Friday 21 November 2014 3:18 am

Ukip wins Rochester and Strood by-election in spite of Mark Reckless' immigration comments

Mark Reckless has won in Rochester and Strood, gaining its second parliamentary seat. 
It was a night of bitter disappointment for the Conservative party, who, despite not being favourites, had invested much in the conservation of their seat.
In the end Reckless, an ex-Tory MP whose defection forced the by-election, won by 2,920 votes. David Cameron had promised to do his utmost to keep Rochester in Conservative hands and visited the constituency five times and asked his MPs to go three times each to the town.

Labour never stood a chance, despite holding the seat until 2010, when Reckless and the Tories wrested it from them.

Not content with slipping quietly from the competition, Ed Miliband’s party imploded, when Emily Thornberry, shadow cabinet minister and MP for Islington, sent an ill-conceived tweet, which was taken for snobbery and eventually led to her resignation.

Notably the Liberal Democrats came behind the Green party in another blow to the established parties.