Monday

25th Jun 2018

Ukip claims second election triumph, piles pressure on Cameron

  • Ukip won its second by-election in as many months on Thursday (Photo: ukip.org)

Ukip continued its insurgency into mainstream British politics on Thursday night (20 November), claiming its second by-election victory in as many months.

Ukip candidate Mark Reckless took the Rochester and Strood constituency on the south-east coast on a swing of over 30 percent from David Cameron's Conservative party. Reckless, whose defection from the Conservative party prompted the snap election, received 16,867 votes, 2,920 more than Conservative candidate Kelly Tolhurst's 13,947.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Support quality EU news

Get instant access to all articles — and 18 year's of archives. 30 days free trial.

... our join as a group

Labour's Naushabah Khan was a distant third on 6,713 votes, a 15 percent drop in support since the 2010 election in a seat that it held between 1997 and 2010.

The by-election was doubly embarrassing for Labour whose MP Emily Thornberry, the party's shadow attorney general, resigned after tweeting a picture of a house in Rochester draped in St George’s flags, a move seen as snobbery towards working-class voters.

Reckless followed MP Douglas Carswell, who in October became the first member of Ukip to win a seat in the House of Commons, having also defected from the Conservatives.

The result was not as decisive in Ukip's favour as opinion polls had suggested but still piles more pressure on Cameron and the opposition Labour party. Both parties have recently unveiled plans to restrict EU migration and migrants' access to welfare benefits in a bid to head off Ukip, which has put unlimited EU migration at the top of its list of reasons to exit the 28-country bloc.

In his victory speech, Reckless told supporters that Ukip would "give you back your country”.

He also distanced himself from suggestions that he supported the repatriation of EU migrants, commenting that “they’re now here as part of our country, and they will always be welcome”.

Farage says that at least two more Conservative MPs will defect to his party in the coming weeks, although Conservative chief whip Michael Gove stated that he was "100 percent sure" that there would be no further defections.

Conservative leaders say that voting for Nigel Farage's party increases the chance of Labour winning next May's general election.

Ukip continues to perform best in traditionally Conservative areas leading to Cameron's party to say that voting Ukip risks "letting Ed Miliband sneak into Downing Street by the back door".

Speaking last night, Farage said that he was “looking forward to next year’s general election."

“All bets are off, the whole thing’s up in the air,” he added.

Ukip believe that it can win up to 20 seats next May, potentially leaving them as king-makers following an election that appears increasingly unlikely to give either the Conservatives or Labour a parliamentary majority.

UK elections: All bets off

Just months to Britain's next general election all bets are off. Can one of the beleaguered Conservative or Labour parties stumble across the winning line, or will Ukip's surge continue?

Opinion

Young Brits are pro-EU, but will they vote?

Britain’s future relationship with Europe may well depend on the views of its Millennials - Britons born after 1980. But this younger, generally pro-EU generation, has a history of not voting.

Farage resigns: 'I want my life back'

The prominent vote Leave campaigner and anti-EU MEP already resigned Ukip top job three times before. This time it is final, he said.

Orban allies divided in vote on Hungary sanctions probe

The EU parliament's civil liberties committee in a draft report calls on member states to deal with Hungary's backsliding on EU rules. Lawmakers from the centre-right European People's Party were split over the critical report.

Opinion

Rutte - from 'Mr No' to 'next Tusk'?

Make no mistake – Rutte, sometimes considered as a potential candidate to succeed Donald Tusk, is one of the toughest of the EU's current heads of state.

Orban allies divided in vote on Hungary sanctions probe

The EU parliament's civil liberties committee in a draft report calls on member states to deal with Hungary's backsliding on EU rules. Lawmakers from the centre-right European People's Party were split over the critical report.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. UNESDAThe European Soft Drinks Industry Supports over 1.7 Million Jobs
  2. Mission of China to the EUJointly Building Belt and Road Initiative Leads to a Better Future for All
  3. Macedonian Human Rights MovementMHRMI Launches Lawsuits Against Individuals and Countries Involved in Changing Macedonia's Name
  4. IPHRCivil society asks PACE to appoint Rapporteur to probe issue of political prisoners in Azerbaijan
  5. ACCASocial Mobility – How Can We Increase Opportunities Through Training and Education?
  6. Nordic Council of MinistersEnergy Solutions for a Greener Tomorrow
  7. UNICEFWhat Kind of Europe Do Children Want? Unicef & Eurochild Launch Survey on the Europe Kids Want
  8. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Countries Take a Stand for Climate-Smart Energy Solutions
  9. Mission of China to the EUChina: Work Together for a Better Globalisation
  10. Nordic Council of MinistersNordics Could Be First Carbon-Negative Region in World
  11. European Federation of Allergy and AirwaysLife Is Possible for Patients with Severe Asthma
  12. PKEE - Polish Energy AssociationCommon-Sense Approach Needed for EU Energy Reform

Latest News

  1. Orban allies divided in vote on Hungary sanctions probe
  2. Rutte - from 'Mr No' to 'next Tusk'?
  3. UN offers to help EU's migrant 'disembarkation' plan
  4. Progressive CAP alternative only hope for sustainability
  5. Ponytailed green MEP joins 'the other side of the table'
  6. EU leaders still in search of migration plan
  7. Migration row at centre of EU summit This Week
  8. Merkel's woes cast shadow on EU's future

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us