Voters think UKIP is the most sleazy political party in Britain, a new poll has found.
63% of people branded Ukip “sleazy and disreputable” in the latest YouGov poll compared to 44% for the Conservatives and 33% for Labour.
Of all the national parties the Green Party had the best reputation, accused of sleaze by only 12% of voters. 31% of people thought the Liberal Democrats were sleazy.
Ukip’s sleaze rating was up 4% since December, when 59% of people called its reputation into question.
The right-wing party had only a slightly better reputation than the bête noir of public opinion – bankers. Most people, 69%, considered bankers sleazy – just 6% above Ukip.
The findings come after another poll last month in which around half of Ukip supporters admitted to being racially prejudiced.
A string of rows over Ukip candidates and elected representatives is likely to have tarnished the party’s image.
Janice Atkinson MEP was expelled from the party on Monday night after allegations one of her aides asked for an inflated restaurant bill to claim on expenses.
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
Another Ukip MEP, Jill Seymour, came under fire earlier this week for renting an office from her husband using taxpayers’ money.
Earlier this month MEP David Coburn faced calls to resign after he compared an SNP minister, who is a Muslim, to the convicted terrorist Abu Hamza.
Kerry Smith, a candidate for MP in a top target seat, was deselected in December after it emerged that he had made homophobic and racist remarks and joked about shooting poor people.
In 2013 Godfrey Bloom MEP left the party after he made a controversial remark referring to women as ‘sluts’.
This February candidate Donald Grewar resigned after endorsing comments on the BNP website describing gay people are “perverts” and “paedophiles”.
Ukip council candidate William Henwood quit last April after he suggested actor Lenny Henry should emigrate to a “black country”.
A Ukip councillor David Silvester was suspended last year after he appeared to suggest that recent flooding had been caused by the passage into law of same-sex marriage.Reuse content