down and it’s leading to social division in cities and market towns across the country. These people over here (pointing towards the UK parliament building) don’t get it,” the UKIP leader explained.
His solution is for Britain to leave the European Union: a message that has resonated particularly well among voters who feel alienated socially and economically.
After spending 20 years as a commodities broker in the City of London, in 1999 Farage helped UKIP win their first-ever European Parliament seat.
His laid-back and approachable style has contrasted greatly with his opponents in the centre-left Labour Party and the centre-right Conservatives, qualities that have appealed to many British voters.