Nigel Farage has refused to rule Ukip out of a coalition with the Conservatives in the result of a hung parliament at this year’s general election.
The Ukip leader stressed his primary concern was to deliver a referendum on Britain’s European Union membership but said David Cameron’s offer of one in 2017 was not good enough.
Mr Farage ruled out joining a coalition with Labour and the Scottish National Party but suggested his party could enter a confidence and supply arrangement with a minority government to support it in delivering policies Ukip backed.
Opinion polls suggest neither the Conservatives nor Labour will win an overall majority on May 7, raising the prospect of either a minority or coalition government.
Asked on Sky News’s Murnaghan programme whether he could categorically rule out a deal with the Tories led by Mr Cameron, Mr Farage said: “I think we’re jumping the gun a bit here.
“I mean, look - I don’t think anybody knows what’s going to happen in this general election, it’s the most open general election in decades so we are running a bit ahead of ourselves here.”
Asked again whether he could do a deal, he went on: “I’m pretty clear I want my country back. I want us to be a self governing nation.
“The big elephant in the room still is the fact that most of our legislation is not made in this country, it’s made somewhere else.
“I want our democracy back, I want control of our borders back, I want us to be able to negotiate our own deals on the world stage.
“To do all of that I need a referendum. We need a referendum.”
Mr Farage ruled out a deal with Labour and the SNP but hinted at a potential arrangement with a minority government.
He told the programme: “I don’t see Ukip being joined together with Labour and the SNP at all, I really don’t. In fact I would regard it even if we were in that position as unlikely that Ukip would want to be in coalition with anybody.
“But what you can do is give support to minority governments in return for what you want.”