Nigel Farage has been one of the UK's most influential - and divisive - politicians in recent memory.

But did you know he has a close political link to Eastleigh?

It has been widely reported that he has stood - and failed - seven times for election as an MP and he has put his hat in the ring for an eighth time this year.

READ MORE: Nigel Farage offered private security after objects thrown during campaigning

This is despite him initially saying he was not standing in July's General Election and would instead focus on Donald Trump's second run at the White House in the US election in November.

However, in 1994, he made his first repeated attempts to become an MP during a by-election in Eastleigh.

Nigel Farage poses for a selfie with a member of the public

He got fewer than 1,000 votes, narrowly beating Raving Monster Loony Party leader Screaming Lord Sutch into fifth place.

Undeterred, in 1999 he was elected to the European Parliament as MEP for South East England, a position which was to provide him with a platform – as well as crucial funding – to propagate his anti-EU agenda for the next two decades.

Elected Ukip leader in 2006, his talent for political invective made him a thorn in the side of the Brussels establishment, famously denouncing the new European Council president Herman van Rompuy as having the “charisma of a damp rag” and the appearance of “a low-grade bank clerk”.

Nigel Farage celebrates after the referendum vote to leave the EU

Having been one of the voices to leave the European Union during the Brexit campaign Mr Farage announced he was quitting (for a third time) as Ukip leader declaring: “I want my life back.”

But as the party descended into infighting, amid claims of a sharp turn to the right, he dramatically announced he was returning to the political front line with the formation of the new Brexit Party (since renamed Reform UK).

In 2021, he announced he was yet again stepping back from frontline politics, taking up a well-paid job as a presenter on GB News, while carefully leaving to door open for a return, taking the title of Reform UK’s “honorary president”.

He is standing for the parliamentary seat for Clacton-on-Sea.