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Saturday, November 22, 2014 2:20 PM

UKIP Picks Up Second Seat Following Tory Defection, Two More Coming Up?

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The first one or two people doing something can hardly be called a trend. Yet, all trends start with a movement of One.

UKIP gained a second seat in British parliament as a result of a special election following a Tory defection to UKIP. The first UKIP seat also came from a special election following a Tory defection. Two other Tories are allegedly considering switching parties to UKIP.

Prime minister David Cameron's Tories are clearly under pressure.

Please consider UKIP Gains Second Commons Seat With Victory in Rochester.

The U.K. Independence Party dealt a new blow to Prime Minister David Cameron as it won a second seat in Parliament from his Conservatives in six weeks.

Mark Reckless, who defected to UKIP from the Tories in September and then forced a special election in his seat of Rochester & Strood, 30 miles (50 kilometers) southeast of London, was returned to the House of Commons with 16,867 votes. Conservative candidate Kelly Tolhurst came second with 13,947 votes.

The victory, following that of Reckless’s friend and fellow defector, Douglas Carswell, on 0ct. 9, may prompt further Tories hostile to Britain’s membership of the European Union to follow suit. The rise of UKIP, which seeks withdrawal from the EU and curbs on immigration, has already led Cameron to promise a referendum on leaving the bloc and to hint he’ll seek an end to the free movement of Europeans into Britain.

Fractured Politics

The result also underlines the way Britain’s political landscape has fractured in the run-up to May’s general election, making the outcome increasingly difficult to call. All three main parties lost votes, with the Tories down 14.5 percent on their 2010 result, Labour dropping 11.8 percent and the Liberal Democrats down 15.4 percent, according to data compiled by YouGov.

“This throws British politics up in the air,” UKIP leader Nigel Farage said in an interview with Bloomberg Television. “If anyone gives you a prediction for the next general election, they’re whistling in the wind. Nobody has got a clue.”

UKIP has the backing of about 15 percent of respondents in national opinion polls, taking support from the Tories in particular. The main opposition Labour Party and Cameron’s coalition partners, the Liberal Democrats, have been losing support to the Greens and the Scottish National Party. The Greens gained about 3 percent in Rochester.
Mike "Mish" Shedlock

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