The exit poll puts Ukip at two seats, which is far, far below the 40 Nigel Farage was predicting as recently as November.

Arriving at a Ukip event in South Thanet, the Ukip leader appeared to be showing the strain of his promise to stand down if not elected as an MP.

"I want to congratulate the editors of the Sun and the Daily Mail, they're geniuses, they said the Ukip vote would split the Tory vote, God help us."

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