Ukip will announce their next leader and Nigel Farage's successor this afternoon (16 September) after a dramatic campaign. The party's migration spokesman Steven Woolfe MEP was hot favourite to win the contest, but he failed to make the final ballot as he filed his application papers late.

The National Executive Committee's decision to block Woolfe from running triggered more in-fighting within Ukip, with party donor and Leave.EU co-founder Arron Banks branding the decision as "insane".

Diane James MEP, a deputy chair of the party, is the new favourite to take over from Farage and has the endorsement of Banks.

No opinion polling has been conducted for the race, but bookmakers William Hill had James at 1/5 (83% chance) favourite and Ladbrokes, who are no longer taking bets, had James at 1/10 (90% chance).

IBTimes UK asked James' spokesman about her chances yesterday. "Our meetings have gone well across the country, there's no polling to speak of and it's a disparate electorate who are voting in the secrecy of their own homes so we have no feeling whatsoever really," the spinner said.

"I don't even have a hunch. Diane's done her best to put her case to the membership of Ukip."

Her main competition comes from Cambridgeshire councillor Lisa Duffy, who is backed by Patrick O'Flynn MEP and Ukip heavyweight Suzanne Evans.

The other candidates include NEC member Liz Jones, West Midlands MEP Bill Etheridge and former pro-wrestler Philip Broughton, while North East MP Jonathan Arnott quit the race after he conceding he could only place second.

The day will also see the final speech from Farage as Ukip leader. The Eurosceptic firebrand quit the top job after the UK voted to leave the EU at a 23 June referendum.

Farage, 52, said he wanted to get his life back. He failed to secure a seat at the 2015 general election, but continues to represent the South East of England in the European Parliament.