Farage fears dirtiest-yet election
This year's general election campaign could be the "dirtiest" Britain has seen, according to Nigel Farage.
The Ukip leader accused the Conservatives and Labour of employing "attack-campaign" election strategists and focusing heavily on social media.
Mr Farage added that with less than 100 days to go to polling day the campaign was becoming "negative".
Writing in the Independent, he said: "Pundits called the 2010 election the first 'social media election', and they're saying much the same this time, too, as the establishment parties hurl hundreds of thousands of pounds at Facebook and twitter. But the truth is that this will go down as, potentially, the dirtiest general election campaign in British history.
"Both Labour and the Conservatives have drafted in expensive, US-style attack campaign strategists. The PM also has the benefit of Mr Lynton Crosby of Australia; although a fat lot of good it did them in Rochester and Strood last year.
"What this means, in practical terms, is that our election campaigns, traditionally marked by playful newspaper headlines and upbeat party political broadcasts, are more likely to become a 'tear chunks out of one another' affair.
"It's a great shame, and I have personally said that I want to have no part of this. But we've seen it already. It's not just aimed at me, or Ukip, but both Labour and the Conservatives are going full pelt."
Having overseen two defections from the Tory's to his party last year in the shape of Mark Reckless and Douglas Carswell, Mr Farage felt the tables turn earlier this month when Ukip's former communities spokesman Amjad Bashir joined David Cameron's party.
But he hit out at Tories over the move, writing in the paper that it had been "drastically mishandled".