(Photo: Matt Cardy/Getty)

We’re too frightened of appearing ‘racist’ to have a debate about immigration

22 November 2014 12:56

A rather typical 24 hours in the life of modern Britain.  Everyone does another round of ‘we need to be able to talk about immigration.’  The main parties once again… Continue reading

Nigel Farage outside Rochester Castle in Kent, after Mark Reckless won the Rochester and Strood by-election last night.  Photo: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire

Nigel Farage: I would love a Labour defector to join Ukip

21 November 2014 18:25

Ukip’s victory in Rochester has lead to the inevitable question of ‘what next?’ for the party. Now that Nigel Farage has two representatives in the House of Commons, his main… Continue reading

The real losers (Photo: Ben Pruchnie/Getty)

Thanks to Emily Thornberry’s resignation, the biggest losers from Rochester were Labour

21 November 2014 13:50

Walk round the Commons today and it is striking that Tory MPs are in relatively good spirits while Labour ones looks distinctly more downcast. At first this seems odd, after… Continue reading

Reckless delivering a speech in Rochester following the Ukip victory.

Reckless gets a cross party welcome

21 November 2014 13:38

On zero sleep and only seven hours after being re-elected, Mark Reckless was back in the Commons and sitting on the opposition benches. Rushing back to take part in a… Continue reading

The odds Ladbrokes are giving on the next defectors and the 2015 election. Photo: Sebastian Payne for The Spectator.

Bookies point to Philip Hollobone as next Tory-Ukip defector

21 November 2014 12:02

Forget opinion polling, bookmakers are usually the most astute predictors of election outcomes. Ladbrokes are out in force in Rochester town centre this morning, giving odds on what might happen… Continue reading


Will there be more defections to Ukip?

21 November 2014 8:14

Now that Ukip has bagged a seat that the Tories thought they could win, other would-be defectors may well be having a good long think about their chances. The fact… Continue reading

Nigel Farage (L) and Mark Reckless (R) shake hands before the by-election announcement in Rochester, Kent on November 21, 2014. Photo: Getty.

Ukip’s Mark Reckless wins Rochester by-election

21 November 2014 4:29

Rochester, Kent Mark Reckless has become Ukip’s second member of Parliament, winning the Rochester and Strood by-election with 16,687 votes – a majority of 2,920 – or 42 percent of… Continue reading

UKIP Hold A Public Meeting  Before Rochester And Strood By-Election

Ukip on course for victory in Rochester – but no Tory panic

21 November 2014 0:23

Counting is underway in the Rochester and Strood by-election and the early indications are that Ukip has won the seat on a turnout slightly over 50%. The result is expected… Continue reading

Nigel Farage emerges from Sweet Expectations with high expections for tonight's result. Photo: Sebastian Payne for The Spectator

Nigel Farage: ‘I think we’re going to win’ Rochester and Strood

20 November 2014 18:45

Rochester, Kent With five hours before the polls close in Rochester and Strood, Nigel Farage is confident that Ukip will romp home to victory. Outside the Sweet Expectations shop on Thursday evening,… Continue reading

(Photo: Getty)

Mark Reckless already arranging return to Commons as Ukip MP

20 November 2014 18:26

This story first went out in tonight’s Evening Blend email, a free round-up and analysis of the day’s political developments. Sign up here. Mark Reckless seems pretty confident of a win… Continue reading


Why Paddington is anti-Ukip propaganda

19 November 2014 12:46

Well, I’ve just been to see the new Paddington film – the one Colin Firth bowed out of on account of not feeling up to being the voice of the… Continue reading

UKIP Hold A Public Meeting  Before Rochester And Strood By-Election

Neither the Tories nor Ukip deserve to win the Rochester by-election

19 November 2014 11:05

Let’s be honest, just for a moment. The Rochester and Strood by-election has been a disgrace. It has been a sewer race during which the two leading protagonists have done… Continue reading


Responding to Ukip shouldn’t just mean talking about immigration

19 November 2014 8:10

Can you out-Ukip Ukip? Depending on which day of the week it is, both mainstream political parties think you can and you can’t. Last week Ed Miliband said you couldn’t… Continue reading

(Photo: Justin Tallis/Getty)

How should mainstream politicians talk about Ukip?

16 November 2014 17:16

Mainstream politicians still aren’t sure how to talk about Ukip. There’s the question of whether the party’s European election and by-election successes will power them to a good result at the… Continue reading

UKIP Prepares For Rochester And Strood By-Election

Why Rochester won’t provide much relief for Labour

16 November 2014 10:12

Thursday can’t come soon enough for shadow Cabinet loyalists. They believe that the Rochester by-election will provide Ed Miliband with some ‘breathing space’ and turn the spotlight on David Cameron’s… Continue reading

Ed Miliband's Speech To Scottish Labour Party Conference

Podcast: the death of the left, Rochester and Strood and equality in marriage

13 November 2014 8:50

Has Ed Miliband found himself on the wrong side of history? In this week’s View from 22 podcast, James Forsyth discusses his Spectator cover feature on the plight of progressives with John… Continue reading

Political Leader React To Local Election Results

Nigel Farage reinforces David Cameron’s own anti-Ukip squeeze message

12 November 2014 17:01

Nigel Farage has talked in the past about his readiness to prop up a Labour minority government – he gave an interview to the Sunday People in October in which… Continue reading

Ed Miliband and Ed Balls

Tories three points ahead of Labour in new poll

12 November 2014 12:36

The Tories have pulled ahead of Labour in a new poll in today’s Evening Standard. The Ipsos Mori poll puts David Cameron’s party three points ahead of Labour, at 32,… Continue reading

A demonstrator dressed in a Rupert Murdo

Ukip’s puppet David Cameron cuts a pathetic figure

12 November 2014 12:24

Well this is a pleasant surprise. After all the years of indifference, David Cameron has condescended to notice us. Not just notice us but want us too. His come-hither smiles… Continue reading

Screen Shot 2014-11-11 at 16.02.23

Ukip now 12pts ahead of Tories in Rochester and Strood, but what about next year?

11 November 2014 18:28

Ukip is still on track to pound the Tories into second place in the Rochester and Strood by-election, but not necessarily at next year’s general election, according to a new poll from Lord Ashcroft. The latest… Continue reading

"Christ, what a shower" - the Rochester candidates

I’ve just seen the Rochester candidates’ debate. Sheesh. Poor Rochester

11 November 2014 8:22

So – the Rochester and Strood by-election next Thursday. Who will win? I’ve been there a few times recently and my guess, from a feeling in my water, is that… Continue reading

Mark Reckless visits Rochester the day after his defection. Image: Getty

Reckless criticised by Medway NHS for Ukip election leaflet

10 November 2014 13:52

Mark Reckless is in trouble for reckless campaigning. One of his promotional leaflets (pdf), noting his plans for the NHS in Rochester and Strood, features a photo of Reckless alongside the… Continue reading

Image: Oli Scarff/Getty Images)

Miliband triggers an outbreak of political unity – though not the sort Labour wants

7 November 2014 18:31

Is the latest Labour leadership crisis actually triggering new wave of party unity? Lord Prescott, who has slammed Miliband as ‘timid’ for his ‘complacent’ leadership style, spotted John McTernan, Tony… Continue reading


Tories launch US-style attack ad on Mark Reckless

7 November 2014 13:24

The Conservatives have launched an aggressive video advert for the Rochester and Strood by-election. It attacks Mark Reckless in a very direct manner – but not in a personal manner.… Continue reading

Esther McVey is one of the Tories under threat according to the latest Ashcroft polling. Picture: Getty

Tories to lose nine seats to Labour in latest Ashcroft poll

5 November 2014 14:08

Lord Ashcroft’s polls are, as a rule, very rarely good news for the Tories these days – the peer clearly hopes that he’s at least warned the party before it… Continue reading