UK & World News
Nigel Farage: 'My Dream Has Become Reality'
UKIP leader Nigel Farage has said his "dream" of "causing an earthquake in British politics" has come true.
Mr Farage was speaking at a press conference after UKIP's first win in a national election - the first time in more than 100 years a party other than Labour or the Conservatives has finished top.
He described the "legacy parties" as "like goldfish that have just been tipped out of the bowl onto the floor, desperately gasping for air and clinging on to the comfort blanket that this is a protest vote".
"This is an earthquake in British politics, it is a remarkable result and I think it has profound consequences for the leaders of the other parties," he said.
UKIP's triumph in the European elections, taking 24 seats despite what Mr Farage called "shed loads of abuse" directed at the party, made him "immensely proud".
With only Northern Ireland's results yet to come in of the 12 UK regions, UKIP has 29.1% of the vote, Labour 25.4%, the Conservatives 24.6%, the Greens 7.9% and the Lib Dems 6.9%.
The Lib Dems' poor showing has caused some to question Nick Clegg's leadership, and Mr Farage said he found it "very difficult" to believe Mr Clegg would lead the party into the 2015 General Election.
Mr Farage said he was "extremely grateful" for the Lib Dem leader's challenge to face him in a pair of TV debates about Europe, as it had allowed UKIP "to put the argument why this country is better off outside a political union".
Addressing the situation Labour leader Ed Miliband now finds himself in following the poll, Mr Farage stated his belief that Mr Miliband would be forced to offer an in/out referendum on Europe by the party's conference this autumn.
Mr Miliband would become "UKIP's greatest recruiting sergeant" if he did not, Mr Farage warned.
Turning his attentions to Prime Minister David Cameron, Mr Farage said out of the three main party leaders he was the "least scathed" by the elections.
However, the upcoming Newark by-election would be a test for the PM, he warned.
Mr Farage said: "UKIP, with the wind behind it, has got momentum.
"The plan short term for us is very simple. The people's army of UKIP now marches on Newark. We will do everything we can in the next 10 days to help and aid Roger (Helmer)'s candidacy.
"We are going to do our damnedest to try to pull off an even more spectacular result. If we do that, I suspect Mr Cameron will also begin to feel some of the pressure."