Nigel Farage: Aiming to make Ukip a 'serious player'

With two MPs elected to Westminster in as many months earlier this year, Ukip has risen in popularity during the course of the coalition government.

Leader Nigel Farage has predicted that his party will be "serious players" in the general election - so here's what you need to know:

  • Age: 50

  • Job: Leader of UK Independence Party, Member of European Parliament and candidate for Thanet South

  • Family: Twice married, has four children

  • Background: Born in Kent in 1964

  • Education: Opted against university, choosing to start work in the City aged 18 instead

  • Became leader in: 2010 after Lord Pearson of Rannoch resigned - Farage had stood down as leader in 2009 to focus on trying to win a parliamentary seat

Party campaign video

Memorable moments

  • Became a founding member of the UK Independence Party in 1993 after becoming disillusioned with the Conservatives under John Major

  • Suffers serious injuries in a plane crash on the day of the 2010 general election

  • Ridiculed after complaining about traffic on the M4 motorway making him late - and blaming it on immigration

  • Ukip wins two MPs in as many months after by-elections sparked by sitting Tory MPs defecting to Farage's party

  • Ofcom declares Ukip a 'major party' in the general election after polls revealed it was enjoying a boost in popularity

Farage said immigration had increased traffic Credit: PA

In pictures

Nigel Farage pictured in 2006. Credit: PA Wire
The wreckage of the light aircraft which crashed while carrying Nigel Farage in 2010. Credit: PA Wire
The Ukip leader is hoping to become the MP for Thanet South in May's election. Credit: PA Wire
Ukip party leader Nigel Farage after his party made significant gains in local elections last May. Credit: PA Wire
Nigel Farage unveiling his party's immigration policy earlier this month. Credit: PA Wire