Ukip has faced an average of three attacks a week, ranging from alleged physical assaults on candidates to vandalism on party premises, in the run-up to the general election.

An investigation from IBTimes UK recorded more than 30 incidents in England and Wales over a period of just nine weeks (between 6 February and 13 April) in 2015.

Ukip candidates and supporters have seen their posters set on fire, billboards defaced and party offices vandalised, while an elderly party member claimed to be spat at on the campaign trail.

Elsewhere, Owais Rajput, who is standing in Bradford East, alleged he was physically and verbally assaulted after a hustings event in the constituency on 12 April.

On 7 March, the Kidderminster office of Ukip MEP James Carver was targeted by vandals, who through grey paint and smashed the front window of the property.

A Ukip spokesman told IBTimes UK the scale of the attacks against the Eurosceptic party represented a "new norm" in British politics.

"Not prepared are these people to take on argument with argument they revert to abuse, violence, vandalism and aggression," he said.

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"It certainly isn't the sort of democracy that most people in this country understand, nor is it something that should be regarded as acceptable by anyone in a civil society."

Nigel Farage has not been immune as the party leader alleged anti-Ukip protesters forced him and his family to flee one of his local pubs in Kent.

The Eurosceptic firebrand, who is standing in South Thanet, branded the demonstrators "scum" after the March incident and said his children "ran away to hide".

On 6 February, the Ukip leader was trapped inside a party office in Rotherham after a group of peaceful anti-Ukip protesters surrounded the shop.

Police advised Farage to stay inside the property, which is serving as the headquarters of Jane Collins's election campaign, as the demonstrators stood outside for almost two hours.

Other political parties have also become victims of vandals as the hotly contested 7 May election looms.

In Scotland, police launched an investigation after Labour and Conservative offices were defaced with graffiti in April. A swastika sign and the words "scum" were painted on the front window of the Tory election shop in Aberdeen.

Ramsay Jones, a former government special adviser for Scotland, said: "No doubt there are a few sad souls who believe in a 'cause' who think this is OK. What next?"

Ukip attacks
IBTimes UK/ Luis Ouriach