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Congratulations to UKIP on winning its second seat in the House of Commons. At this rate, the party – formed in September 1993 – is on course to form its first UK government in the year 5406!

One has to wonder whether the issues facing the nation will be the same, by then, as they are now.

UKIP stormed to victory – most notably against the Liberal Democrats, who were left with just 4.5 per cent of the 7,800 voters they attracted in 2010. That’s just 349 votes!

The Conservatives, who used everything including the kitchen sink to… well… sink UKIP, kept 59 per cent of their voters, with 13,947 supporters (down from 23,604 in 2010).

Labour suffered a similar drop, retaining 49 per cent of its 2010 vote (down from 13,651 to 6,713).

Turnout was down from 47,971 to 40,065.

None of the above figures present the real fact of the matter, which is that the people of Rochester and Strood voted for their sitting MP.

While UKIP and the media may make much of incumbent Mark Reckless’s change of party, in fact his constituents supported no change.

It doesn’t matter what Nigel Farage might say; this wasn’t so much the Army of the (rich and xenophobic) People didn’t so much score a victory as it was the rest of us learning what Mark Reckless really thinks – and this was hammered home by Labour’s Dennis Skinner, within moments of Reckless being sworn in as an MP.

In the debate on the National Health Service that followed, the Bolsover Beast got on his hind legs and growled: “we dragged the national health service, between 1997 and 2010, from the depths of degradation that the Tories left it in and hoisted it back to the pinnacles of achievement. I have got a united nations heart bypass to prove it—it was done by a Syrian cardiologist, a Malaysian surgeon, a Dutch doctor and a Nigerian registrar, and these two people on the Bench behind me talk about sending them back [Reckless and fellow UKIP MP – and Tory defector – Douglas Carswell].

“If you did that in the hospitals in London, half of Londoners would be dead in six months. Those are the facts about the United Kingdom Independence party.”

Follow me on Twitter: @MidWalesMike

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