Nigel Farage Elected to British Parliament for First Time

Nigel Farage Elected to British Parliament for First Time

LONDON — Populist lawmaker Nigel Farage on Friday won his first-ever seat in the U.K.’s parliament as he looks to shake up the country’s politics with his right-wing Reform UK party.

The win by the Brexit proponent follows seven failed attempts to become a member of the British parliament, although he has served as a (pro-Brexit) member of the European Parliament.

“My plan is to build a mass national movement over the course of the next few years and hopefully be big enough to challenge the general election properly in 2029,” Farage said after the result was announced.

The result comes amid a surprisingly strong election performance by Reform UK, which has a hardline stance on immigration. Exit polls indicate that the party could secure up to 13 parliamentary seats — quite the feat given that it failed to win any in the 2019 vote — although the final result may fall short of this.

It follows a U-turn by Farage who had previously declared he would not stand as an MP in this election, choosing instead to focus on helping U.S. former President Donald Trump’s campaign.

However, just last month Farage announced a surprise return to Reform UK and agreed to become its leader. The news gave the party a huge bump in popularity, with polls showing it was closing in on the ruling Conservatives.

Euroskeptic Farage is best known for campaigning — successfully — for the U.K. to leave the EU. He led the UK Independence Party (UKIP) before forming the Brexit Party which eventually turned into Reform.

By 3:56 a.m. local time on Friday, Reform had won three seats, although 402 constituencies were yet to report. The party had also performed well in terms of vote share, securing 15.9% of the vote behind the Conservatives with 22% and Labour at 37.7%.

According to Carsten Nickel, managing director at U.S. corporate advisory firm Teneo, this means Farage has “really helped Labour,” which is expected to win a huge landslide victory in the election.

“He has spit the Conservative vote, so the massive losses that we see on the Conservative side, that, to a large degree, is due to Nigel Farage stepping on the scene with his Reform party,” Nickel said.

Earlier in the evening, Farage posted a video on X titled: “The revolt against the establishment is underway.”

“We’re going to win seats, many, many seats,” he said. “Mainstream media are in denial, just as much as our political parties.”