Jittery UKIP Back on Track in Thurrock

UKIP MEP, policy chief and Thurrock parliamentary candidate Tim Aker has added councillor to list of his many jobs, last night winning the Aveley & Uplands by-election. UKIP were jittery amid concerns they would lose yesterday given they were thumped by Labour in a nearby council by-election in October, but Aker fought off the Tories’ dog whistle leaflet campaign calling him “Timür Aker” to romp home. Aker is still consistently ahead of Labour’s carpet-bagging candidate Polly Billington in the constituency polling. UKIP are bullish about his chances next year, but they will need to spend big bucks on their campaign infrastructure to translate this to a parliamentary seat…

UKIP GAIN: Reckless Wins Rochester

Good Morning, It’s By-Election Day!

The polls are open in Rochester and Strood. Mark Reckless is promising fireworks if he wins:

“During the campaign I have spoken with two Conservative MPs about the possibility of their moving over and I think they will want to see what the result is before making any decisions. One of them I had discussions by telephone and the other I met in a location not in the constituency.”

Polls close at 10pm. Declaration expected at 3:30am…

Tories Attack UKIP Plans “To Privatise the NHS”

ukip-nhs

The latest video attack ad of the Rochester and Strood campaign is playing out in the local media…

CCHQ Throwing Kitchen Sink at Reckless

reckless-kent

This is the online version of the main local paper covering Rochester and Strood, and it is running paid for American style anti-Reckless attack ad videos. Whether this is Jim Messina’s influence or just the inevitable next step in digital campaigning is unclear. It is a lot more entertaining than a leaflet through the letterbox…

It is also getting under the skin of Mark Reckless, who is protesting vociferously and unconvincingly on Twitter that he didn’t flop-flop on supporting a massive local housing development for 12,000 people – in doing so making the rookie mistake of repeating his opponent’s charge. It is cheering up Tories who have been on the back foot in this by-election campaign until now…

WATCH: Tories’ US-Style Reckless Attack Ad

The Tories are going very negative on Mark Reckless in Rochester:

Meanwhile UKIP are set for their biggest ever campaign day tomorrow, bussing in 10% of their entire party membership in Rochester on one day. The Tories are calling in the cavalry with hunting supporters turning out to back their candidate on Sunday. Thirteen days to go…

Poll: UKIP Lead Increasing in Rochester & Strood

rochester-strood-survation-poll

The latest poll has UKIP 15% ahead of the Tories in Rochester & Strood.

The gap is increasing…

UKIP Get Thumped in Their Target Seat

UKIP have been given a wake up call in Thurrock, losing heavily to Labour in a council by-election last night. Despite constituency polling putting UKIP’s parliamentary candidate Tim Aker in first place in the seat, Labour won West Thurrock and South Stifford by a thumping 50% to UKIP’s 35%. Thurrock is right up there among UKIP’s top target seats, where incumbent Tory MP Jackie Doyle-Price has a majority of 92 and the Labour candidate, carpet-bagging former SpAd Polly Billington, is struggling to make an impact. UKIP should have won Heywood and Middleton but fell 600 votes short because they just didn’t have the resources on the ground. At every test so far, UKIP’s field operation has been their biggest weakness and the old parties will be clinging to that next year. If the promised earthquake is to happen in May, they need to get their act together and start spending big bucks on their campaign infrastructure. 

UPDATE: UKIP sources say Labour were so scared there were shadow cabinet ministers out in Thurrock campaigning for a council by-election.

Long Old Rochester Slog Begins

Incoming kitchen sink. The Tories are offering a massive choice to the people of Rochester: which Kent(ish) female councillor would you like to be their candidate?

“Kelly Tolhurst is a life-long resident of Medway and was elected to the council in 2011.

[…]

+ READ MORE +

Ashcroft Poll’s Margin of Error Was 17%

lord-ashcroft-H+M

On Monday newbie pollster Michael Ashcroft told us that Labour was 19% ahead in Heywood & Middleton. His polling in the marginals has also consistently forecast Labour making a remarkably strong showing. Something that over in CCHQ Grant Shapps and Lynton Crosby bitterly dispute.[…]

+ READ MORE +

Your By-Election Results in Full

Clacton:

Douglas Carswell (UKIP) 21,113 (59.75%)
Giles Watling (Con) 8,709 (24.64%)
Tim Young (Lab) 3,957 (11.20%)
Chris Southall (Green) 688 (1.95%)
Andy Graham (LibDem) 483 (1.37%)

Heywood and Middleton:

Liz McInnes (Lab) 11,633 (40.9%)
John Bickley (UKIP) 11,016 (38.7)
Iain Gartside (Con) 3,496 (12.3%)
Anthony Smith (LibDem) 1,457 (5.1%)

UKIP lost Heywood and Middleton by 617 votes, voting Tory let Labour in…[…]

+ READ MORE +

By-Election Results

You read it here first;

  • Douglas Carswell becomes UKIP’s first elected MP, winning in Clacton.
  • Labour hold Heywood and Middleton.

Details to follow…[…]

+ READ MORE +

Carswell and Farage Solve Major Policy Disagreement

Last month Douglas Carswell revealed one issue he was at odds with with Nigel Farage:

“I have discovered one major policy difference with Nigel Farage. After a busy few hours meeting and greeting local people, he prefers to pop into a local café.

[…]

+ READ MORE +

UKIP Call in the Cavalry

Meanwhile, in Clacton:

Planning on staying up pasture bedtime for the results tonight?

If things go to plan, Douglas Carswell won’t have waited furlong to get back to Westminster…

Pics via @raheemjkassam.
[…]

+ READ MORE +

Today’s By-Elections: The Numbers

In 2010 UKIP decided not to run a candidate against Douglas Carswell, clearing the way for the Tories to beat Labour by 53% to 25% and hand Carswell a majority of 12,068. Some last minute jitters/expectation management in Clacton from a source close to Carswell suggest he is nowhere near the 32 point lead given to him by Lord Ashcroft’s most recent poll in the constituency.[…]

+ READ MORE +

Good Morning, It’s By-Election Day

The polls are open down in Clacton and up in Heywood and Middleton, with the results expected in the early hours of tomorrow morning. When Guy News travelled to Clacton high street we couldn’t find a single punter planning on voting Tory:

Barring a major upset Douglas Carswell will be a UKIP MP this time tomorrow, and Labour will be welcoming their race card-playing Unite-backed candidate Liz McInnes to Westminster.[…]

+ READ MORE +



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