Almost a quarter of British voters would find it hard to stay friends with a Ukip supporter

A poll found there is a stigma attached to Nigel Farage's party

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Almost a quarter of British voters would find it difficult to stay friends with someone who started supporting Ukip, a poll has revealed.

Research by YouGov showed that the Eurosceptic party is still the most controversial of the main five, despite its recent electoral success in Rochester and Clacton.

When asked how they would feel if a good friend became a supporter of Nigel Farage’s party, 24 per cent of respondents said they would disagree and “find it harder to be friends with them” as a result.

The same figure was just 7 per cent for the Conservatives, 3 per cent for Labour, 5 per cent for the Liberal Democrats and 4 per cent for Green Party.

But third of respondents said that although they disagreed with Ukip, a friend’s support would make no difference to their relationship, while 31 per cent said they also backed the party.

Ukip has been riding a wave of success since the European elections, gaining its first two Parliamentary seats with the re-election of defected former Tory MPs Douglas Carswell and Mark Reckless.

Mr Reckless won the Rochester and Strood by-election with a majority of nearly 3,000 votes but YouGov said its latest research suggests there is still “a greater degree” of stigma attached to Ukip than any of the other main parties.

While most respondents allied to a party would “disagree” with friends supporting the opposition – Labour and the Tories for example –few said clashing opinions would affect their relationship except in the case of Ukip.

The negativity was much more common among Labour (40 per cent) and Lib Dem supporters (42 per cent) than among Conservative voters (13 per cent).

As well as his political following, Mr Farage appears to have become an unlikely fashion icon during the Rochester by-election after sales of a Bayeux Tapestry tie he sported on the campaign trail spiked online.

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Nigel Farage sporting his Bayeux Tapestry tie in Rochester

The Ukip leader sported the distinctive silk tie on Thursday to complete an ensemble of a mustard jacket, checked shirt and Barbour coat.

It caused a storm on social media, with many people commenting on the irony of an anti-immigration politician wearing a replica of the Norman conquest.

Asked why he picked it, Mr Farage reportedly said: “It was the last time we were invaded and taken over. And there's a Norman keep here [at Rochester Castle]. I was looking through the tie rack this morning, and it seemed a sensible choice to me.”

The distinctive tie had sold out on a number of websites by Monday morning after the “Farage factor” appeared to take effect. Dedicated shoppers can still purchase it from the US, if they can bear the extra shipping time.

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A tie worn by Nigel Farage sold out on several websites

The 230ft-long Bayeux Tapestry depicts the events leading up to the Norman invasion and the defeat of English troops at the Battle of Hastings in 1066.

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