UKIP today unveiled their candidate to contest the Eastleigh By election with a pledge by the party to make their policies matter to the electorate.

Introducing Diane James to local supporters at a press conference this morning, leader Nigel Farage said the Surrey councillor was far and away the best candidate for the job from the dozen who put their names forward.

Although he said he briefly flirted with this idea of standing himself he realised his job was to lead the party and intended on lead the up coming county council elections.

He said he believed UKIP had a real chance of achieving a "four way marginal", such was the disillusionment with the main parties.

He said polls put the party on already having up to 16 per cent of the vote, way above their starting point at recent by elections that saw them poll well with a start of around two per cent.

He said the main campaigning ground would be on jobs and social housing, two issues that would resonate with the Eastleigh electorate in the wake of the Ford factory closure and the ongoing campaign to stop the development of 10,000 homes in the borough.

Mrs James who has a background in healthcare said she believed the issues UKIP stood for would strike a chord with the Eastleigh public.

She said her campaign would be "visible and consistent" and would get the messages of the party heard.

On the subject of the previous incumbent of the Eastleigh seat, Former MP Churis Huhne, she said: "I think he has consigned his place to history and that is where he is best left."