Douglas Carswell Wins Election for UKIP in Clacton
Douglas Carswell became the United Kingdom Independence Party’s first MP this morning after the results for the Clacton by-election were counted. He secured an emphatic victory over his Tory rival with 59.6% of the votes and an increased majority of 12,404. The Liberal Democrats saw a collapse in support from 5,577 to 483. In a related result, the Labour stronghold of Heywood and Middleton almost fell to UKIP as well – Labour eventually pulling through by a mere 617 votes. Both results have caused considerable anxieties among the Conservative and Labour Parties. Tim Akers, UKIP’s Head of Policy, said, “There are no safe seats for the other political parties now. UKIP are coming to get you.”
Nigel Farage commented on the Clacton victory:
“Tomorrow I will be told it’s all a protest vote. This is not a protest vote. It’s people who want real change.”
“For me, I think this is a more important night for me and Ukip than winning the European elections. And the added bonus is you won’t be able to call us a one man band any more. We are ripping lumps out of the old Labour vote in the north of England. The truth of what has happened in the North today is that if you are anywhere north of Birmingham, if you vote Conservative you get Labour…. And the reason we haven’t won up there, despite a fantastic campaign, is that too many people have stuck with the Conservatives, not recognising that Ukip is now the challenger to Labour in every urban seat in the north of England.”
Douglas Carswell made a short speech following the result:
“To my new party, I offer these thoughts. Humility when we win. Modesty when we are proved right. If we speak with passion let it be tempered with compassion. Let us be a party for all Britain – and all Britons, first and second generation as much as any other. Our strength must be our breadth. If we stay true to that there is nothing we cannot achieve.”
With a General Election only seven months away, the political landscape now appears to be fundamentally altered. Senior figures in both the Labour and Conservative Parties have issued warnings that to win next May they need to implement drastic changes to policy and communicate more effectively with the electorate.