Death of UKIP? Paul Nuttall’s party faces election wipeout

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The UK Independence Party (UKIP) faces a devastating night in the general election and looks unlikely to win any seats, according to exit polls and results in so far.

UKIP fielded 377 candidates for the snap election, but if exit polls are correct they will fail to gain a single seat in the House of Commons. UKIP’s only MP, Douglas Carswell, defected back to the Conservatives in March.

The party is down 13.3 percent and has lost its deposit in 13 out of 14 seats called so far. Candidates lose their £500 deposit when they fail to gain more than 5 percent of the vote in their constituency.

UKIP leader Paul Nuttall appeared to blame Prime Minister Theresa May and warned the result would put Brexit “in jeopardy.”

Neil Hamilton, UKIP’s leader in the Welsh Assembly, said the party’s vote has been “squeezed” as the election became a “binary competition between Labour and the Tories.

However he was optimistic the party could “carve out a niche” in UK politics following what looks like a “disastrous election” for the Conservatives.

A party source added it was “wrong to think all UKIP voters would vote for May on Brexit, anti-establishment Corbyn more attractive for many.”

UKIP economic spokesman Patrick O’Flynn said there would be “hell to pay” with Brexiteers if the exit poll is correct, adding he expects people to “gravitate back to UKIP in very large numbers.

Speaking to LBC, former UKIP leader Nigel Farage said he is “not surprised” the party faces a wipeout.

The Conservatives have taken on the UKIP agenda. It rather amused me. I listened to Theresa May’s speeches and she was using the same words and phrases I’ve used for the past 20 years. The only trouble is, she didn’t believe in it.

She doesn’t really believe in anything. That was where Corbyn was so impressive. I don’t agree with his agenda, but he went around the country and it was clear he believed in something.”

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