The Conservative candidate for the upcoming by-election in Rochester and Strood has been announced.
Medway councillor Kelly Tolhurst has been crowned the winner in the two-way vote with Anna Firth for nomination. She may face an uphill battle though, as a poll commissioned by UKIP today gave Nigel Farage's party a 13 point lead over the Conservatives.
The Conservatives are desperate to avoid another seat falling to Ukip in a by-election triggered by Tory defector Mark Reckless's decision to stand down and run as a Ukip candidate.
Following the announcement of the result, Ms Tolhurst said: "I'm honoured that thousands of local people have voted to select me as the Conservative candidate for the upcoming by-election. I will be a strong local voice, standing up for Rochester and Strood - my home."
The chairman of the Rochester and Strood Conservatives, Andrew Mackness, said: "Kelly will make a great MP for our great constituency, and I look forward to supporting her in the coming weeks to ensure a Conservative win and a bright future for this area."
In this month's Last Word, Baroness Angela Smith, Mike Thornton MP, Janice Atkinson MEP, and Damian Green MP debate the upcoming Rochester & Strood by-election.
After UKIP's success in Essex, are they on target for a second political upset within a few weeks?
And the Leaders' TV Debates - do they distort our political campaigns? And why should we include UKIP, but not the Green Party? Caroline Lucas MP tells us what she thinks of that!
Our excitement over Canterbury Monopoly has only *increased* with the whole Rochester Castle photobombing the board debacle.
A new Canterbury version of the popular board game Monopoly erroneously features Rochester Castle. Somehow the site found its way on to the board - despite obviously being in Rochester, not Canterbury.
Earlier this year members of the public voted on which landmarks would appear as properties on the board. Canterbury Cathedral was chosen as the top spot - replacing Mayfair on the original UK version of the board.
"Next - Rochester". UKIP's aim couldn't be more direct. Last night they celebrated an historic win on the Essex coast where they seized a Tory seat. Now all eyes are on north Kent where the sitting Conservative MP has become a UKIP candidate. Just as in Essex, in fact.
In his victory speech last night, UKIP's first MP promised their people's army would head to Rochester now. The stage is set for a battle royal. David Johns has spent the day in the constituency.
He spoke to UKIP's Mark Reckless, Andrew Mackness from the Conservative Association, Labour's Naushabah Khan and Geoff Juby of the Lib Dems.
Today Mr Reckless returned to his seat of Rochester and Strood after telling the Ukip conference in Yorkshire he was jumping ship. His move has caused bitter recriminations in the constituency he has represented for four years. David Johns' report includes some flash photography. He talks to local voters, then Naushabah Khan, the Labour candidate for Rochester & Strood as well as Antony Hook who's from the south east Liberal Democrats.
As Conservatives gathered in Birmingham today for the start of the party's conference - the leader of UKIP, Nigel Farage, took the opportunity to introduce constituents in Rochester to his new recruit. Mark Reckless joined him as they met potential voters for the by-election he triggered with his resignation as a Tory MP for the area yesterday.
Sarah Saunders spoke to former Conservative MP Mark Reckless, UKIP leader Nigel Farage and Labour candidate for the area, Naushabah Khan.
The former Conservative MP for Rochester and Strood has been in the constituency today with UKIP Leader Nigel Farage.
He appeared on stage at UKIPs conference yesterday to announce he had resigned and joined the party - in doing so he triggered a by-election.
Chairman of Rochester and Strood Conservatives says he's "astonished and disgusted" by Reckless defection
Farage admits Reckless has less personal following than Carswell but says 'I will do everything to get him elected' in forthcoming election
Backbencher Mark Reckless has become the second Tory MP in a month to defect to Ukip and trigger a by-election by quitting parliament.Read the full story ›