A general election is looming and candidates from parties big and small are clamouring for support.
One candidate who may find his campaign particularly difficult is one Nigel Farage, who has unsuccessfully attempted to tie down a seat in Parliament no fewer than seven times. Here is a run-down of all the times Farage has lost a general election contest.
Fresh faced Farage achieved just 1.7% of the vote when he swooped into the political scene in 1994 for the newly formed UKIP. Undeterred by this poor result, he went on to lose a further six elections for the party over the course of 20 years.
Three years later, Farage then hopped across the home counties for the second of his failures in Salisbury. He achieved less than 6% of the vote.
2001, Bexhill and Battle
Thinking he would fare better with some sea breeze, Farage headed for the coastal constituency Bexhill and Battle in 2001. He did marginally better, achieving 7.8% of the vote, but still no dice.
2005, South Thanet
So, the UKIP leader travelled up the coast just North of Dover to try and spread his vitriolic views. But the people of South Thanet slung him out, with just 2,000 voters putting a cross by his name – instead electing Labour’s Stephen Ladyman
2006, Bromley and Chislehurst
Life hadn’t been a beach for Farage, so he went back inland to lose in Bromley in a 2006 by-election.
He ended up 32% behind winner Bob Neil, a Tory.
Four years later, Farage attempted to lure voters in Buckingham away from John Bercow. The Speaker easily dispatched Farage, however, who lost his sixth general election race in a row.
2015, South Thanet
Most recently, undeterred from past failures, Farage tried his hand at being elected in South Thanet, again. He came the closest yet to winning a seat, but ultimately ended up in second place – nearly 3,000 votes behind Tory Craig Mackinley.
Nigel Farage is yet to throw a dart at a map of England to decide where he will stand this year. But despite his belief in the triumph of hope over experience, we fully expect the number of Farage’s failed elections to increase to eight this Christmas.