Live updates

Nigel Farage has stood down as the leader of the UKIP party

Nigel Farage has stood down from UKIP Credit: ITV Meridian

Nigel Farage has officially stood down as the leader of the UKIP party.

During his speech at the Botany Bay Hotel in Broadstairs he criticised the first past the post voting system saying it was unfair for smaller parties.

Mr Farage said although today is tinged with sadness he feels happier than he has for years.

Suzanne Evans will be the new leader.

  1. National

Ukip 'face leadership battle' if seat is lost

Nigel Farage is likely to step down as leader of Ukip if he loses his seat in South Thanet, creating a "real blow for the party", political journalist Isabel Hardman has told ITV News.

The assistant editor of The Spectator has heard from "a very good source" that the party have not won the constituency in Kent.

Nigel Farage is expected to step down as leader of Ukip if he loses his seat in South Thanet. Credit: PA Wire

Hardman said: "If he doesn't win that seat then he will have to step down as Ukip leader because he said he would. In that case Ukip would be pitched into a leadership battle which would be very difficult for the party because Farage is a magnetic figure who has held the party together.

"Even though he has some very impressive people behind him, they're not quite the same as Nigel Farage - so it would be a real blow for the party."

Earlier, Mr Farage gave aninterview to ITV News in which he attacked the press before walking off.


UKIP say they're not giving up in South Thanet

A senior UKIP source refused to rule out defeat, saying it was still a very tight contest in South Thanet. He said he believed the exit poll putting Ukip on winning two seats was wrong, adding that the Eurosceptic party was poised to come second in a number of constituencies.

Ukip leader Nigel Farage after casting his vote at the Eastcliff community housing office in Ramsgate Credit: Gareth Fuller/PA Wire

Al Murray 'we are walking with history tonight' and offers Nigel Farage pub comfort

In Margate, Al Murray, who is standing in the guise of his patriotic character the Pub Landlord for his newly-formed party, the Free United Kingdom Party (FUKP), arrived at the count in front of a battery of photographers.

Dressed in his trademark burgundy blazer, Oxford-educated Murray spoke about rumours Farage had lost in South Thanet, saying: "Well, then we are all walking with history tonight."

He said he would welcome Mr Farage into his pub if it turns out he has lost, adding: "If he's drowning his sorrows tomorrow, then I will say, 'Oh well, mate, better luck in 2020'."

Al Murray arrives at the South Thanet count in Ramsgate Credit: Gareth Fuller/PA Wire
  1. Phil Hornby

Curtains for Farage?

Nigel Farage said it would be "curtains" for him as UKIP leader if he lost South Thanet. The suggestions at the count are that the Tories have won. If he does stand down as leader, it might not be the end of his career. He's stood down as leader before, then came back. But UKIP would face an uncertain future without him at the helm.

Nigel Farage fails to win seat in South Thanet

Nigel Farage's bid to win South Thanet ended in failure Credit: Gareth Fuller/PA Wire

Nigel Farage has finished runner-up in Thanet South, losing out to Tory candidate Craig Mackinlay by almost 3,000 votes.

Mr Farage, who has vowed to resign as leader if he failed to enter the Commons, polled 16,026 votes.

But the Tory candidate did better, winning the backing of 18,838, with Labour third.

Nigel Farage has insisted he has "never felt happier", with a "weight lifted off his shoulders".


  1. National

Farage 'no shoo-in' as he aims for South Thanet seat

Ukip leader Nigel Farage confirmed he has thrown his "hat in the ring" to stand for the South Thanet seat at next year's General Election, but insisted, "I'm no shoo-in".

Ukip leader Nigel Farage has confirmed he wants to stand for the South Thanet seat at next year's General Election. Credit: Gareth Fuller/PA Wire

Farage, who previously hinted he would stand for election "somewhere near the sea," wrote in The Independent, "There will be hustings in the constituency the week after next at which the branch will decide who they wish to represent them".

"It may seem silly to some that the leader of a party would have to go through the process of being approved and selected but, I assure you, rank means nothing in Ukip," he said, adding, "I think I stand a good chance of winning".

Load more updates