The birth of four party politics across UK?

Nigel Farage

Voting is over. The counting is just beginning. The results will begin to be counted in the next few hours though they won't all be known until the early hours of Monday morning.

Even without the extraordinary rise of UKIP today's elections would matter. They are the last nationwide electoral test before the general election.

However, tonight Nigel Farage believes - and his opponents fear - that they will count for another reason.

It may mark the birth of four party politics for Westminster elections.

UKIP have done well in European elections before but they look set to win a national election for the first time and, what's more, to emerge as a force in local councils too.

What that means is, in truth, totally unpredictable save for one thing.

Every established party leader has their excuses ready and polished for why today they got some part of the kicking voters seem determined to give to their leaders.