EDINBURGH, May 21 (RIA Novosti), Mark Hirst – If Scots elect a member of the European Parliament from the United Kingdom Independence Party at upcoming May 22 elections, it would open a wave of euroscepticism in Scotland, party leader Nigel Farage told RIA Novosti.
“I have every reason to believe that once there is a eurosceptic dimension in elected Scottish politics, it won’t be that different from the support we’ve seen for it in England,” Farage told RIA Novosti.
The right-wing, anti-immigration United Kingdom Independence Party (Ukip) is predicted to win elections in the UK when voters go to the polls Thursday.
The party already has 13 elected MEPs at the EU, but is hoping to secure their first MEP north of the border in Scotland, despite only securing 5.2 percent of the Scottish vote at the 2009 Euro elections.
“A Ukip MEP elected from Scotland would send a message that views are not that different north and south of the border,” Farage told RIA Novosti.
“There is a very pro-EU consensus in Scottish politics and an impression given that south of the border we, English, hate the European Union but north of the border Scots love the EU. The evidence doesn’t quite bear that out,” Farage added.
“There have not been voices in Scotland offering any criticism of the EU and it was exactly the same in England when we only had a few people elected,” Farage said. “When we started getting more people elected in England we saw a wave in Euroscepticism from Labour and Tory MPs and the issue was roared up.”
Farage is confident of victory UK-wide, telling RIA Novosti “we feel very confident and the polls show us consistently ahead of the Conservatives, and we think, looking at the polling evidence, that we are on course to win.”
Turn-out for European elections is traditionally very low, with only around 30 percent of voters bothering to cast a vote.
A weekend survey carried out across the UK by polling company Comres put Ukip at 35 percent support compared to Labour at 24 percent and the Conservatives at 20 percent. North of the border, the pro-independence Scottish National Party is expected to win 3 of Scotland’s 6 MEP seats.