Local Ukip leaders ponder what next for the party now Farage has gone
- Credit: PA
After the Leave campaign secured a Brexit vote in the EU referendum, and with the resignation of their leader credited by some as being responsible for this, many are left wondering 'what next' for UKIP.
Nigel Farage, 52, has followed the prime minister and half the Labour front bench in deciding to step down following the monumental victory for the Brexiteers in the referendum on June 23.
In total he has been the leader of the party for just under a decade and has become one of the most recognisable, successful and divisive politicians in the country.
The Eastern Counties chairman of UKIP George Konstantinidis described Mr Farage as the 'Marmite guy' – mimicking the brand's famous slogan: you either love him or hate him.
He said Mr Farage would be sadly missed but added: 'We've got many great people in the party.'
Mr Konstantinidis said he believed if there was a national election this year UKIP would win 50 to 100 seats.
'We represent the views of ordinary people, not the establishment. UKIP are not about right or left; we are about right and wrong.
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'Britain is not out of the EU yet. The process will take a couple of years. We need to make sure it happens.'
A county councillor and borough councillor in Great Yarmouth, Alan Grey believes the future of the party is very good.
Mr Grey, who was UKIP's candidate for Great Yarmouth at the 2015 general election, said: 'Our aim is to take control of the councils and put the UKIP view point across. We are the party of small people; none of us are professional politicians.'
'When I first went into County Hall with 14 other new councillors we were laughed at and jeered. Who's laughing now?'
He said the party needed to make sure Brexit goes through and the government does not renege on its promise. Jonathon Childs, a UKIP county councillor, said the party would keep working to represent those who voted for them.
'We will carry on in the same fashion as we have done.'
He added: 'I believe the established parties have not gauged the feeling of the public and have not engaged with the everyday person on the street.'
In a surprise announcement yesterday, Mr Farage said the victory for the Leave side in the referendum meant his political ambition has been achieved. He added: 'The terms of our withdrawal are unclear. If there is too much backsliding by the government, and with the Labour Party detached from many of its voters, then UKIP's best days may be yet to come.'
The once lone voice for Brexit, who ended up speaking for a majority of the nation, hinted he was now weary of the constant warfare of frontline politics, stating: 'I want my life back, and it begins right now.'
This is the third time Mr Farage has stood down as leader, the first time being in 2009 in order to focus on his campaign to take the speaker of the House of Commons' seat in the 2010 election, then again after the 2015 election when he failed to win in South Thanet. His resignation was rejected and he remained in his post.
The UKIP Story
The party came into being at the same time that the single market turned into the European Union.
It started off as the Anti-Federalist League, a Eurosceptic political party set up in 1991.
In September 1993, the UK Independence Party was formed. The word British was excluded from the name to avoid the connotations associated with the British National Party.
The party went from securing just 1pc in the European elections in 1994 to 26.6pc in the 2014 vote.
In the 1997 general election, UKIP fielded 194 candidates but secured only 0.3pc of the vote nationally, with only Nigel Farage getting enough votes to have his deposit returned.
The 2004 European elections were the party's biggest breakthrough when they came third with 2.6m votes.
Chat show host Robert Kilroy-Silk ran for the party in the East Midlands and helped boost the party's profile. However he quit to form his own Eurosceptic party, Veritas, a year later.
Nigel Farage became leader in 2006 and sought to shake off UKIP's single issue image by broadening its platform to include socially conservative policies including reducing immigration, tax cuts and restoring grammar schools.
In the 2010 general election, UKIP fielded 558 candidates and secured nearly 1m votes, but took no seats.
During the 2012 local election campaign the party began to increase its share in national opinion polls, pushing the Lib Dems into third place.
In the 2013 local elections, UKIP took 15 seats on Norfolk county council. The following year the party picked up 10 seats on Great Yarmouth Borough Council.
Seen by many as an attempt to hinder the growing support for UKIP, in January 2013, David Cameron promised that should the Conservatives win a majority at the general election, the government would renegotiate Britain's membership of the EU and hold a referendum.
The election produced a narrow victory for the Tories, with UKIP coming third in terms of vote share with 12.7pc.
Mr Cameron set about delivering on his manifesto pledge to renegotiate Britain's membership of the EU and the outcome was announced in February, ahead of the referendum last month.
Views as Farage goes
• Peter Fitzgerald, above, the chairman of the Great Yarmouth UKIP Association, said he was surprised when people ask 'what next' for the party.
He said: 'We will be doing no more than the job that we continue to do. We are working on the 2017 local elections.'
The party is the second largest on the borough council with 12 seats compared to the Conservatives' 14 and Labour's 11.
Mr Fitzgerald, who runs the Army and Navy Store in Yarmouth, added that the party put pressure on the government to make sure it carries out the process of leaving the EU.
'This was the biggest exercise of pure democracy. Once you start veering away from that you start doing it at your peril.'
• Brian Fox, 79, above, from Norwich believes it was the right time for Mr Farage to go and questioned the future of UKIP.
Mr Fox, who voted Leave, said: 'I think he has done us all a great service,' adding: 'We don't need UKIP any more, they have achieved their objective. There is no point any more. He has achieved his objective so that is it.'
• Helen Flynn, 65, from Hereford, who was visiting Great Yarmouth for the day, said she did not believe this would be the last we saw of Mr Farage.
'He'll be back,' she said, 'He always reinvents himself.'
She added: 'A lot of people jumped on his bandwagon and changed their minds when they saw him.'