The UK Independence Party (UKIP), the anti-EU and anti-immigration party has gained its first-ever elected MP, with Douglas Carswell taking the seat of Clacton by 12,404 votes.
It may be recalled that a member of the European parliament who once referred to Nigeria and other countries receiving aid from the UK as ‘Bongo-Bongo countries’ represents UKIP.
UKIP’s cornerstone policies include UK’s withdrawal from the European Union and a drastic reduction of the number of immigrants allowed into the UK.
Mr Carswell, who defected from the Conservatives, knocked his old party, which enjoyed a 12,068 majority at the 2010 election, into second place.
When Mr Carswell, a conservative MP since 2005, defected, he also resigned as an MP to trigger the by-election in the Essex seaside town.
In his acceptance speech Mr Carswell, who gained 21,113 votes (59.75%) on a 44% swing from the Conservatives, said: “I resigned from parliament to face this election because I answer first, foremost and last to you. You are my boss. I will not let you down.
“To my new party I offer these thoughts: humility when we win, modesty when we are proved right. If we speak with passion, let it always be tempered by compassion.
“We must be a party for all Britain and all Britons: first and second generation as much as every other. Our strength must lie in our breadth.
“If we stay true to that there is nothing that we cannot achieve. Nothing we cannot achieve in Essex and East Anglia, in England and the whole country beyond.”
He condemned the other Westminster parties for operating “cosy cartel politics”. His party leader, Nigel Farage, said: “Congratulations Douglas Carswell, a brave and honourable man who has a just reward.”
In 2008, another Tory MP, Bob Spink, defected to UKIP but he did not resign and stand for election.