Ambition overdrive for Nigel ‘it could happen’ Farage

Ukip could eventually replace the Conservatives as Britain's biggest right-wing party, Nigel Farage has predicted.

In a speech unhindered by normal politicians' expectations management tactics, the Ukip leader forecast a victory in the potential Portsmouth South by-election and winning the 2014 European elections.

He even suggested Ukip could one day replace the Tories as the largest party. "Don't think it can't happen in a first past the post system, because it can and it did," he said, citing the example of Canada where the reform party overtook the Conservative party there.

"I think there is a massive vacuum [in British politics]," he continued. "All three parties have merged into this social democratic mush in the middle. I think Ukip could be the catalyst in the next two years for a fundamental realignment of British politics in this country."

Allegations of sexual harassment against Portsmouth South's incumbent Lib Dem Mike Hancock, who denies any wrongdoing, have led to speculation in Westminster the Lib Dems could once again be forced to defend a seat against right-wing challengers in Hampshire.

Farage said he put Ukip's odds of winning the seat at 3/1 at the worst.

"No longer does anyone think that a vote for Ukip is a wasted vote," he declared.

"It isn't just sticking two fingers up at the other political leaders, understandable though that may be. It's because we're offering positive policy solutions."

Farage also praised the "towering figure" of Alex Salmond, but undermined his compliment by saying Scotland's other parties suffered a "complete dearth of talent".

YouGov was slammed as having gone "beyond the bounds of credibility" for not including Ukip in its polling under anything other than 'other'.

The News of the World was also criticised for hacking into Farage's phone. But he denied being "hung like a donkey", as the tabloid had once reported.

Farage added: "I worked damn hard in the City for 20 years, until lunch time."