Nigel Farage is well on his way to becoming an MP, with a new poll placing him 11 points ahead of his nearest rivals in the Kent constituency of South Thanet.
Pollster Survation finds Farage with over 38 per cent of the vote, whilst Labour and the Conservatives have 27 and 26 points respectively.
Comedian Al Murray, whose candidacy is seen as a spoof of Farage, has only 1.4 per cent support, behind both the Lib Dems and the Greens.This marks the first time the Ukip leader has pulled ahead in the polls, with earlier election data indicating a closely fought contest between Farage, Labour and the Tories.
A Survation survey from November last year had Labour out in front with 35 per cent, whilst Ukip and the Conservatives were battling it out at around 30 per cent.
A Lord Ashcroft poll from that same month showed the Tories with a slender lead.
In pictures: The rise of Ukip
In pictures: The rise of Ukip
1/8 1993: Alan Sked forms Ukip
History professor Alan Sked had been active in anti-EU politics for a while beore he founded Ukip in 1993. He resigned from the party after the 1997 election, concerned that it was attracting far-right members, and has been critical of Ukip since. Picture: Reuters
2/8 2005: Kilroy defects
Former TV presenter Robert Kilroy-Silk founded Veritas in 2005, after a failed bid to become leader, and took many of Ukip's elected members with him. But the party slowly lost its popularity and didn't put forward any candidates in the last election. Picture: REUTERS/Kieran Doherty REUTERS KD/RUS
3/8 2010: Farage becomes leader, again
Farage had led Ukip from 2006 until 2009, when he stood down to fight against the Speaker, John Bercow, for his Buckingham seat. He failed to win the election and returned to lead the party in November 2010. Picture: REUTERS/Kieran Doherty
4/8 2010: Ukip fights for election
Nigel Farage was injured in a plane crash on polling day in the 2010 general election, but his party increased its success in the votes. It fielded 572 candidates and took 3.1% of the vote, though failed to win any seats. REUTERS/Darren Staples
5/8 2013: Eastleigh gains
Ukip's candidate Diane James got the highest ever number of votes for any candidate from the party, but was beaten by the Liberal Democrats. The surge in support gave Ukip confidence ahead of local and European elections later in the year. Picture: Reuters
6/8 2013: Bloom kicked out
Godfrey Bloom, who served as an Ukip MEP from 2004 to 2014, had the whip withdrawn in 2013 after sexist comments and an attack on a journalist. He sat as an independent MEP until 2014, when he ended his term in office. Picture: REUTERS/Luke MacGregor
7/8 2014: European election success
Ukip got a higher proportion of the vote than any other party in 2014's European elections, adding 11 new MEPs and taking its total to 24. REUTERS/Luke MacGregor
8/8 2014: Carswell defects
Douglas Carswell defected from Ukip at the end of August, and was followed by Mark Reckless at the end of September, who resigned from the Tories amid rumours of many more defections to come. Picture: REUTERS/Toby Melville
The surge in support for Farage is likely down to his decision to shun the national media spotlight so far this year, instead devoting the last six weeks to local campaigning efforts.
The Conservative candidate Craig Mackinlay, a councillor for Medway, had criticised Farage for his absence in the constituency.
News of Ukip's survey success could not have come at a better time for the party, with the Ukip spring conference currently being held at nearby Margate.
Farage will deliver the signature speech today, after returning from the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in Washington DC.
He will likely seize on recent ONS data that showed David Cameron failed to meet his net migration target, and may refer to YouGov statistics that show a growing support for Britain's EU membership.Reuse content