Nigel Farage was mobbed by supporters as he visited Thurrock in Essex to celebrate his party's five seats on the local council.
Ukip's strong showing in the borough meant Labour lost their overall majority, and Farage's visit prompted further celebrations among local party members.
Speaking during the visit, Mr Farage said targeting marginal constituencies, like Thurrock, could be the key to success in next year's general elections.
UKIP's successes in the local elections have raised the possibility of them winning a Westminster seat at the general election.
A year ahead of the general election, Ed Miliband's party is seeing only patchy support in areas it should expect to gain ground.
UKIP are likely to make Rotherham a key target for 2015 after a storming result in the local elections.