Nigel Farage is billing Ukip as the champion of the underdog after claiming his party is "standing up for the small man".

The Ukip leader, speaking at a party event in Canvey, said the electorate are "crying out" to be represented by people who "look and sound like them".

"We are six weeks in to all of this. I don't know about you, but I think it's endlessly negative, incredibly boring and I think people are beginning not to listen," he said.

"They are talking to themselves, they are talking to each other in Westminster and there's a country beyond Westminster.

"There's a country of real people out there and, in many ways, they are crying out for a different kind of politics.

"They are crying out for different kind of people in politics. They are crying out to be represented by people who look and sound like them."

He added: "We are the only political party that is standing up for the small man.

"We are the only political party that genuinely believes we've got to re-define capitalism in a way that it can work for everybody.

"It's only through that wealth creation that we will generate sufficient taxes to have the kind of welfare state all of us want to have in a decent country."

Farage also said that Ukip was a "state of mind" and was a party that "believes in Britain".

"However beastly the establishment is to me, or to any of our candidates in winnable seats, however personal and nasty this campaign becomes, Ukip will rise above it – we will turn the other cheek, we will ignore their insults and we will get on saying to the British people 'we believe in Britain and we want your vote because we want change'," he said.

But Labour's shadow cabinet minister Jon Trickett accused Ukip of being "more Tory than the Tories".

"No single speech is going to hide Ukip and Farage's long-held beliefs on increasing NHS privatisation and further tax breaks for those at the top," he said.

"The truth is Ukip are a party of Tory people, Tory policies and Tory money: they are more Tory than the Tories.

"The fact that Farage stood by Ukip's party secretary after it was revealed he said the NHS was the 'biggest waste of money in the UK' tells you all you need to know about Ukip's plans for our health service.

"They have supported people being charged to see their GP, increased privatisation and even deeper cuts to the NHS. Farage cannot claim to stand up for hard-working people."

The comments come with less than 90 days before the general election, with Labour one point ahead of the Tories (33% vs 32%) and Ukip on 15%.