Scotland politics

European election: Farage sure UKIP will win Scotland seat

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Media captionNigel Farage predicts that his party "will win a seat" for the first time in Scotland in the European Parliament elections

UKIP leader Nigel Farage has told a rally in Edinburgh that his party "will win a seat" for the first time in Scotland in the upcoming European Parliament elections.

He said UKIP would then have a "legitimate voice" in Scotland.

During the speech, Mr Farage described First Minister and SNP leader Alex Salmond as a "fanatical EU federalist".

He challenged Mr Salmond - who said UKIP had been "humiliated" before in Scotland - to a debate on independence.

The MEP, who was in Edinburgh to back the party's candidate David Coburn at a rally, predicted that UKIP was on course to win one seat in the European Parliament in Scotland, adding that "if things go really well, possibly even two".

Addressing the first minister, Mr Farage said: "Mr Salmond is pretty scared of us. He's not not scared of the size of us at the moment, but he is very scared of the argument."

Mr Farage, whose party is not currently represented at any level in Scotland, told the rally that Scottish people think they have a referendum on independence "but they haven't".

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Image caption Around 200 protesters turned up at the event, held to launch the UKIP campaign in Scotland

He accused Mr Salmond of wanting Scotland "to be part of the European Union - and you cannot be an independent, self governing, democratic nation, and be member of a club whose laws are supreme over yours".

The UKIP leader argued that the whole of the UK should be independent, with devolved powers to each part.

About 200 protesters and supporters of Scottish independence turned up at the launch venue to protest against the UKIP leader where they booed and heckled UKIP supporters as they arrived.

The BBC's political correspondent in Scotland, Glenn Campbell, said a small group of UKIP supporters told him they had been unable to get into the rally because of the protesters.

UKIP won 0.91% of the vote across Scottish regions in the 2011 Holyrood election.

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