Ukip success in Rochester:Right-wing populist drift PM Cameron in cornered / UK News


New embarrassment for David Cameron: In the by-election in Rochester, the right-wing populist UKIP gets its second House of mandate. The Premier has to worry about re-election in May.

British Prime Minister David Cameron stand before turbulent weeks. The UK Independence Party (UKIP) won in a by-election in Rochester their second House of mandate. Ukip candidate Mark Reckless won with 42.1 percent against his conservative rival Kelly Tolhurst (34.8 percent). The Labour candidate Naushabah Khan came with 16.8 percent in the third.

Reckless had represented the constituency since 2010 for the Tories in the British Parliament. In September he had resigned and had defected to UKIP. Thus, the election was due. His new mandate applies to the general election in May 2015 then he must again ask the voters.

The 43-year-old is the second ex-Tory who accomplishes the feat, to defend his old seat under the UKIP banner. Before him, Douglas Carswell had won a by-election in October in Clacton. Now the two friends form a two-member UKIP Group in the House – a scenario that seemed inconceivable just recently.

Party chief Nigel Farage said he was delighted with the result. “I look forward to the general election next year,” he said. The right-wing populists who fight for Britain’s exit from the EU and immigration want to severely restrict, have every reason to celebrate: they dominate the political debate in the country.

Ukip success in Rochester:The Tories can not gloss over the defeat

Rechpopulistische UKIP

For Cameron, the result, however, is a nightmare. The Tory leader must now fear more defectors. Above all, his re-election in May, is in danger. The more the EU-opponents are, the further decrease the chances of a conservative majority. If the voters split in the conservative camp on UKIP and Tories, Labour opposition leader Ed Miliband could stand as Prime Minister at the end. Cameron’s argument that a vote is a wasted vote for UKIP, no longer seems weak.

The Tories point out that elections do not provide reliable forecasts for lower house elections. In fact, they are often used like European elections to protest against the government. The voters in Rochester complained of the political class in London and Brussels – and UKIP benefited from the politics.

“We will fight every day for it to regain this seat,” promised Tory-General Grant Shapps. Nevertheless, the Tories their defeat in Rochester can not easily talk nicely like in Clacton. In the run-down seaside resort, there had been several factors that favored UKIP: In Clacton live above average number of unemployed, low wage earners and pensioners, appreciative target groups for a protest party. Then there was the personal popularity of the candidates: Carswell had built up in his years as constituency representatives a loyal following.

In the case of Rochester, these two excuses not apply. Reckless is a pale accountant type that triggers no enthusiasm. And the population of the city commuter in London is generally younger and more educated than the Clacton. The average income is above the national average.

The Tories were in fact long been convinced to be able to defend the constituency. The party leadership had any MPs obliged to stop by at least three times in Rochester. Premier Cameron even came five times.

Ukip success in Rochester:Reckless announces further defections

That not even this massive counter-offensive could prevent the UKIP victory, Downing Street has to think about. The victory in Rochester is now interpreted as a signal that UKIP can win anywhere in the country. The result was a “total disaster” for the Tories, wrote the conservative “Daily Telegraph”.

Reckless said he had already spoken with other Tory MPs about switching to UKIP. If this trend continues up to the general election, threatens the split of the Conservatives. A coup against Cameron is unlikely so just before the election, but the mood is at its lowest ebb. The ruling party appears helpless in dealing with the competition from the right.

The only consolation for the government: The opposition is not it have fared better in the by-election, Labour also lost votes to UKIP. The condition of the Social Democrats for half a year before the general election is deplorable. “Labour is like the wallflower of British politics, the loitering at the edge of the dance floor, while Tories and UKIP to show off their moves,” commented “Guardian” columnist Rafael Behr. In addition to the inept Labour leader Miliband Cameron acts on most British people still like the lesser of two evils.

Both major parties are open to allegations of having transported Ukips climb itself. For months, Tories and Labour outdo each other with proposals to limit immigration to Britain. Cameron has even asked the EU’s free movement principles in question.

The intensified rhetoric against immigrants and the EU seems UKIP but play only in the hands. “If we all keep saying how wise Mr. Farage and that we must finally address the issue of immigration, it is not surprising that angry, disappointed, protesting people elect Mr Farage,” said the former Tory minister Ken Clarke.

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