Isabel Hardman

The Tories are paying the price for their swagger over the Rochester by-election

But Ukip still has a big challenge ahead

15 November 2014

9:00 AM

15 November 2014

9:00 AM

In a corner of the Ukip campaign office in Rochester, a light-up orb is spinning, with the words ‘Vote Mark Reckless’ endlessly switching from yellow to purple. It’s hypnotic, if disconcerting, but also unnecessary because voters don’t need to be persuaded to vote for him. The by-election that Ukip thought would be a tricky one is turning out to be easier than anyone predicted.

Poll after poll has put Mark Reckless as the winner of next week’s vote, and fewer and fewer Tories privately think that their party will win. Yet the Tories were boasting at their conference in October that they were going to beat Reckless and humiliate him. So why has it gone so wrong?

One of the problems is that the Conservatives, buzzing about in their conference bubble in Birmingham, oversold themselves as the natural victors. Back in Westminster, Tracey Crouch — the MP for next-door Chatham and Aylesford — briefed colleagues on the constituency and argued that its voters were ‘more thoughtful’ than those in Clacton, and would therefore vote Tory. Reckless himself told the Ukip conference when he defected that he really needed his new party’s help because ‘Rochester and Strood is not Clacton’.

No one on the ground complains about the support they’re getting from Westminster — the Prime Minister made his fourth visit this week and the whips forced MPs to visit five times (though Ukip antidote Boris Johnson is staying well away because his airport plan for the Thames Estuary makes him a controversial figure around there). But there have been strategic decisions that have helped Nigel Farage’s party, too.

Reckless has benefited from the Tory habit of pre-briefing all its moves to the media. He read that the candidate replacing him would be selected by a postal primary and so he pipped the Tories to the post: he sent out a survey of his own to voters which arrived a few days before the Tory postal primary forms. Reckless believes that voters were a little fed up by the time the second letter popped through their letterbox, and fatigue might explain why only 5,688 people bothered to vote in the Tory selection.

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The low primary turnout was another warning sign that voters might not be particularly interested in a Conservative candidate. Kelly Tolhurst has the benefit of being truly local, but she performed poorly in the BBC debate between candidates, in which only Labour’s Naushabah Khan gave the impression that she’d do a good job in Parliament — and she isn’t the one with a chance of winning. Neither side thinks the other has a decent candidate, which you might think perfectly normal in a by-election, but the Tories accepted that they were up against a class act when they fought Ukip’s Diane James in Eastleigh last year.

Oddly, for a party that prides itself on its political prowess, the Tories have failed to exploit Reckless’s weaknesses. They have highlighted his U-turns on local housebuilding, but when they were preparing for the campaign there was much talk of ‘psychological warfare’ and an assumption that Reckless would not be able to cope with this. So far, however, the only thing that seems to have really rattled Ukip is a complaint from the local hospital that the chief executive of the NHS Trust featured in one of its leaflet. Other plans to attack his character have fallen by the wayside because the party has failed to stand them up.

Ukip’s campaign machine is getting slicker with each by-election. This is the first time the party has managed to knock on every door in the constituency and even return for another go at undecided voters. Lord Ashcroft’s poll this week found that 84 per cent of people had heard from Ukip, compared to 81 per cent who’d been contacted by the Conservatives.

Another important element is the collapse in Labour’s vote. It represented the then Medway seat from 1997 until 2010, when it came second in the newly formed constituency. If Labour had made the effort in Rochester and Strood, it could have deprived Ukip of a win.

Instead, when The Spectator followed Reckless around a formerly Labour ex–council estate this week, the voters who opened their doors to him were largely supportive. One woman launched into a textbook soliloquy about ‘that Cameron who doesn’t keep his promises’, which the Ukip candidate loved, until she squinted suspiciously at him and asked: ‘But how do I know you’re not the same as the rest of them?’

Even if he does win next week, Reckless will still need to convince such voters as this woman that he’s ‘not the same as all the rest of them’. Already, the Ukip team working to get Reckless elected talk darkly about the need for him to ‘work hard, so voters want to keep him’. The polls suggest Ukip voters may turn back to the Tories next year, and a sizeable chunk would rather have David Cameron than Farage as prime minister. Although winning Rochester and Strood may help Ukip lure more defectors, its bigger challenge is to morph from a party that helps voters kick the establishment in a by-election to one that voters can take seriously when they think about the next government.

There are still one or two Tories who think they’ll win this time. Michael Gove and Crouch have both bet £50 on a victory, while one campaigning veteran who visited this week told The Spectator that although Crouch’s assessment of the constituency was wrong, he was quite optimistic. But the possibility of a loss has already been priced into the political narrative, which will make losing the seat a little easier to bear.

That’s not to say the Tories should shrug off a bad result. If nothing else, Rochester shows that you cannot trust mainstream politicians’ judgments about which voters remain ‘theirs’. Next time you see Tories full of complacent swagger, boasting that they’ll pop Ukip’s bubble, it’s best to treat them with the same scepticism as that Strood voter, squinting suspiciously at the candidate on her doorstep.

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Show comments
  • Tilly

    Please excuse me.I’m new to politics and not knowledgeable as
    most. But when you chose your MP, you chose one who works best for his/her constituents which Mark Reckless does.
    So therefore Rochester will probably vote to keep Mark Reckless
    regardless of what party he now belongs too.

    • Damaris Tighe

      Good morning Kitty/Winter Jasmine/George/Georgette/Guest.

    • Tilly

      May I also ask how many UKIP mp’s are there that are not
      recycled Tory mp’s.

      • Cyril Sneer

        I doubt you’ll be saying that after the 2015 General Election.

        • Tilly

          Oh I have no party allegiances, I never even vote.So there was no need to defensive.
          UKIP like all other parties will come under
          scrutiny before the election and policies will be
          studied to death.No one will win just because
          they’re not the others and have a honeyed tongue.

          • James James

            Many people don’t trust UKIP. They have a very popular vote getter in the referendum issue. But, will a party, with so many MEPs receiving huge salaries, in line for big gold plated pensions, employing family at big salaries and expenses etc. really going to lead the UK into leaving the EU. I doubt it. They will change their tune to wanting to change the EU from within. They wont give up what they are getting. I suspect that they all have a photo of the ultimate EU scammer, Kinnock on the wall.

          • HappyNewYear

            UKIP have already said they will increase the salaries of MPs when we leave the EU as there won’t be 2 wasteful tiers of elected officials – so the financial incentive for UKIP MEPs to leave the EU (if one is needed at all) is already in place

      • Finefox1986

        Don’t think any of the UKIP MEP’s are ex Tories, That was the last election and best guide

        • Tilly

          Why thank you most kindly, Mr Fox.

        • Chris Whiteside

          That gives a pretty good indication of how seriously people should take anything else you say, if you’re that quick to express an opinion which can so quickly be proved wrong by anyone who does five minutes of checking.
          The following UKIP MEPs elected in 2014 have at some stage been members of the Conservative Party:
          Nigel Farage
          Roger Helmer
          Janice Atkinson
          The Earl of Dartmouth

    • Brigantian

      Following your argument, those MPs which have total contempt for their constituents and therefore do not defect to UKIP before the next election, will be rejected by the electorate.

      • Tilly

        So the Conservative Party is not as bad as the others?
        It does contain good and decent MP’s(the ones who
        join UKIP). Thank you its becoming clearer.

    • Ben

      He he. For someone ” new to politics and not knowledgeable asmost ” You seem familiar LIBLABCON with the line of attack against UKIP…:-)

      • Damaris Tighe

        Hole in one 😉

      • Tilly

        Ben, everyone knows about Lib/Lab/Con, Fruitcakes
        and all the name calling.Unfortunately that is all their
        known for.
        By the way, that’s a big set of teeth you have there 🙂

        • Ben

          Thanks I’m using my Alter ego for my avatar currently …..He’s a prophet!

          • Tilly

            Well its Friday, so take your avatar off to the
            pub today and buy him a beer, some pork scratchings and burp loudly.But don’t tell
            your prophet it was my suggestion as I value
            my head 🙂

    • Bill_der_Berg

      “But when you chose your MP, you chose one who works best for his/her constituents…..”

      Regardless of your opinion of the performance of the party he or she belongs to? That’s not true of most of us.

  • amir.sadbury

    Lord Peter Carrington talks on UKIP and Cameron (on 7:00):
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pG31Nqhg5bc

  • amir.sadbury

    Lord Peter Carrington talks on UKIP and Europe (on 7:00):
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pG31Nqhg5bc

  • james allen

    ..”the possibility of a loss has already been priced into the political narrative”. Urrgghhh.. stop using that pointless phrase!!!

  • Greyfox

    After Clacton the Tories boasted that they would annihilate UKIP in Rochester and Strood. They are about to lose but they are now bragging that they will annihilate UKIP at the election. Is there a pattern developing here? I do hope so.

    • Tilly

      I must confess I hardly read what you say, I tend to look
      at the cute big brown eyes of your avatar 🙂
      I think all parties should stop personal attacks and bragging
      and concentrate on policies, for those alone will win or lose
      an election, after all its about chosing your next government
      and not a popularity contest.

      • Chingford Man

        Look past the “cute big brown eyes” and see the Tory partisan.

    • Brian Otridge

      Having been out on the doorstep in Rochester and Strood, I’ll tell you why the Tories never had a chance. Over 40% of people declare a voting intention will readily and without doubt say they are voting for UKIP. No wavering, no doubt, and it doesn’t matter how many Ministers and MPs the Tory Party sends there, these people have made their minds up for themselves.

      On top of them are another 10% who are “thinking about UKIP”. A skilled canvasser (yes, UKIP has them) can extract from them their concerns (typically worried about accusations of racism against them, or the security of the NHS) and can convince them to vote UKIP. OK, even if the Tories win over half of them, that still leaves UKIP with 45%, a result.

  • cambridgeelephant

    What a thoroughly dishonest bunch of shysters the Conservative Party under Cameron have now become.

    So they were going to put UKIP in their place ?

    Dave was going to ‘kick ass’ to use a rebarbative Americanism, that he seems happily to have taken on board, like the good little’ heir to Blair’ he is.

    Now were told that a loss won’t matter because they are going to win it back next May.

    Really ? The Euros weren’t going to happen. Then they did. Then it didn’t matter. Clacton wasn’t going to happen. Then it did. Then it didn’t matter. Now Rochester.

    When matters explode in their faces next May will they still try to spin the ‘don’t matter’ line ?

    • Foxy Loxy

      I don’t recall a time when the Tory Party was ever anything but ‘a bunch of shysters’.

      • Finefox1986

        Agreed, us Foxies must stick together!

      • Alltaxationistheft

        Maggie,Norman,

      • goatmince

        Well spotted – a bunch of shysters.

        The *Tebbit/Carswell Pact* has led to the Tories not even trying in Rochester. The Ukip must gain a considerable number of seats to save the FPTP voting system.

        The only question now is this:

        What number of seats for the Ukip post-May 2015 is a number that would satisfy the status quo centralist elitists?

    • Mike

      As far as relevance of the Tory party is concerned, Cameron doesn’t matter as they’ll disappear up their own orifice if they don’t start listening to the electorate.

  • wingless

    It’s not complicated. The political establishment has kicked us around for generations. Now we get a chance to kick back and if enough people join in, a very realistic possibility of changing some basic stuff for the better. As a bonus, even a good result for UIP in May will cause dramatic change and improvement in the old parties, they may even start to listen to the people and act accordingly. There will be another election after next year, maybe even quite soon. Should UKIP fail to deliver we can revert to old loyalties than.
    Meanwhile I’m going to do everything I can to help UKIP win as many seats as possible next May. There may never be another opportunity like this in my lifetime.

  • Mike Barnes

    The party swings from crisis mode to sneering cockiness with no settings inbetween. No humility or likeability. Just one massive game.

    While Westminster tells us that Ed is not the answer, maybe the voters of Rochester and Strood have noticed that after 4 years of failure on immigration and the EU, David Cameron just isn’t up to the job either.

  • FlippityGibbit

    Not just the Tories but everyone will continue to underestimate UKIP for the simple reason they can only bang on about Immigration as the reason why everyone votes UKIP. It is not; the reason why voters from all sides of the political spectrum are voting UKIP is because the people realise their Right To Self Determination has been given away to the EU without the electorates mandate. We simply want our own right to Govern ourselves in the way WE choose with our elected politicians in our Parliament. We DEMAND our Freedom and Independence, not serfdom in the EU Empire!

    • Mike

      Its also a fact that the electorate can appreciate the results of mass
      immigration, connect the dots together and see how that negatively
      affects costs & fairness on welfare benefits, housing benefits,
      schools and all the elements that hold a society together. Unwanted
      mass immigration has a multitude of side effects and LibLabCon may or
      may not accept that privately but their public message is to deny the
      effects of mass immigration that everyone else can see and feel.

      As an example of disdain for the electorate, there’s a public petition going on right now trying to ban the entry of a US dating guru who advocates choking women but the inaction by the home office (Ms. May) says it all. We previously saw Ms. May ban the likes of Gert Wilders from Holland and Robert Spencer & Pamela Geller from the USA just because they tell the truth about militant Islam and yet its the public that have to try and ban a person like this who delights in choking women.

      Its time to vote Ukip to try and get our moral values back as they have been lost in the LibLabCon world of politically correct multiculturalism !

    • global city

      I wish UKIP would go on about that a bit more though.

  • Ben

    Perhaps the underestimation of UKIP was unimportant. Perhaps The Tories simply misjudged the mood of the electorate?

  • Bill_der_Berg

    Dave overestimates himself. He was the man who was going to defy the EU over the recent demand for a higher budget contribution. Then there was his valiant attempt to cap immigration. What a fighter, he just does not know the meaning of success.

    Nobody should be surprised if he is making the same mistake in the forthcoming by-election.

  • Chingford Man

    I had never been to Rochester or Strood until October. But I still thought early Tory confidence of an easy win was wrong.

    R&S, under slightly different boundaries, was Labour from 1997-2010 thanks to a white blue-collar vote. As Tory seats go, you can see that the 2 towns of Rochester and Strood are not very affluent. With the Clacton bounce, the Reckless incumbency and the massively unpopular housing development supported by Medway Tories, I thought the contest would be much closer than the out-of-touch London media was expecting.

    I don’t think Kelly Tolhurst is that bad a candidate. She is certainly unpolished and seems to struggle sometimes to find the right words, but at least that makes her look and sound authentic. Holding a postal ballot to select her was a bad move as it allowed Reckless almost a month to campaign on his own. Then on the day after she was selected the EU virtually finished off her campaign with its £1.7bn invoice.

    As for Naushabah Khan, she is an articulate polished performer as you might expect from a PR person, but she came across on the TV programme as a confident Blairite BS merchant. She was also a blinkered supporter of open-door immigration. We have had enough of them in politics. Perhaps it says something about the media class that Isabel praises her so highly.

    I think Reckless has been under-estimated as some people have allowed their personal contempt for his defection to override reason. He has proved a perfectly competent candidate and unseating him in May (should he win next week) will be a much harder job than the Tories think from the Ashcroft poll.

    • Bill_der_Berg

      ‘Contempt for defectors’ is much exaggerated. I doubt very much that the other parties would turn away MP’s who wanted to defect to them. It is much more likely that the defection would be hailed as evidence of high principles.

    • sfin

      Thanks for the link – a priceless clip of a Labour “Blairite BS merchant” candidate! ( that description deserves to enter the english, political lexis – I will use it again with your permission!) I really couldn’t believe what I was hearing.

      I find it completely mystifying that MSM commentators take people like this seriously.

      I enjoyed the rest of this, considered, comment also.

    • Caps Lock

      An excellent analysis. Shame the Spectator can’t provide someone to do as good a job. Well done and thanks for the link.

      • Chingford Man

        Thank you. The problem with the Speccie kids is that they are too busy trying to spin for the Tories and blog at the same time. Plus they don’t seem to know much about their own country.

  • Mike

    It was Camerons arrogance over common sense that let the Tories misjudge R & S and they are still doing it all over the country. They are so dis-connected from reality and the mood of the country its pitiful to behold but maybe after Cameron gets a good thrashing, the party will see sense, kick him into the long grass and get some moral backbone.

  • Lady Magdalene

    The Tories underestimated UKIP.

    There – I’ve fixed the headline for you.

    • tcjock

      Tories overestimate duncey DAVE!

    • Isage000

      WOW CONGRATULATIONS- they’ve actually used those precise words except adding ‘in Rochester’ to link this piece from the home page!

  • global city

    Every single member of the commentariat made the same idiotic assumption about Rochester as opposed to Clacton, which just revealed in innate snobbery that would make Matthew Parris smile with pride.

  • Peter Gardner

    I don’t understand why any commentator should think the question of Nigel Farage being a better PM than Cameron is an issue. It’s even more ludicrous than the possibility of a Lib Dem PM.

    First of all the rise of any political party as meteoric as that would be has never happened before.

    Second the desire of the electorate for Britain’s exit from the EU is marginal.

    Third, Nigel Farage has said he would not be a good PM and does not want the job.

    Fourth, Ukip’s stated aims are to achieve no more than a significant minority position in the House of Commons.

    Fifth, it should be obvious that the impact of Ukip is to force the main parties to adopt more euro-sceptic policies like Cameron’s promise of a referendum, so in order to achieve its political objective of Britain’s exit from the EU Ukip does not need to form a government.

    There are several organisations campaigning for Brexit. We need to take a more strategic view. Once established with a voice in the House of Commons all these efforts can be coordinated and focused against the government of the day. Which of the main parties leads that government will make little difference. Ukip may well hold the balance of power so it will be in a very strong position to achieve its objective. Just look at the influence of the Lib Dems. But Ukip would not need to go as far as being a coalition partner of a main party.

    So let’s be sensible and respect the decision of a sizeable proportion of the electorate to support Ukip for entirely legitimate reasons – mainly they want the people who govern us to be British and accountable to the British electorate and this is not offered by the main parties. This is no more nor less than the return of sovereign parliamentary democracy to UK. What is wrong with that? How could anyone argue that is a bad thing?

  • James James

    The reason that UKIP will do well is that the public are fed up with the mainstream party politicians lies, expense account thefts, and the intuitive feeling that most MPs are busy all day scamming the expenses, planning early retirement, looking for second jobs (Brussels, House of Lords, consultancies). Generally, getting up in the morning and asking themselves what their country can do for them today?

  • Joey Edgecombe

    “…The polls suggest UKIP voters may turn back to the Tories next year..”
    No. Lord Ashcroft said 72% would stay with UKIP.

  • Chingford Man

    Rough wooing from the Tories as reported in the Guardian: comparing half the constituency to “Benefits Street”

    “After leafleting the leafy area around Restoration House, where King Charles II stayed on the eve of the restoration of the monarchy in 1660, one Tory MP reflected on the rebellion of 2014, which is centred across the River Medway in the more deprived Strood area of the constituency.

    “The MP said: “Rochester is only one part of the constituency. There is Strood which is the Benefits Street of the south east. They are really angry over there. They are ready to punish us.””

  • Chingford Man

    LOL. Desperate Tories now call on Guardianistas to bail them out.

    “The Tories have not given up and are hoping that the Ukip support will prove soft as what they call “traditional Guardian-reading Labour supporters” vote tactically to prevent a Ukip win. Tracey Crouch told the Guardian: “This byelection is really competitive, we are getting some incredibly negative feedback about Ukip. There is a body of people, your traditional Guardian-reading Labour supporters who commute to London for a professional job, who are petrified of having Ukip on their
    doorstep.””

    Pathetic!

    • MrsDBliss

      What they mean by traditional guardian reading labour voter is public sector workers. Of course they’re never going to vote UKIP – well not and admit it I lily anyway. Afraid of losing their jobs.
      However ACTUAL traditional labour voters i.e. the working class will.
      All this goes to show is how groups of people who decide they have the authority to speak for groups within society e.g. women, black people, the poor etc don’t actually speak for them and actually despise them. All they are concerned about is their own agendas and wearing their right on credentials on he heir sleeves.

  • Diggery Whiggery

    I love the way Tories think that the more thoughtful people are, the more likely they’ll vote Conservative. The reverse is true. The only voters the Tories have left are Blairites with nowhere to go and a huge chunk of ‘traditional’ Tories who’ve been voting Tory their whole lives and who simply can’t bear to betray the party, even though the party has betrayed them.

  • Polly Radial

    The Conservative political strategy:

    Say you’re going to win

    Make a half-hearted attempt to win

    Give up

    ‘Price losing into the narrative to make it easier bear’

    See if anything else turns up

  • whs1954

    Why are you pushing this disingenuous guff now, Isabel? Tory HQ haven’t taken this result for granted for one minute, and indeed even now are pretty much resigned to the loss. It fits a nice narrative to say Cameron & Co have simply imagined Rochester will vote Tory and that they’ve done no work, but it’s a lie.

  • John Wainwright

    It is all very well accusing Mark Reckless of lying but what about the
    big lie of David Cameron when he said in a TV statement three days
    before the last General Election that he had no plans to redefine
    marriage? What is worse under the wretched so-called Equality Act as
    currently interpreted there is no equality for Christians in the
    workplace who in conscience cannot promote so-called Gay Rights. In
    deference to the latter Christians are losing their livelihood or being
    threatened with doing so. One cannot even blame Europe for this as this
    Tory Government urged the so-called European Court of Human Rights to
    refuse accommodation to Christians. Unless the Conservatives pledge to
    reform the Act so Christians, Orthodox Jews and others do not face
    unjust discrimination on grounds of sincerely held conscience I shall be
    working hard nationally to persuade those who voted Conservative
    previously (as I have done) not to do so in future.

    With concern

  • jim boner

    The Tories, like Labour, are paying for their years of incompetence and failure.

    UKIP are a breath of fresh air and they will keep getting my vote in every election that comes along.

  • John

    Desperate panic of Tory and Labour is now evident. Each is in panic at
    what is in store for them at the general election March 2015. The future
    of Tory, Labour and LibDems looks to be disastrous. Each party has been
    deaf to the electorate and the die is now cast to dump them from their
    MP seats. Labour meltdown in Scotland. Tory and Labour meltdown in
    England. Ukip is taking millions of votes from Tory and Labour. Most of
    LibDem votes have already gone to UKIP. Under the Tories we have seen no
    decrease in immigration. There are thousand of illegals rioting in
    Calais demanding to be let into the UK. Will we get another Sangette
    emptied into the UK? At the time the French announced “The French aren’t
    going to allow large numbers of undocumented asylum sleepers to go back
    to sleeping rough in the area.’ Today there is double the Sangette
    numbers rioting in Calais demanding to be let into the UK.
    We now realise under Brussels legislation no decrease can be achieved.
    There has been no decrease in foreign Aid, no turn-back of EU control.
    Tory southern coastal areas are full of asylum seekers and Eastern
    Europeans taking local jobs. Our cities are increasingly alien to us.
    Labour policies on immigration has robbed the UK kids of working class
    families by flooding the country with immigrants. Labour’s self interest
    continues to allow Scotland’s MPs to vote upon English affairs. There
    will be trouble if Mr Salmon’s SNP holds the balance of power in March 2015 and sits in Westminster to vote upon English affairs. Labour’s mansion tax heralds another tax to be imposed upon every home owner. The mansion will rapidly extend to taxing everyone who has worked and bought their own home. Labour’s infighting will begin when they realise their electorate percentage is decreasing prior to the general Election 2015 and all their Scottish seats will be won by SNP.
    Labour faces an election disaster but Labour is blind to what is happening in their UK electorate heartlands. The UK will witness a major shift in politics in 2015. Westminster will be controlled by Tory and a UKIP coalition. LibDems’ will disappear in 2015 and they will disintegrate to migrate to the other political parties. It has already begun but Labour with no bye-election to defend has yet to realise many of its safe seats have already abandoned Labour for UKIP.

  • david

    I hope UKIP have a massive clean sweep!!The staggering dishonesty of the other three parties has been nauseating!

  • Chingford Man

    A quick report from the final Saturday in Rochester & Strood.

    I’ve just spent an exhausting day in Rochester delivering hundreds of addressed letter to people who have already pledged their support to UKIP canvassers. Rochester is a lovely town but, boy, the hills are punishing. Houses on hills often have steep steps leading up to them that are slippery in today’s downpours. (Thank you, Met Office, for getting your forecasts wrong AGAIN.)

    The Tories really ought to have the wards I visited in lock-down. But UKIP is rapidly colonising Tory territory. In the streets I visited 60-70pc of houses were down as
    supporting us. I was amazed: that is Clacton town level of support for UKIP. If it is typical of the constituency then UKIP is set to win big.

    Rochester town centre was full of Kippers, with no Tories in sight. I peered into their funereal office and the staff looked very glum indeed.

  • CL

    We need to hold to account politicians who allow/ allowed migrants/ immigrants into the UK and who then go onto murder, rape , you name it. It is unacceptable that such decisions result in our fellow countrymen suffering such consequences.

  • Sam Durall

    There is only one way to Vote, and that’s the UKIP /Farage way. Don’t be concerned with the scare mongers, jobs and business etc., we have the world to trade with, we don’t have to depend on Europe, and whilst were on the subject of Europe, they will always trade with us, know why? because they just love our pound, so don’t be afraid, VOTE UKIP/FARAGE ROCHESTER! And let them get us the hell out of the bleeding Europe, they’re always on the Bum, and they’ve just hustled us for another £1.7 billion, need I say more? the only reason they want us to stay is because of the money, they get £8 billion a year from us. How many other countries pay that kind of money? Were not interested in Cameron negotiating a better deal for Britain, we just want out, not in 2017, but now! Cameron told us he would give us a Vote on the Lisbon Treaty before the last Election, and what happened? Nothing, he went back on his word. So no I don’t believe anything he says. If he wants us to trust him, then give us a Vote now, not 2017. VOTE UKIP ROCHESTER.

  • pobinr

    Becuase people are finally realising that the EU is like a corrupt domineering, overbearing, dishonest, wasteful spouse who’s not interested in anyone else’s point of view. You can never ever change such people. Divorce is the only answer.
    Thus VOTE UKIP

  • trevor hobbs

    so the ministers publicly are having £50 bets on the outcome. that’s a weeks money to jobseekers.

  • rtj1211

    Usually the reason you get it wrong is that you trust opinion polls rather than talking direct to the electorate.

  • Michael H Kenyon

    Easy to get it wrong when you are led by a complacent ex-PR man and the whole caboodle now runs on spin and BS. Bring back MPs who know and do practical things, and have worked in the non-political world and the general public (not media spin and political-wonkery), and they may regain our respect.

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