The United Kingdom Conservative Party, also known as the Tory Party, lost their second seat in parliament to the United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP) on Friday. Not only is this loss an embarrassing defeat for the Torries, the political party that Prime Minister David Cameron is part of, it also foreshadows a political upheaval in next year’s national election, according to Reuters.
“Whichever constituency, whatever your former party allegiance, think of what it would mean to have a bloc of UKIP MPs at Westminster large enough to hold the balance of power,” said Mark Reckless, a former Tory turned UKIP, as quoted by The Guardian. “If you believe that the world is bigger than Europe, if you believe in an independent Britain, then come with us and we will give you back your country.”
UKIP won a parliamentary by-election in Rochester and Strood in southern England, which was prompted by the defection of Reckless from the Torries to UKIP. Reckless, under the colors of his new party, was declared the winner, with 16,867 votes, ahead of the Tory candidate, Kelly Tolhurst, who had 13,947 votes.
Matthew Goodwin, professor of politics at the University of Nottingham, has described the UKIP victory as very significant, saying: “Twelve months ago, the consensus was that they couldn’t win a seat at Westminster. Now they have two. People have not understood the strength of the forces driving this insurgency, built up over decades among certain groups of voters who feel they have been cut adrift,” as quoted by The New York Times.