Election 2015

Vote with your heart, UKIP's Nigel Farage tells voters

Nigel Farage Image copyright PA
Image caption UKIP leader Nigel Farage is campaigning in Thanet South

UKIP leader Nigel Farage has urged people to "vote with your heart" and support the party on Thursday.

In a two-page advert in the Daily Telegraph, he said no party would win an outright majority, which presented an "opportunity to vote for change".

Mr Farage said UKIP offered "strong voices" that would "stand up to the political establishment".

But former Conservative leader Iain Duncan Smith said a vote for UKIP would be like a "suicide note".

He said it would destroy eurosceptics' hopes of a referendum on Britain's membership of the European Union by allowing a Labour government in to power.

Tory leader David Cameron has promised an in/out referendum on the EU if he remains as prime minister.

But Mr Farage has said, without UKIP holding the PM's "feet to the fire", he feared any referendum would not be "fair".

'Common sense'

UKIP's double-page spread in the Daily Telegraph came as the party launched its final pitch to voters ahead of polling day.

Mr Farage warned voters against supporting either Mr Cameron or Labour leader Ed Miliband, accusing them of making broken and "empty" and promises and "appeasement of the SNP".

Only UKIP, a party which "transcends class and ethnic divides", could represent the whole of the British public and "stand up to the political establishment, be they in Westminster, Brussels, or indeed Holyrood".

With the UKIP leader: Robin Brant, BBC political correspondent

Is there a threat from IS on the streets of Sandwich? This was the question put to a man who stopped to talk to Nigel Farage in the Kent town today. He'd told the UKIP leader about his fears of "Arabs" and extremists coming to the UK.

It was the second time in as many days that a supporter had raised the issue off the cuff. Mr Farage spoke last week about what he sees as the dangers posed by Islamist extremists using the cover of migrants trying to cross the Mediterranean to get to Europe and the UK.

Today he said he can't believe the issue isn't bigger in this campaign. The man in Sandwich conceded that he felt no direct threat in his town [during a brief exchange I pointed out that the 7/7 bombers were British].

But Nigel Farage believes the fears of people - UKIP supporters - in Margate and Sandwich are genuine and it's something he's focusing on as polling day nears.

Key priorities

UKIP

Main pledges

  • Rapid referendum on Britain’s membership of the European Union
  • Control immigration with points system, limit of 50,000 skilled workers a year and a five-year ban on unskilled immigration
  • Extra £3bn a year for the NHS in England
  • No tax on the minimum wage
  • Meet Nato target of spending 2% of GDP on defence, and look to increase it “substantially”

"So when you go into the polling station on 7 May, think about the direction you want for this country," he wrote.

"We're the party of controlled immigration, strong defence and common sense," adding that UKIP's manifesto pledges were the only ones to be independently audited.

'Tory slur'

However, Work and Pensions Secretary Mr Duncan Smith said supporting Mr Farage's party would enable Labour to take power and deny the people a vote on the UK's relationship with Brussels.

He told the Telegraph: "I would simply appeal to them and say, honestly this is a risk that is no longer a protest, but it's like a suicide note."

"The last thing I always say to UKIP people on the doorstep is that for 24 years I have campaigned for a referendum on the European Union. And the British people have wanted one.

"And they should stop and think because if they do not vote for the Conservatives, then basically they will have taken away that referendum from the British people for which they will not be forgiven.

"And I certainly won't forgive them."

Responding to his comments, Mr Farage tweeted: "For IDS to accuse UKIP voters of writing "suicide notes" for a country they believe in is another Tory slur that'll drive more people to us."

More on this story