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As UK election sweeps, far-right leader Farage says establishment ‘rebellion’ underway

LONDON: Brexit leader Nigel Farage said he had launched a “rebellion against the establishment” after exit polls showed his hard-right party had made an unprecedented electoral breakthrough.
Reform UK, a rebrand of the Brexit Party founded by Farage in 2018, is predicted to secure 13 seats – the first time a party on the British far-right has won more than one seat.
“This, folks, is huge,” Farage said in a social media video released early Friday.
“The rebellion against the establishment is underway,” he added on Ks.
The reform appeared to have far exceeded expectations in the election, after it was predicted to win just a few seats in the House of Commons in the later stages of the campaign.
Farage, who launched an eighth bid to become one of the country’s 650 MPs midway through the six-week campaign, was set to finally win in Clacton, east England, according to an exit poll by British broadcasters.
This would put the attention-grabbing populist figure in a prime position to attempt his long-term goal of carrying out a “takeover” of the Conservatives.
Millions of their voters appear to have already switched their support for reform, leaving the Tories — in power since 2010 — facing their worst result in nearly two centuries, exit polls show.
The surge in reform comes as hard-right parties or politicians increase their appeal across Europe and the United States.

Considered one of Britain’s most effective communicators and activists, Farage — the privately educated son of a stockbroker — is a longtime ally of US President Donald Trump.
“This is the start of a big movement,” David Bull, deputy reform leader, told Sky News as Britain awaited official results late on Thursday.
“This is a political revolt. It is also a five-year plan. If we can go from nothing four years ago to winning 13 places, imagine what we can do in five years.”

Farage, 60, is a one-time Conservative who left the party in the early 1990s to co-found the Eurosceptic United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP).
He won an unprecedented victory in the European Parliament elections in 2014, serving as an MP for a fringe party for around two decades and helping to mainstream Euroscepticism.
But UKIP has never managed to win more than one seat in a general election. Farage himself failed to become an MP on seven separate occasions.
But his national prominence continued to grow after he became the driving force behind the 2016 Brexit vote, before carving out a career as a presenter on the brash right-wing TV channel GB News.
Entering the 2024 general election after initially ruling himself out, Farage said he was bidding to emulate Canada’s right-wing fringe efforts in the 1990s to take over its Conservative Party.
His candidacy dramatically boosted reform in the UK, while dismaying the Tories as opinion polls showed an immediate surge in support for the far-right anti-immigration group.
Conservatives and centrists now fear that Farage may have the perfect platform in parliament to further legitimize his staunchly anti-establishment populist message.
“If this exit poll is correct, this looks like Nigel Farage’s dream scenario – he will be rubbing his hands together with glee,” said Chris Hopkins, director of political research at pollster Savant.
“He has enough MPs to make a racket in Westminster, and the party with which he shares the closest political space could be reduced to a long period of soul-searching.”

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