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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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Farage defends joining forces with right-wing Polish MEP

Ukip leader Nigel Farage has defended his decision to join forces with a member of a right-wing Polish party to save his grouping in the European Parliament.

The Eurosceptic Europe of Freedom and Direct Democracy (EFDD) group escaped disbandment after it recruited Polish Congress of the New Right (KNP) member Robert Iwaszkiewicz, keeping up its tally of MEPs from at least seven member states.

Ukip leader Nigel Farage said he had found nothing in the MEP's background to suggest he was an extremist. Credit: Lynne Cameron/PA Wire

Farage insisted that he had found nothing in Iwaszkiewicz's background to suggest that he was an extremist.

Asked about the MEP's reported comment that there were "quite a few wives around who'd be brought back down to earth" if their husbands hit them, Farage told BBC Radio 4's The World At One, "I think that comment was a joke."

Cameron: General Election will 'make or break Britain'

Credit: PA Images

David Cameron has launched a fresh effort to try to persuade would-be Ukip voters to back the Tories, warning that it would be a "terrible irony" if voting for Nigel Farage's party let Ed Miliband take the keys to No 10.

The Prime Minister said voters should not be "deceived" into thinking that it was anything other than a "stark choice" between the Conservatives and Labour at the next election.

Mr Cameron restated his promise to put measures to control European Union migration at the heart of his plans to renegotiate the UK's relationship with Brussels.

Next May's General Election would be "the most important for a generation", the Prime Minister said in an article for the Sunday Telegraph, telling voters it would be a straight contest between him and Mr Miliband to run the country.

In a message to wavering Tories, he said: "Let no-one deceive you that there is a third way. A vote for Ukip is a vote for Labour."

That much was proved in the recent by-elections. In Clacton, previously a Conservative seat, Ukip won. In Heywood and Middleton, Labour held their seat.

And to those considering voting for Ukip on the issues of immigration and Europe, I would point you to our Conservative record.

Non-EU migration is now at its lowest levels since the 1990s - and we are committed to putting EU migration right at the heart of our negotiations in Europe.

That comes from the first British Prime Minister ever to veto an EU Treaty, get the European budget cut, and pull us out of the bail-out schemes that Labour signed us up to.

We have also pledged to scrap Labour's Human Rights Act, ending the era of farcical human rights rulings handed down from Europe. And never forget: it is only the Conservative Party that is offering you that in-out referendum on Europe in 2017.

There would be a terrible irony if people who care about these issues voted Ukip - making a Labour Government more likely.

– David Cameron

The Prime Minister warned that letting Mr Milband into No 10 would result in a "great nation slipping back into decline", with households facing rising mortgage bills and jobs being moved overseas.

A Labour Britain hardly bears thinking about. Imagine: the international markets wincing as the British government racks up more debt; interest rates and mortgage rates going up; businesses crushed under punishing taxes; jobs leaving our shores; the unions back in Downing Street; diktats and bureaucratic schemes raining down on our schools and hospitals; the sense of a great nation slipping back into decline.

– David Cameron

Michael Gove is 'not worried about Ukip threat'

Michael Gove has said he is not worried about Ukip in the crucial byelection in Rochester and Strood.

Mr Gove said: "I'm concentrating on giving people the chance to have a Conservative MP here in Rochester and Strood, people have been denied that chance due to the current MP's defection.

"We're not contemplating defeat."

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Ukip deselect candidate as he admits animal welfare charges

Ukip have deselected their candidate in a marginal Cornwall seat after he admitted to animal welfare charges.

David Evans, 71, was due to fight Camborne and Redruth against Conservative MP George Eustice, who has a majority of just 66.

Appearing at Bodmin Magistrates Court on Monday, he admitted offences including causing suffering to his sheep by failing to address "emaciation and weakness" and not providing clean bedding for the animals.

Evans said he was "disappointed" but "not surprised" to have been deselected.

A party spokesman said: "We operate in an even-handed jurisdiction so we have to follow procedures. Ukip is continuing to investigate."

Farage: Ukip would prop up Tories in exchange for EU referendum

Nigel Farage has said his party would prop up a minority Conservative government if it agreed to a "full, free and fair referendum" on Britain's EU membership.

The Ukip leader told BBC1's Sunday Politics:

The price would be a full, free and fair referendum on our continued membership of the European Union, the opportunity to get our country back, and for that to happen quickly.

– nigel farage, ukip leader

It means the eurosceptic party would agree to a confidence and supply arrangement, where it backs or abstains on budget and legislative programme votes.

Umunna: Ukip must address 'racists' in its ranks

Labour's Chuka Umunna has called on Ukip to address "racists" in its ranks after allegedly receiving abusive tweets from supporters of the party.

Chuka Umunna allegedly received racist texts from supporters of Ukip. Credit: Sky News/Murnaghan

Asked about the messages on Sky News, the shadow business secretary said: "Of course there are racists in Ukip - that is unfortunate and that is something they need to address.

"They say terrible things about women, they say terrible things about different parts of our society."

Umunna said the party understood that immigration was a "concern" for many Brits - and a key campaign issue for Ukip - but insisted he would not say "I agree with Nigel" [Farage] on leaving the European Union and thus preventing freedom of movement into Britain.

"Europe is our biggest trading partner. Europe provides jobs. Our links with Europe provide jobs in this country and [Ukip] want to walk off with their bat and do nothing," he said.

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