Lets look at some facts. Nigel Farage was first elected as Leader of UKIP in 2006 with 45% of the vote. He took on a Party with some tremendous internal difficulties, but steady progress was made. Issues other than the EU were focused on for the first time, most prominently immigration and education. UKIP saw two peers defect giving it a Parliamentary foothold for the first time. Bob Spink MP also defected, though later bizarrely claimed not to have done so. The Party started to attract a number of young people attracted by Farage's media-savvy, modern delivery. Media profile increased for the Party, and many of those I know in the media say that it was Farage who made them think UKIP were no longer just swivel-eyed obsessives. In fact many in the media world have said to me that they are amazed he puts up with UKIP's brand of internal in-fighting rather going to play in the "big leagues" of the Tory Party.
But Farage plugged away, dealing with troublesome internal infiltrators who tried to put a deal with the BNP on the table while attracting the support of the extremely prominent former Tory grandee Stuart Wheeler. Wheeler's money played a part in delivering Farage's greatest success, as he led UKIP, a supposed fringe Party, to second in a national election in the 2009 European Elections.
The media didn't see it coming. Beating the Labour, the Party had defied all expectations. And with the General Election forthcoming, Farage took the decision to stand down from the leadership and fight John Bercow in Buckingham, desperate to take the UKIP message into the House of Commons.
It didn't work. But that was the last of Nigel's worries on polling day, as he came very close to being killed in what must have been an absolutely terrifying plane crash. Unfortunately for the political class, this event appeared to only strengthen the resolve of UKIP's former Leader who threw his hat into the ring to become Leader of UKIP once again.
Instead of getting 45% of the vote as in 2006, 60% of the UKIP membership now backed Nigel Farage. I was one of them. Farage had a mandate virtually unprecedented for any contested Party Leader standing in a four horse race. He had become more favoured by the Party membership than ever before no matter what anyone said.
What seems to have been missed by people within UKIP - and in the wider sphere - is that under Farage the Party has not simply focused on European Electons. The jaw-droppingly good performance in the Barnsley by-election saw UKIP give both Coalition parties an electoral drubbing that saw UKIP come second in a by-election for the first time. This did not occur by accident.
The recent election results were disappointing - but in many ways misleadingly so. While the Party should have secured seats in the Welsh Assembly, it failed to do so. The Party did increase its vote by 14% on 2007 however, moving forward nonetheless. It would be absurd to blame this failure of a breakthrough purely on Farage's shoulders though: the Scottish Leaders of the LibDems, Labour and Conseratives have all themselves been held accountable and felt the axe due to their parties poor performance in devolved elections, not Miliband or Cameron.
Local election results for the Party were also encouraging. Actually, they were downright marvellous: the Party stood 26% more candidates than 2007 but saw a vote increase of a whooping 55%, as over 320,000 people voted UKIP in their English local elections compared to 208,000 just 4 years ago. That is taking into consideration the fact that only one-eighth of seats were up for grabs.
Yet Marta Andreasen was allowed to put her own spin on the results, claiming a lack of actual wins equated to a failure. This is simply not true and represents a potentially dangerous new path for UKIP, with the Party's old tradition of in-fighting come back to haunt it.
Nigel Farage is a hugely popular Party Leader both with the Party membership and the public. His work ethic is second to none and nor is his ability to communicate and build credibility with the public. He is just six months into a second leadership stint that allowed to flourish, with the backing of all members of the Party, could see significant gains at local election level made, as well as in the London Assembly and the European Parliament where a first place finish is not out of the question.
UKIP has a very clear path ahead of it: constructive activity behind a Leader who has the grassroots firmly on his side. Or it can resort to the old UKIP in-fighting that does nothing but deepen splits and hold up electoral progress. Those who are continually seeking to undermine the democratically elected Party Leader represent nobody but themselves. And if they seriously want UKIP to continue to develop for the next few years, getting behind Nigel Farage is the only option.