THE UK Independence Party’s chairman got a nasty surprise when he returned to his car after campaigning in the Eastleigh by-election.

Steve Crowther’s grey Land Rover, complete with the distinctive UKIP flags, had been given a parking ticket in Leigh Road.

He had spent time meeting voters in the town centre with party leader Nigel Farage in a last-minute push for votes.

A UKIP spokesman confirmed Mr Crowther’s car had received a ticket.

He said: “Given the restrictive parking regulations around here which are strangling the high street it's no surprise.”