British political history was made in a seaside town in Essex early this morning when Douglas Carswell was returned as UKIP’s first elected Member of Parliament.
It was the biggest-ever increase in a by-election vote, with Douglas winning a massive 60%. UKIP did not contest the seat in the last election.
Douglas beat Conservative Giles Watling, who took just 25% in what was previously a safe Tory seat, with a majority of 12,404.
The clear result, on a high by-election turnout of around 51%, left those Tory and Labour politicians who have spent recent years repeatedly claiming that UKIP could not be taken seriously as it had no Westminster representation, busily reassessing the political landscape.
Douglas, who resigned from the Conservative Party at the end of August to join UKIP and immediately triggered a by-election, has been vindicated in his determination to put his decision before those who elected him in the last general election recording a giant by-election swing of 44%.
His share of the vote actually rose from the 53% he won in the 2010 General Election to 60% in this poll.
An interview with the new UKIP MP, Mr. Douglas Carswell.
Tories : 8,709
Lib Dems: 483