Farage talks general election during Thurrock visit

Thurrock Gazette: Nigel Farage in Stifford Clays yesterday Nigel Farage in Stifford Clays yesterday

NIGEL Farage said UKIP’s battle plans for the 2015 General Election will come to light next year - including whether he will stand in Thurrock.

The leader of the party visited Stifford Clays ahead of a Thurrock Council by-election called following the death of long-standing Labour ward councillor Diana Hale in early September.

He was joined by a dozen members of the party canvassing for their candidate Clive Broad ahead of the count on October 17 and their party conference in Westminster starting tomorrow.

Earlier this year Farage said Thurrock would be a target seat at the next general election.

After speaking to traders and shoppers, the 49-year-old said he could not give any further details yet of what UKIP’s plans are or whether rumours he will stand in Thurrock are true.

However, he did indicate south Essex is still high on the party’s hitlist.

Farage said: “South Essex, with areas like Thurrock and Basildon, have always been one of the most interesting in elections around Britain as they are real ping pong seats.

“The most sincere answer I can give you is come back to me and ask the same question next summer once the European Elections have finished and I can give you a more detailed answer.

“I would be very surprised though if constituencies like Thurrock are not still on our priority list.”

Looking ahead to the by-election, Farage said he thinks his party have a fantastic chance of gaining another seat at Thurrock Council having won one at the 2012 local elections.

“I think this area is very representative of Britain today,” he said.

“It has it’s good bits and it’s bad bits. Businesses seem to be doing well but there are youngsters who are struggling to find work, so it is quite representative.

“We are fighting this to win, not just to be one of the runners and riders.”

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