UK anti-EU party wins second parliament seat

Victory for UKIP is blow to ruling Conservative party which will be seeking re-election in May 2015 polls.

    The anti-European Union UK Independence Party has won its second seat in parliament in a blow to the ruling Conservative party that could indicate upheaval in May's general election.

    Mark Reckless, who defected to the anti-immigration UKIP from Prime Minister David Cameron's Conservative Party in September, beat the Conservative candidate on Friday on a margin of just under 3,000 votes in Thursday's by-election in the town of Rochester.

    UKIP's Mark Reckless delivers a speech after winning Thursday's by-election in the town of Rochester [AFP]

    Speculation over further defections to UKIP swirled after Reckless suggested two more Conservative lawmakers could switch, piling pressure on Cameron six months from the May general election.

    Furious campaigning by the Conservatives to keep the once-safe Rochester and Strood seat failed to steal back momentum, and experts portrayed the election as a historic moment in British politics.

    The by-election came a month after the Conservatives lost a previously safe seat of Clacton to another defector, Douglas Carswell, handing UKIP its first ever seat in the national parliament.

    The prime minister has already promised a referendum on Britain's EU membership if his party wins next year's general election and has taken a harder stance on immigration in a bid to stem the flow.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera and agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Interactive: Coding like a girl

    Interactive: Coding like a girl

    What obstacles do young women in technology have to overcome to achieve their dreams? Play this retro game to find out.

    Heron Gate mass eviction: 'We never expected this in Canada'

    Hundreds face mass eviction in Canada's capital

    About 150 homes in one of Ottawa's most diverse and affordable communities are expected to be torn down in coming months

    I remember the day … I designed the Nigerian flag

    I remember the day … I designed the Nigerian flag

    In 1959, a year before Nigeria's independence, a 23-year-old student helped colour the country's identity.