Delusions of grandeur? Nigel Farage rules out forming a coalition with any party, next year
Nigel Farage has suffered a rare drop in his personal popularity ratingGetty

Ukip leader Nigel Farage has suffered a heavy slump in his popularity with voters after very public rows rocked the party.

New polling by Ipsos/Mori revealed Farage's rating has plummeted 14 points in less than three weeks, in the wake of uproar over his comments on breastfeeding and a Ukip sex scandal.

Farage's performance rating of minus 20 looks set to be seized upon by political opponents, who have been shaken by Ukip's seemingly unstoppable transformation into a major problem for the big three parties.

The figures also showed a second monthly fall in Ukip's predicted vote share, down to 13% from 16% in October.

Earlier this month, Farage sparked controversy by saying women wanting to breastfeed babies in public places such as restaurants should "sit in a corner," during an LBC radio interview.

Then Ukip suffered an embarrassing sex scandal centring on text messages between party secretary Roger Bird and former parliamentary candidate, Natasha Bolter.

Responding to the gloomy polling data, Farage tried to brush off the setback, insisting: "It's a volatile market."

"Ukip has had a pretty remarkable year. If we are ending on a slightly softer note, it's perhaps not surprising," he said.

The anti-EU party has secured its first two MPs at by-elections in the second half of 2014, but was hit by the resignation of Neil Hamilton as a candidate amid ugly scenes of vicious briefing, after a row over his expenses claim was leaked.