Rochester, a picturesque riverside town in Kent, southeast England, is known more for its history than its politics. But all that could change on Thursday as voters looked set to elect a member of the conservative UK Independence Party to parliament.
With distrust of mainstream parties and anxiety about immigration rising among voters across much of the country, four opinion polls have suggested UKIP (the United Kingdom Independence Party) will win Thursday’s by-election in the constituency of Rochester.
The vote was called after the constituency’s Conservative member of parliament, Mark Reckless, resigned upon defecting to UKIP, which advocates Britain’s immediate withdrawal from the European Union and reducing immigration.
The expected win for Reckless, who is seeking to take back his seat for UKIP, has stirred fears in Europe of a possible British exit from the EU. It has also shaken Prime Minister David Cameron’s Conservative Party, which, alongside the left-wing Labour Party, has dominated British politics for decades.
Final results of the vote, which follows a by-election last month when another Conservative defector won UKIP’s first elected seat in parliament, are expected around 0300 GMT on Friday.
(FRANCE 24 with REUTERS)
Date created : 2014-11-20