After thecontroversy over a UKIP-supporting foster couple, the party was hoping for a breakthrough in Rotherham.
It failed to materialise with Labour romping home here, in Middlesbrough and in Croydon North.
But UKIP did do well enough in Denis MacShane's former constituency to give the Tories - who came 5th - and the Lib Dems, who lost their deposit - a fright.
The party, which wants Britain to quit the EU and to reduce immigration, doubled its vote, giving it a 21 percent share in Rotherham.
UKIP's leader Nigel Farrage claims his party is taking over from the Tories in the North.
But by-elections rarely produce good news for Governments and it's hard to see UKIP getting such a high percentage of the vote when the whole country goes to the polls.
More top news
A motorist who boasted about clocking 142mph on a motorway shot through a red light and killed another driver the following night.
Holli Cheung said her son Jordan saved her life after she suffered two cardiac arrests while being struck down by a rare virus.
Scientists have finally cracked the mystery and found that cleaner dairies are the reason the holes are disappearing.