So, the Conservatives won the Newark by-election; well numerically, anyway. The figures are plain enough but by slashing their majority and coming a creditable second, UKIP has no need to feel despondent. It pushed Labour into third and the Lib Dems into oblivion. I take heart from the way the Tories felt they had to battle hard to ensure success, so much so they marshalled their considerable forces in order to defeat the newcomer. It fielded its majors and colonels, and the general was there four times. They even drafted in the youth wing. Why? Because they were afraid, hence D for Desperation. Attention like that clearly shows how serious a contender UKIP has become.

It had parallels with the Relief of Newark in 1644, when Parliamentary forces besieged Prince Rupert who was defending the town. He held out and victory was achieved but his side went on to lose. They say those who ignore history are condemned to repeat it.

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