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Farage targets 'blue collar' vote

Nigel Farage set out his pitch to voters today and claimed that Ukip is on the brink on holding the balance of power.

The Ukip leader declared that his anti-Brussels party now poses a threat to the "entire British political class" as he attempted to poach voters from both Labour and the Conservatives.

In a rallying call at the party's conference in Doncaster, Mr Farage made it clear he is going after the "blue collar" vote and claimed the party is now a serious threat to Labour in the Midlands, the North and in Wales.

He said it was "no accident" that Ukip had chosen to stage its largest ever conference in the South Yorkshire town that Ed Miliband represents.

Ukip is "parking our tanks" on the Labour's lawn and t earing vast chunks out of its vote, Mr Farage declared.

He told activists: "This party is not about left and right, this party is about right and wrong."

The party has set out a raft of policies to directly appeal to traditional Labour voters, including proposals to investigate a "luxury goods" tax, quickly dubbed a "wag tax", that would be levied on high price items, such as designer shoes and handbags.

Minimum wage earners would be taken out of income tax altogether and inheritance tax would be abolished, under Ukip plans.

He also attacked the use of private finance initiative deals within the NHS, accusing Labour of doing "more than anybody to actually bring private money into the health service".

Addressing an exuberant crowd of supporters, Mr Farage said some of the polling he had completed showed Ukip posed a threat "not just to the Conservative Party, as the papers would have you believe, we pose a threat to the entire British political class and I'll drink to that".

He said he was "bored and sick to death" of being told that supporting Ukip splits the vote.

"The message that needs to come out from this conference is that actually, in our target seats next year, in the by-elections and in the general election, if you vote Ukip you will get Ukip.

"If we get this right, and if we win enough seats in that parliament in what is going to be a tight general election we could even say to people 'vote Ukip to hold the balance of power'.

"And if we hold the balance of power there won't just be a referendum on our EU membership there will be a culture change in British politics. It will be a kind of politics that represents ordinary men and women in this country.

"It will be politics of change, it will be a politics that is better than the one we have today.

"So I'm going to say to people from this conference let's go out there, let's fight in our people's army hard on the ground. A tremendous potential prize awaits us."

Mr Farage said the main battleground for the general election would be "open door" immigration.

"I say that because the figures are getting higher and higher and higher with every single quarter that passes.

"We are borderless Britain and for the other three to even try and pretend that they can control the numbers that come into Britain is them frankly not telling the truth.

"You cannot control your own borders and be a member of the European Union. It is not possible.

"And if I look at the economic situation in Greece and in Italy and in Portugal and in Spain, I fear the numbers that come will get greater and greater.

"I don't blame youngsters from Italy and Spain wanting to come here. I would do the same thing but it is no good for our young people and it is no good for our working people to suffer from wage compression, from unemployment and to see a level of social change in our communities that we simply can't keep up with."

He added: "We must take back control of our borders and manage our own immigration policy."

The 34-minute speech, which was delivered by Mr Farage with no notes, won a rousing reception from the 2,000 delegates gathered at Doncaster Racecourse.

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