UKIP leader Nigel Farage fails to win seat in UK election, Clegg resigns leadership post | News | DW | 08.05.2015
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UKIP leader Nigel Farage fails to win seat in UK election, Clegg resigns leadership post

Nigel Farage, the leader of the United Kingdom Independence Party, has failed to win a seat in the UK Parliament. Meanwhile, Labour head Ed Miliband and Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg have resigned their positions.

Farage (pictured above) stood by his pre-election promise to resign if he lost his bid to win a seat in the House of Commons.

"I feel an enormous weight has been lifted from my shoulders," he said Friday at a court center in Margate in the electorate of South Thanet east of London where he contested Thursday's election.

Farage finished second behind Conservative Party contender Craig Mackinlay, a former UKIP deputy leader.

UKIP gained nearly 3.8 million, or 13 percent, of votes across the United Kingdom, but finished second or third in a number of constituencies.

The 51-year-old leader was critical of the British electoral system which uses the first past-the-post electoral system. The system awards seats only by constituencies and does not take into account the total number of ballots cast.

"I think the time has come for real genuine radical political reform," he said.

"The system is bust. You've got a first-past-the-post system where we clearly become the third party in Britain but hardly get any seats."

Former Conservative candidate Douglas Carswell was re-elected as UKIP's only member in the House of Commons for the Clacton constituency in southeastern England.

Clegg quits Liberal Democrat leadership

Nick Clegg, the leader of Britain's Liberal Democrats, retained his own constituency in Sheffield, but resigned as party leader on Friday after accepting responsibility for the "catastrophic" loss of seats during Thursday's parliamentary election.

"It is now painfully clear that this has been a cruel and punishing night for the Liberal Democrats," Clegg, who served as deputy prime minister for five years under David Cameron, said.

Ed Miliband calls it a day

British opposition leader Ed Miliband announced his resignation as head of the Labour Party after a crushing defeat in Thursday's election.

"It's time for someone else to take forward the interests of this party," he said during his concession speech.

Miliband, who will remain in parliament after winning his constituency, said "Britain needs a strong Labour Party...that can rebuild after this defeat."

The opposition leader's resignation is effective almost immediately. He will attend Victory in Europe Day celebrations in London in his role as party head. Following the commemorations, he will hand over the reigns to the party's deputy leader, Harriet Harman, who will takeover as caretaker leader.

jlw/kms (AP, Reuters, AFP)

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