Ukip will attempt to capitalise on David Cameron's failure to meet his immigration target by unveiling a points-based system later today.

Nigel Farage and his party's immigration spokesman, Steven Woolfe MEP, are expected to announce that a Ukip government would also increase the number of border staff by 2,500.

The general election manifesto commitment will also include the establishment of a new quango designed to cut net migration to the UK, called the Migration Control Commission.

But Farage revealed, in an article for The Daily Telegraph, that his party would not set any "arbitrary" net migration targets.

Instead, Ukip would look to attract highly-skilled migrants and workers from the Commonwealth to Britain.

"While politicians and the people they represent determine the direction of travel for this country, we will not, unlike the other parties, seek to set arbitrary targets which only result in broken promises," he argued.

The plan will be announced after the Office for National Statistics (ONS) revealed that net migration to the UK surged to 298,000 last year, up from 210,000 the year before.

The official figures left the prime minister red-faced because of his promise to slash net migration to "tens of thousands".

Ukip have been able to capitalise on voter discontent over immigration and the UK's relationship with the European Union (EU) by securing two MPs and coming first in last year's EU parliamentary elections.

The party is polling around 15%, a significant increase on its 3.1% performance in 2010, and some voting experts have estimated that Ukip could win up to 10 seats in May.

Elsewhere, Labour have promised to tackle immigration "fairly" and "sensibly", including a proposal to stop cheap foreign workers replacing British staff and a plan to hire an extra 1,000 border staff.

"We will control immigration with fair rules. People who come here won't be able to claim benefits for at least two years," Ed Miliband said.

"And we will make it illegal for employers to undercut wages by exploiting workers. This is what I promise to do. What I won't do is make false promises to you."

The Liberal Democrats wound implement a "firm but fair system" by introducing exit checks to enable the government to keep track of who is leaving the country.