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Polls close in Rochester and Strood by-election

Ukip's candidate for Rochester and Strood, Mark Reckless, pictured at a polling station earlier. Credit: Gareth Fuller/PA Wire

The polls have now closed in the Rochester and Strood by-election.

Mark Reckless, who defected from the Conservatives to Ukip, is the favourite to retain his seat, where he stood down when he changed parties.

Should Reckless win the seat, Ukip will have their second elected MP.

  1. Tom Bradby

Ukip's Mark Reckless clarifies stance on migrants

There is no doubt that other political parties, particularly the Tories, have tried pretty hard to trash Ukip. It doesn't seem to have affected them very much, partly because the people who are voting for Ukip or are tempted to do so believe that they are voicing uncomfortable truths, that the liberal media doesn't want to talk about.

That said, I've found tonight Ukip officials acknowledging that any hint of extremism does damage them, because people want to speak uncomfortable truths, but they don't want to be seen as extreme.

There are two questions about this: One did Mark Reckless say anything out of line, and secondly did people find that extreme. I have to say I wasn't there, I don't know.

From what I can hear it does look as though he was implying that people already settled here wouldn't necessarily be aloud to stay if Ukip were in power and that certainly isn't the normal party line. He has backtracked of course and I think people are going to look at that and decide what they make of it.

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Farage clarifies Reckless comments on migrants

Nigel Farage has clarified his party's stance on migrant workers after Ukip candidate Mark Reckless suggested EU migrants who have been in the UK for a number of years could still be forced to return to their native country.

Speaking to ITV News, the Ukip leader said:

"We have never argued at any point in time that the UK should retrospectively change the law.

"To be clear: Anybody who has legally come to Britain is entitled to stay in Britain."

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Farage to deliver Ukip's message to a 'new generation of voters'

Ukip leader Nigel Farage has said his Leaders Live event on Tuesday 2nd December is an opportunity to deliver his party's message to a "new generation of voters".

I am very much looking forward to the launch of Leaders Live. Taking part in Leaders Live is a fantastic opportunity to deliver Ukip's message straight to the new generation of voters, and perhaps more importantly hear their concerns and take their questions directly.

– nigel farage, ukip

Labour supporters cheer Miliband's Ukip challenge

Ed Miliband has directly challenged the Ukip leader Nigel Farage as he tried to relaunch the Labour party.

Mr Miliband vowed that his party would talk more about immigration but told Labour supporters that they could "take this lot apart."

Conservatives take three-point lead after Labour infighting

The Conservative party has taken a three-point lead in a new poll.

Research by Ipsos MORI for London's Evening Standard found that days of speculation about Ed Miliband's leadership has seen the party's support drop four points to 29%.

Conservatives take three-point lead after Labour infighting Credit: Danny Lawson/PA

Meanwhile, the Conservatives were up two on 32% - the biggest advantage the polling firm has recorded for them since 2010. Just 13% of those surveyed agreed Mr Miliband was "ready to be prime minister", while 73% thought the opposite. The Liberal Democrats were up one on 9%, and Ukip down two on 14%.

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Gay Ukip MEP: Same-sex marriage supporters are 'equality Nazis'

A gay Ukip MEP has labelled same-sex marriage supporters as "equality Nazis".

Describing the new laws as "total b*******", David Coburn said the reforms only matter to "some queen who wants to dress up in a bridal frock and dance up the aisle to the Village People".

Ukip's David Coburn. Credit: PA Wire

"What you're doing with the gay marriage issue is you're rubbing people's noses in the dirt," he said in the interview with the Huffington Post.

The Scotland MEP denied calling the nation's Conservative leader Ruth Davidson a "fat lesbian" but instead compared her to "porridge", saying she was "rather boring".

He also mocked the SNP's Nicola Sturgeon for her "mad scary eyes".

Ukip tipped for big win at Rochester by-election

Ukip will land a second voice in Parliament next month according to a new poll that puts the party a commanding 13 points ahead of the Conservatives in the run up to the Rochester and Strood by-election.

Mark Reckless, left, is bidding to join fellow Tory defector Douglas Carswell, right, as a member of parliament for Ukip. Credit: Gareth Fuller/PA Wire

A ComRes study tips the Eurosceptics to get 43% of the vote, well ahead of the Conservatives on 30%, as Tory defector Mark Reckless bids to regain his former seat for Nigel Farage's party.

Labour trailed in third on 21%, while the Liberal Democrats were way back on 3% alongside the Greens ahead of the November 20 poll.

ComRes interviewed 1,500 adults in the north Kent constituency by telephone between October 17-21.

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