Election 2015: Farage encourages tactical vote

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Nigel FarageImage source, PA
Image caption,
Nigel Farage made his comments while on a visit to a factory in Essex

The leader of UKIP has encouraged people to vote tactically in the general election.

Nigel Farage said supporting a party purely with the aim of defeating another was the "best way for parties like UKIP to get more people elected".

But he denied claims he told a newspaper that UKIP voters should vote Conservative in certain areas.

"I said people will vote tactically in this election and actually I hope they do vote tactically," he said.

Mr Farage made his comments while visiting hinge manufacturer Nico in Clacton, Essex, and he also spoke of the need to boost manufacturing and improve skills among British workers.

'Entirely baseless'

During his visit Mr Farage met 62-year-old Hungarian worker Ivan Loncsarevity, who spoke little English, and has lived in Colchester for five years after travelling to the UK for work.

Asked about the encounter and whether Mr Loncsarevity should be working in the UK, Mr Farage said: "UKIP has never said anyone should leave the country, so the question is entirely baseless.

"One of the big problems that we've got in engineering is a real shortage of young people studying engineering to go into trades such as this, which is regrettable.

"We've got rid of technical colleges and encouraged more and more young people to go to university and study degrees which are not directly linked to industry such as this.

"If there's no British person trained to do that job, then that says more about us than them."

From the scene

Image source, PA

By UKIP campaign correspondent Robin Brant

Ivan meet Nigel. Nigel meet Ivan. Very little was said between the two men when they met at a factory on a Clacton industrial estate this morning.

That wasn't because of any animosity. It was down to a language problem. Ivan is 62 and he's from Hungary. He barely speaks English, which is why I was told he was yet to be regarded as a skilled worker at the factory where he met UKIP's leader.

Ivan is precisely the type of person who would be unlikely to be allowed in to Britain under immigration plans unveiled by UKIP.

The party wants a moratorium on unskilled workers and a points based system with a cap for the skilled workers.

Ivan has been here for five years. Asked if he felt any emotion when he met the Hungarian worker Nigel Farage said no. It would have been interesting to hear what Ivan thought, but he wasn't able to explain.

The firm's manufacturing manager, Steve Dalton, said the company needed to look to Eastern Europe to fill a skills gap and on occasion had flown potential employees from Poland.

Mr Dalton said he was not a UKIP supporter but did not oppose the party's proposal of an Australian-style points system designed to limit the number of immigrants.

He said: "There needs to be some controls but presumably, if we needed to fill a skills gap, we would still be able to do that under such a system."

The company employs 130 people, six of whom are migrants from eastern Europe.

Finance director Gillian Hagger said: "A lot of industries in the UK do need migrant workers. The area we're in means we've got a large pool to recruit from but sometimes we find their skills are limited.

"On those occasions we have had to look further afield, including flying interviewees in from Poland."