Last night’s by election results propelled UKIP’ s first MP into the House of Commons – Douglas Carswell who trounced his old party the Tories by 12,404 votes to take Clacton. Almost as remarkable was the result from Manchester where Labour held on to their former stronghold seat of Heywood and Middleton by just 617 votes. Labour have been warned, one donor claimed, the public want them to get serious about immigration. With the prospect of a second UKIP seat in Rochester and Stroud, as Mark Reckless stands against his old party, the old order is being shaken claimed Nigel Farage, for his is now a national party.
Primarily, UKIP’s rise in support has been a reaction to the surge of immigration from eastern Europe which is part of this country’s commitment to the European treaty a surge that saw huge numbers of first Poles, then Romanians and Bulgarians arriving in every city. The trouble with that was whilst talk of being swamped with foreigners was racist under any political dialogue, it was difficult to avoid the obvious – that too many had arrived in too short a time and because of the open borders of Europe even more could. UKIP have taken the floor from under the BNP and allowed ‘middle’ Britain as well it appears the working class north to articulate their concerns about being part of Europe and the costs and benefits for this country of this relationship. After last night, the Conservatives and Labour will have to take UKIP seriously for this is a party that has clearly got hold of the concerns of a silent and until now sleeping majority – how those parties will respond to this challenge as this country gets closer to the May 2015 election is of course the question. For the Tories, expect stronger anti Europe speeches as David Cameron attempts to shore up the party’s core voters, which of course leaves Ed Miliband who will not be able to take for granted old Labour loyalties, for voting UKIP doesn’t mean you are voting for the racist BNP. Perhaps, Labour faces the greatest challenge, but both parties are going to have show how they are going to contain European immigration into this country something they have been unable to do so far, they are going to have to lay out concrete plans and a timetable that will result in real improvements on the street.
As for the deluded Lib Dems, they are finished.