Kim Terry, 56, of Girvan, Ayrshire, is a Ukip member who switched from the Conservatives.

"Voting for Ukip is a recent thing for me and my husband. We started voting for them after supporting the Conservatives all our lives.

"We have become absolutely sick to the back teeth with the major parties in the UK, and we're completely disillusioned with the SNP in Scotland.

"There's a complete lack of democracy and they are overturning local council decisions as though no-one's opinion but their own matters.

"The coalition is dominated by the LibDems and is too into green issues. You would think they are the Green Party.

"David Cameron just changes his mind all the time and then never does what he says he's going to do. Ukip, on the other hand, are concentrating on the issues that bother people in this country.

"People are beginning to see what a raw deal we are getting at home and what a raw deal we are getting from Europe. People are concerned about immigration and what's going to happen when these other countries get into the EU.

"We do not have a problem with people coming over here that have something to offer. But I lived in Spain for four years and we were never given anything by the state.

"I have not got a problem with that, but there's people coming over here who are claiming everything when they have not put in a penny.

"And some of these people do not come from the same culture we do and do not have the same respect for law and order. Down south there's areas where you don't even hear an English voice."

On climate change, she added: "There are well-paid scientists who say it's a real problem but these people are now coming on the bandwagon and admitting what they predicted has not happened.

"The Maldives are not under water and polar bears are thriving as the ice grows each year."

Donald McKay, 53, is a mortgage broker from Hamilton and a Ukip Scotland founding member: "I'm really a Conservative, in the sense that when John Major won the 1992 election I was ecstatic. Then came the horror of the Maastricht Treaty.

"I have now stood in parliamentary elections and have been a lonely figure at the counts. Usually, no one has heard of you and if they have they regard you as some form of extremist. But we have moved on from that now.

"The problem is that four out of every five people in Scotland vote for the left and we are seen as a right-wing party.

"We are in with a shout of getting a Euro MP in Scotland. What makes us attractive to the electorate is that we are totally hostile to the EU.

"A lot of people are totally disillusioned with the main parties. The all say the same things. The Labour party has been hijacked and is no longer the party of the working man and the Conservatives now support things that traditionally they did not.

"People are concerned about immigration, and it's become as much a concern for the working man as it is for the middle classes, although not everyone will say that.

"We have people who care about the country and feel it is being systematically destroyed by the mainstream parties. Many of the people who have been elected are often those who have never worked a day in their lives and have 'climbed the pole' of politics without ever having a job.

"They are out of touch with real people and their concerns. At Westminster, the three leaders of the main parties are of the same type – none of them have ever worked.

"We just have to keep doing what we're doing, and I'm encouraged by the way things are going."

Mike Scott-Hayward, 64, is a former army major and ex-coastguard officer, and chairman of Ukip Scotland: "We have gone from a party that gets 2-3% of the vote in elections to one that gets 8-9% and that's a very big turnaround. As the tide of support grows in England it will do the same in Scotland.

"We are ahead of the LibDems and that makes us a major party. We are close to getting an MP and Eastleigh shows that. The party can no longer be dismissed."

Although it is thought that Ukip members in Scotland number no more than in the hundreds, Scott-Hayward would not be drawn on membership statistics.

"I am not going to say how many members we have in Scotland – but it is a number that is growing. Since October it has gone up by about 30%, just as numbers for the Conservatives are going down. I get an email alert every time someone joins and we are getting two-three a day – if that continues throughout the year it will be into the thousands, and that's just people who are joining up. For everybody that does there are 50 more who will give their support.

"There are three things that are bringing Scots to Ukip. First of all, we are the only party that stands against the bureaucratic dictatorship of an unelected Europe. All of the legislation that comes from Brussels is drawn up by an unelected group of bureaucrats which is then rubber-stamped by MEPs and it costs us £50 million a day.

He added: "We would remove Britain from this completely and that money would be ours to spend – or to save.

"Secondly – we say it as it is. If you ask Nigel Farage something he will give you an answer. He may be a bit sharp, but he will be honest. We will talk about things no-one else will. We are not going to back down from discussing topics like immigration because it's not politically correct.

"Third – we represent the people. We would hand back democracy to the people with local referenda. For example, we would not allow planning appeals to be decided by Holyrood, but would let people vote on them."

Steve McKeane, 47, from Galashiels, is a Ukip Westminster and Holyrood Parliamentary candidate: The major parties that we have are all the same – they all believe that the UK should be in Europe.

"I believe that the UK is better off outside Europe, but trading with it as it has always done. But Ukip is not just about one issue.

"I was down in Eastleigh and the message coming out of there was not what we hear in the media. This was not a protest vote.

"I joined Ukip after voting for the Conservatives for years. David Cameron promised an in/out referendum on the EU but did not deliver. I now follow a party that does what it says and is down to earth and practical.

"I'm not anti-immigration. But I have problems with unrestricted immigration. [The problem] is people coming here who will not add value to the country. I have a problem with a government which does not control our borders.

"We are not a fringe party and we're not far-right or fascists. We just want to talk about things which bother a lot of people in this country and get sensible solutions."