UK Politics

The UKIP effect: What voters are saying

A UKIP candidate's tie and rosette
Image caption UKIP is celebrating results at the polls

The UK Independence Party believes it could be on course to change the political landscape in Britain after a strong performance in the English local elections and South Shields parliamentary by-election.

Leader Nigel Farage has hailed the party's best ever election results as "remarkable" and signalling a "real sea-change in British politics".

What draws people to the party? Here, voters explain what has spurred on their support for UKIP.

Jeff Cowles, Rotherham

"I've become disenchanted with politics and certainly with the EU and the issue of immigration.

I shall therefore be voting UKIP in all future elections.

The sooner we get out from under the shackles of the EU and begin trading on a global basis, regain our borders and run our country on a democratic basis the better."

Valerie Hearn, Tadley

"I think it is a good start for UKIP.

People are fed up with the way things are in this country and want out of the EU.

It's time to make a stand and I think UKIP is the party to do just that for our country before we lose it completely"

Neil Thomas, Oakley, Hampshire

"It is wonderful that UKIP has done so well, clearly what the average person wants and the UK needs.

I voted for them and I must stress that it was not merely a protest vote.

I read their policies and totally agree with what they stand for. It was a revelation reading them almost as if I wrote them myself."

Peter Moran, Leek, Staffordshire

"I have voted all my life for Labour, but this time I voted for UKIP.

Like many I know we are fed up with the main parties not understanding the harm that is being done to communities, local economies and ordinary folk.

Ignore UKIP at your peril in my opinion. Main stream parties are fast losing credibility with the masses."

Mike Mason, Fundenhall, Norfolk

"Nigel Farage has a spine, he stands up and says what he believes in and you can respect him for it.

I'm 57 and I've voted Tory all my life but UKIP have several core beliefs which I believe in.

Europe, immigration, human rights and self government."

Roy Groombridge, Stevenage

"I voted UKIP at the local elections and will continue to do so until the Conservatives start to listen to what people want.

Cameron has never listened very well and I've had enough of people not listening.

Meanwhile Farage is saying many of the right things."