Ukip faces being wiped out at the ballot box after failing to hold onto a single seat at the local elections.
Paul Nuttall’s party lost all its seats in Lincolnshire, Hampshire and Essex, all key battlegrounds for Ukip at next month’s General Election.
With results available from 15 councils, Ukip had lost all 30 seats it held and failed to win a single contest.
Elections expert Michael Thrasher told Sky News Ukip’s share of the national vote could fall as low as 3%, down from 22% in the same contests in 2013.
Ukip lost 10 seats in Lincolnshire, where party leader Mr Nuttall has decided to run in the General Election.
It lost a further eight seats in Hampshire and six seats in Essex.
Politics professor John Curtice said Ukip “has lost everything they’ve been trying to defend”.
Ukip’s Lisa Duffy insisted the results were not a “disaster” for the party but acknowledged it was “very disappointing” it had been wiped out in Lincolnshire.
“I won’t use the word ‘disaster’, I’ll use the word ‘challenging’,” she told the BBC.
“We knew it was going to be a difficult night.”