UKIP Gains Second MP in Rochester & Strood By-Election

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UKIP won their second MP in Westminster yesterday in the  Rochester and Strood by-election, taking 16,867 of the 40,113 votes that were cast.

Mark Reckless claimed the seat in parliament less easily than opinion polls had suggested, only gaining 2,920 more votes than the Conservative’s Kelly Tolhurst.

11 other candidates ran for the chance to represent the constituency.

Labour’s Naushabah Khan received 17% of the vote, another surprisingly low vote for an area that was Labour until 2010.

The Green Party came fourth with 4% of the ballots, whilst the Lib Dems only managed 1% with a paltry 349 votes, their lowest ever result in a by-election.

Healthcare, housing and immigration emerged as the topics most important to voters during the campaign and Rochester has put faith in Mark Reckless to address them for the last six months of the term.

The result has the potential to dramatically shake up British politics.

It is now expected that more Conservative Party members will jump ship and join the ranks of UKIP, which may call Cameron’s leadership of the Conservative Party into question.

Reckless’ win may indicate that a considerable amount of previously loyal voters, from both the Conservative and Labour parties, will switch to UKIP in next May’s election. This would break up the hold the three main parties have in Westminster and perhaps give UKIP the balance of power when it really matters.

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