The beleaguered party’s general secretary Paul Oakley compared Ukip to the Black Death as he struggled to find positives from a night of carnage.
He gave the comparison an unusual spin, claiming both the disease and the party had made significant impacts before going “dormant”.
“It’s not all over at all,” Mr Oakley told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme.
“Think of the Black Death in the Middle Ages. It comes along and it causes disruption and then it goes dormant, and that’s exactly what we are going to do. Our time isn’t finished because Brexit is being betrayed.”
The only point of light for the Eurosceptic party was Derby, where it held one seat and gained another, unseating the Labour leader of the council and bringing its total representation to three.
Ukip was defending seats won at a high point for the party in 2014, when it took 17% of the vote and 166 councillors as Nigel Farage stepped up pressure for an EU referendum.
But with the UK on course for Brexit following the EU referendum, many voters may see the Ukip’s job as done.
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The party has also been mired in controversy, with five leaders in 18 months and warnings that it is at risk of going bankrupt.
Former leader Henry Bolton was sacked in the wake of a racism row and new leader Gerard Batten sparked anger with warnings of the influence he believes Islam is having on Britain.
Anti-racism group Hope Not Hate said it had been a “grim night” for Ukip and said: “We should take a moment to enjoy the decline of extremist parties.”
It put the collapse of the party’s vote down to “incompetence, defections, changing attitudes post-Brexit, and the hard work of thousands of anti-racist campaigners up and down the country”.
Former deputy chair of Ukip Suzanne Evans also openly discussed the possible demise of the party.
She said: “I have to say, three councillors in Derby, one of them actually unseating the leader of the Labour council, it might not be Ukip’s night but my goodness me when we do win we do it with style and we really put the cat among the pigeons.”
She added: “If Ukip does crumble I think you could still arguably make the case that it’s been one of the most successful political parties in history.”