We have our first UKIP MP. To further paraphrase Margaret Thatcher’s words after the Falklands War:
“Just rejoice at that news and congratulate our force of activists”
Congratulations to Douglas Carswell for having the courage to come over to UKIP, to allow his electorate to cast judgement on his action, and for having fought a battle alongside a new team. Congratulations to Lisa Duffy and Darryl Pitcher for bringing off a successful campaign with a successful outcome. And congratulations to every single UKIP activist who made the trek to Clacton to be one of the foot soldiers of this battle.
And what a result! Here it is, if you haven’t seen it elsewhere:
Douglas Carswell – UKIP
21,113 (60%, +60)
Giles Watling – Conservative
8,709 (25%, -28)
Tim Young – Labour
3,957 (11%, -14)
Andy Graham – Liberal Democrat
483 (1%, -12)
Chris Southall – Green
688 (2%, +1)
35,386 votes cast, Turnout 51.2%
Now we have a voice in Parliament, someone to start challenging all the assumptions of LibLabCon as to how modern Britain needs to be run… not by Brussels and for the benefit of the elite, but by Britain and for the British people. This can only help strengthen UKIP’s position in the Opinion Polls: now we have gained the credibility of being in government, blunting the charge our opponents used to accuse us of.
We must not forget Heywood and Middleton too. Always the bridesmaid in this dual contest with the “Establishment”, it’s importance is not to be trifled with, especially with the need for a recount – an awesome result! Taking the fight into Labour’s heartlands is as important as taking Tory seats in the south, blunting forever the suggestion that a “vote for UKIP is a vote for Labour”. John Bickley and the team in the North West acquitted themselves marvellously with this result:
Liz McInnes – Labour
11,633 (41%, +1%)
John Bickley – UKIP
11,016 (39%, +36%)
Iain Gartside – Conservative
3,496 (12%, -15%)
Anthony Smith – Liberal Democrat
1,457 (5%, -18%)
28,515 votes cast, turnout 36%
And now, not only do we look forward to our voice in Westminster, but can we look forward to more? Has Nigel got another defection under his hat now we have secured Clacton? Will it be a Tory or Labour MP? Will Mark Reckless and the UKIP campaign team be able to fight off the Conservative kitchen sink that is being thrown at Rochester and Strood?
And from 8 November, will those less brave MPs who are not prepared for an immediate By Election defect to UKIP, secure for 6 months in the knowledge that under parliamentary rules there can be no By Election for them, that time available for them to campaign up to the General Election?
We live in the most politically exhilarating and remarkable times for 100 years, and the electorate at large is beginning to feel the excitement. I’ll make a prediction now – the turnout at the next General Election is going to be higher than the last one, reversing the trend of previous years.
Photo by nep