Well, well, well, the polls were right on this one – UKIP ‘do’ have their very first MP. A magnificent result for Nigel Farage’s party, without doubt.
Ex-Tory Douglas Carswell had switched teams & stood down as MP (in a credible action in this day and age of gutter politics) to win back his seat under new colours, with massive backing from his local and loyal electorship in Essex’s Clacton-on-Sea constituency.
The result was a foregone conclusion of course (due to the polls), but Carswell actually INCREASED his majority with more than half the voters turning up for this by-election – some media describing his victory as ‘sensational’, but it has certainly been unmistakably groundbreaking for UKIP, and has demonstrably refuted the main parties’ claims that they couldn’t put together sufficient infrastructure to win Parliamentarian seats.
The other result though that we have all been waited for with bated breath was at Manchester’s Heywood and Middleton constituency, where Labour Leader Ed Miliband was watching & sweating blood about how UKIP would perform against his party, when coming from absolutely nowhere. He feared his core voters might desert him for UKIP – no, he did not really fear actually ‘losing’ the seat, only that it would be an embarrassing too narrow a victory – anything less than twenty points (as the polls predicted only a week ago!) would be bad & single figures a disaster yes it WAS a disaster; the Labour candidate did win – but by ONLY two points (what a close call, eh?). However brave a face they put on it (and you can be sure they will) this was anything BUT a ringing endorsement of Ed’s leadership wouldn’t you say? If Labour cannot get a decent turnout and do better in a supposedly ‘safe’ seat in the heartland of the industrial North, then the pressure will be on to quickly find more effective stewardship, wouldn’t you say?
No need to mention here the LibDems – blown out the water as expected (despite this week’s rabble rousing, complacent confidence, shown far & wide at their annual party conference).
The next by-election will be at Rochester and Strood in Kent, when ex Conservative Mark Reckless, who was the second MP to jump ship to UKIP, will fight to regain his seat – the date is yet to be set, but it should be in November. That election could put the nail in one or more coffins perhaps? First indications are that Reckless is in with a good chance of retaking the seat (polling some forty percent of the vote & a nine point lead) BUT that is before the date is known or who will be standing against him isn’t it?
[David Cameron now knows, if he didn’t before, that UKIP have the Tories in their sights; Nick Clegg will continue to ignore the fact that the LibDems (& he) are finished for decades; Ed Miliband will be warned that he ignored the threat to Labour of UKIP for far too long at his peril, and he should now be considering his position].