UKIP leader Nigel Farage has revealed the details of a poll which shows the party is on course to win the Boston and Skegness seat at the 2015 General Election.
This afternoon he showed party members at the Doncaster conference the results of a survey carried out by pollsters Survation ten days ago.
The figures put UKIP at 46 per cent, with the Conservatives on just 26 per cent.
If that were to be the result next year it would represent a huge turnaround from 2010 – when Mark Simmonds won with 49.4 per cent of the vote and a 12,426 majority.
In 2010 UKIP won 9.4 per cent of the vote.
The figures, shown on a big screen, drew a loud cheer from the crowd, with Farage adding: “Not too bad is it.”
He went on to describe the figures as ‘very very dramatic’.
The party is yet to select its candidate for the seat, although party chairman and ex-Conservative Neil Hamilton has applied.
He faces a hustings event to try to win the nomination shortly after the October 9 Clacton by-election.
The full list of other applicants is not known, although Paul Wooding has confirmed he will challenge Mr Hamilton.
UKIP has pulled off headline-grabbing election results in Boston in both the 2013 county council elections – winning five of the seven seats despite previously having none – and at the European elections where it won 52 per cent of the Boston vote.
Farage’s speech came after the party unveiled Mark Reckless as the latest Conservative MP to join their ranks, following Douglas Carswell.
On hearing news of the poll BBC politicial correspondent Ross Hawkins tweeted: “Big Boston question - how much damage did Tory MP Mark Simmonds cause complaining about MPs expenses when he went?”
Mr Simmonds announced he was standing down as MP and leaving his Foreign Office job last month.
The Conservatives will hold an ‘open primary’ to find his replacement, with ex-soldier Matthew Glanville and former councillor Kelly Smith thought to be among the contenders.
Labour will be represented at the election by former mayor Paul Kenny, who was second to Mr Simmonds at each of the last two elections.