Tom: I’m delighted to say that joining me in the studio is the honorary president of Reform UK Nigel Farage.

Nigel what do you make of this result?

Nigel: So what have been said in the last few months is that Reform is a party in theory. Tt gets you know national polling of 8, 9, 10%, 12% whatever it is but, in by-elections it always underperforms and to date it always has. Kingswood is the first election in which we’ve actually got up with a national vote share 10.35%.

Of course Jacob would say bigger than the difference between the Conservatives and Labour which it was but, the truth is people voting Reform would not vote Conservative anyway. They are so upset they feel so betrayed with the Conservatives. Since 2019 and you know it’s a funny thing and and I guess not not many viewers would get this.

I have led 30 by-elections 30, 31 actually as UKIP leader and we got better and better.

Tom: You were their first candidate?

Nigel: I stood in a by election 30 years ago, you weren’t even born!

Tom: I wasn’t.

Nigel: See in 1994 I stood in East Leigh.

Tom: Just before I was born. Well only just.

Nigel: I know you’re getting on too, but so I stood 30 years ago in a by election. I got a 1,000’s votes, I mean actually it was pretty amazing achievement really given where we were politics. In by elections is as much about perspiration as inspiration. It’s about Party Machine and the one thing that Reform has not got that UKIP did have 10 years ago is a big machine.

Rupert Lowe standing in Kingswood yes he had 20 or 30 people helping him but, it literally was a threadbare operation with zero data compared to the Conservatives who know how your granddad voted and Labour as well and the fact that he’s managed to get a vote up with national vote share shows you something very sexy is going on in British politics.

Tom: Very sexy, words I’m not sure I would have heard you Nigel Farage say, but there we go. I wonder, we talk about the big parties the established parties and and you’re right to talk about the fact that running multiple elections you build up data, you know where your voters are and then crucially in by-elections turn out to be lower turnout elections?

Nigel: Often you turn your people out. Has the Reform Party been using Brexit party data or I suppose it’s the same entity was there much Brexit party the truth is that the Brexit party was launched on the 12th of April 2019 it was an air war.

We were an air war party, not a ground war, no. There was no time to do it, to build up the kind of volunteer army base. You know I called UKIP The People’s Army. It’s a long time ago, it’s gone so we even in the European elections it you know, do we have data? yes, do we have 50,000 supporters on our database? yes we do, but do we have data going back generations? no we don’t and that makes a hell of a difference.

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Look that result shows you something very big, sexy as I called it is going on, but you know what yeah the most significant result of Kingswood is the Lib Dems losing their deposit. This is glorious, this is the kind of turf in which the Lib Dems would have expected a very solid by-election result.

The fact they got 3.5% and lost their deposit, it’s very interesting, my goodness, to me isn’t Rishi lucky if the Lib Dems had a good leader the Tories would be in huge trouble. Not just in the North, in the red wall but in the South as well.

Tom: Could you not say that we’re seeing perhaps a reverse of the politics that we saw in the 1980s?

Nigel: The 1980s there was a big split on the left of politics between the Liberal SDP Alliance and the Labour party. It seems that there’s been this coalescing around perhaps a more centrist Labour party at least that’s the image they want to project and unarguably a split on the right. No there’s no right, the Conservative party is not right.

In 14 years of Conservative government the whole agenda has shifted ever leftwards. This is a Conservative party of big state, high tax, mass immigration, this is not a right-wing Conservative party. It’s not even centre right it’s actually just of the left of the political spectrum.

There is now a massive gap on the moderate genuine sensible grown-up centre of British politics and what you’ve seen in Kingswood and what you will see in Wellingborough in an hour’s time is that gap is beginning to be filled.

Rishi Sunak would tell you he was a Thatcherite, Rishi Sunak would say that he’s trying to get this Rwanda scheme off the ground, he would say he cut National Insurance, no, no I’m sorry five pledges right?

Reduced inflation yes, inflation’s down. You know why?

Because grow the economy, pledge three is now a complete catastrophe because we’re in recession.

Cutting the debt? Our national debts’ never been higher in our history it’s £110 billion repayments every year.

Number four cutting NHS waiting lists? It’s still over 7 million.

Stop the boats? He’s telling us that 30,000 young males coming last year is somehow a victory. He’s the best spinner since Blair, none of it sincere, none of it’s genuine and you know what he’s not even recognisable in terms of policy, as a Conservative.

Tom: Let’s zoom back to these by-elections because as the leader of UKIP, was originally uh losing deposits at the start of the 2010s, how did it build up through those early by-elections to a point where you actually won two by-elections? I remember winning a deposit in wigan in about 2006 wow and we would lose deposit after deposit after deposit.

Nigel: In 2010, I’ve been leader of the party until 09. I stepped down for a year I came I said right we’re going to do this properly and you have to build a machine.

You have to get a lot of Volunteers in and the incentive of course in those days was come and have a drink with Nigel. You know, you I didn’t have a drink with all of them but you need to get bodies. You need data. If you’re a punter living in a by-election seat you will have 150 leaflets not I mean 30 leaflets through your door. You’re so hacked off with the whole thing to get people out on the day to vote, you’ve got to knock on the door and have personal persuasion. You need a machine. I built a machine, I raised money for each by election.

I got experts in who understood polling focus grouping. I made it a massive, massive enterprise and in 2011 in the Barnsley by election we came second and we never ever came less than second in any other by-election during my leadership.

It doesn’t happen overnight. Richard Tice, Richard Tice has saved Reform because a lot of people say that Richard Tice doesn’t have the name recognition you do. Some people say he doesn’t have the Charisma you do and a lot of people say well my goodness if Reform’s getting 10% here, if Nigel was leading it could be getting 20%?

Well, that may be true it may not be true, what I will say for Richard is he kept that party going.

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Much of it out of his own pocket. I mean he has put an astonishing amount of money out of his own money in to keeping that vehicle going during a time when people said oh no Brexit’s done, we don’t need Reform and now it’s coming into his own so I have the utmost admiration for Richard.

Tom: It could be the case that in November there’s a general election in this country and another election just across the Atlantic a presidential election in the United States. Yeah be honest now which are you more interested in?

Nigel: oh well look both. I mean it’s a very unfair question, of course I want the Donald to win.

Whatever his flaws may be, whatever his excesses, I mean the NATO speech is classic of Donald. Excessive and yet pushing people in the right direction. The Western world needs leadership, needs strength otherwise these bully boys are going to walk all over us. But, of course I’m British, I’m English and I want to see what happens here Tom.

Look you know I am enjoying my life at GB News. As the honorary president of Reform UK I have no executive role in the party. Everyone speculates when I come back as leader. I might do, I might not. I don’t know, my big fear would be to come back and get 5 million votes in three seats.

If I see a really historic opportunity to go in and to win a large number of seats and to replace the Conservative party then I’ll probably do it but I’m not sure yet.

Tom: Goodness Me cards close to your chest, thank you so much for joining us and talking us through those enormous issues on this big night in British politics.