On the morning of UKIP’s election victory in the Rochester and Strood byelection, the story of the day should have been the crisis faced by the David Cameron and his government as they lose a second seat in less than a month.
Barely a month ago the Conservatives gathered in Birmingham for their annual conference and heard the news that Mark Reckless, the MP for Rochester and Strood, had defected to UKIP.
UKIP leader Nigel Farage has announced that his European Parliament group is “back”, after signing up an MEP from Poland’s Congress of the New Right – whose leader is against votes for women and claims Hitler didn’t know about the Holocaust.
It’s good to see UKIP’s Euro-group break up. But as the far right realigns, there could be bad news if the alliance between Marine Le Pen and Geert Wilders gains. Or will orphaned MEPs join Britain’s Tories?
It’s the breakthrough antiracists have been dreading: the racist populist party UKIP has gained its first elected MP, with Douglas Carswell taking the seaside seat of Clacton, Essex.
There is good news for antiracists who hate UKIP in today’s local election results. UKIP’s projected national share of the vote has fallen substantially since last year’s county councils vote, dropping from 23% to 17% now.