Ukip's only sitting MP, Douglas Carswell, has ruled himself out of the race to be the party's next leader.
Mr Carswell, who held his Clacton seat on a reduced majority, said he would not seek to fill the post vacated by Nigel Farage, who announced his resignation after losing out in Thanet South.
Mr Farage said he was taking a break but left the door open for a return when the party elects a new leader in September while endorsing Suzanne Evans, the deputy chairman, to be a stand-in until the leadership challenge is complete.
Mr Carswell praised Mr Farage, the man behind his defection from the Conservatives, as a "heroic and inspirational figure" but told the Times (£): "I am not going to be running as leader."
Nigel Farage has confirmed he will stand down as leader of Ukip, however he said that after a summer off he may well consider running for leader again.
I said as this campaign went on that if I didn't win I would stand down as leader of Ukip.
I am a man of my word, I don't break my word. So I shall be writing to the Ukip national executive in the next few minutes saying that I am standing down as leader of Ukip.
I intend to take the summer off, enjoy myself a little bit not do very much politics at all. There will be a leadership election for the next leader of Ukip in September and I will consider over the course of this summer whether to put my name forward to do that job again.
Farage said he was professionally disappointed, but personally relieved after failing to become an MP as his party had just one success.Read the full story ›
Ukip leader Nigel Farage has been beaten by the Conservative's Craig Mackinlay in South Thanet, much to the surprise of their fellow candidate 'the Pub Landlord' Al Murray.
Ukip leader Nigel Farage has said a 'weight has been lifted' after he failed to secure a seat in Parliament.
There was an earthquake this election and it happened north of the border, it happened in Scotland. And I think what you saw were lot of voters so scared of that Labour SNP coalition that they shifted towards the Conservatives.
On a professional level I express today a degree of disappointment. On a personal level I feel an enormous weight has been lifted from my shoulders and I've never felt happier.
Ukip leader Nigel Farage has failed to become an MP after losing the South Thanet seat.
Ukip has returned just one MP in the General Election as Douglas Carswell was re-elected as the MP for Clacton - albeit with a much-reduced majority.
Nigel Farage says Ukip voters will be angry at the party only securing a single seat.
Speaking in South Thanet, where he was standing as an MP, the Ukip leader said: "I think there'll be lots and lots of Ukip voters out there very angry that they're not going to be represented and I think our system is biased. However we've got a Conservative majority government, by the looks of it, which means not terribly much is going to change."
Asked if he would resign if he lost the seat, as is currently predicted, he said: "Are you calling me a liar?"
Mr Farage has previously said he would resign as leader if he failed to secure a seat in Parliament.
The conversation about Nigel Farage on Twitter has significantly spiked twice since polls closed.
The first spike occurred after the Ukip leader cut short an interview with ITV News' Rohit Kachroo, while the second followed speculation that he will lose the South Thanet seat.
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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.
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.
Journalist Isabel Hardman - who is appearing in ITV News' Opinion Room - reports that a source has told her that Ukip leader Nigel Farage has lost in South Thanet.
Very good source tells me Farage *has* lost South Thanet. I’d be surprised if they were wrong. But we’ll see. http://t.co/ko0nFZL9Bh
Labour sources tell me Farage could come third in South Thanet based on the boxes opened so far, with the Tories "comfortably in the lead".
ITV News' Rohit Kachroo, who is in South Thanet, said party officials believe the result will be "wafer thin".
UKIP says South Thanet result will be "wafer thin" - much tighter than early suggestions indicate.
Earlier, Mr Farage gave a bizarre interview to ITV News in which he attacked the press before walking off.