UK Politics

An Independence From Europe hopes to get 10% of vote

Mike Nattrass
Image caption Mr Nattrass is standing for election in the West Midlands

A Eurosceptic party only formed last November is hoping to get at least two MEPs elected in Thursday's polls.

An Independence from Europe, set up by former UKIP MEP Mike Nattrass, is predicting that it will get more than 10% of the total vote in polls for the European Parliament.

Mr Nattrass said he had had a "strong reaction" from voters.

The party wants the UK to leave the European Union and says it is to the left of UKIP on domestic policies.

  • There are elections across the UK to the European Parliament on Thursday and elections to 161 councils in England and 11 in Northern Ireland. Voting takes place from 07:00 BST to 22:00 BST.
  • Results for the local elections will come on Friday. Results for the European elections will be announced late on Sunday. You can follow full coverage with all the latest updates at http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/events/vote2014

The party is fielding 60 candidates across England, including Mr Nattrass and current Dutch MEP Laurence Stassen, but is not standing in Wales or Scotland.

Mr Nattrass said he was optimistic the party was going to make an impact, despite vying for attention with UKIP and a number of other parties also calling for exit from the EU.

"The way things have been going, the reaction has been very strong," he told the BBC. "I think we are certainly going to get one MEP elected in the west midlands and the south east."

The MEP, who set up the party when he was not selected to represent UKIP in the forthcoming elections, said the party could potentially secure between 12% and 15% of the overall vote.

While talk of victories was "total speculation", he said the party hoped to capitalise on his personal "following" in the west midlands and had realistic prospects in London, the south west and the north west of England.

"Bank on two (MEPs elected), maybe two more," he added.

Mr Nattrass said his party, which opposes the privatisation of public services, was also taking voters from Labour in Yorkshire but it would take an "earthquake" for it to secure a seat in that region.

An Independence From Europe argues that leaving the EU would provide more money for schools and the NHS. It is also campaigning for stronger links with the Commonwealth and for English MPs - when they are not in Parliament - to sit in assemblies voting on issues affecting the regions they represent.

It is not fielding any candidates in council elections in England.