In Rotherham UKIP's Jane Collins came a very strong second, head and shoulders above the rest of the pack and securing almost half the Labour vote. To put this into context, Rotherham has returned a Labour MP at every single election since 1933. The worrying result in Rotherham is that three extremist parties took third, fourth and sixth places - the BNP, Respect and the English Democrats (that said, I know the former-Lib Dem who stood for the English Democrats and he has no truck with the extremist element of his party). The Lib Dems (remember them?) came an embarrassing eighth with less than 10% of the UKIP vote and lost their deposit. The turnout was just 33.8% which is appalling for a mid-term by-election and suggests Labour voters stayed at home to punish their party.
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In Middlesbrough UKIP's Richard Elvin came second, some 318 votes clear of the third-placed Lib Dem and 927 votes clear of the Tory candidate. Middlesbrough is another safe Labour seat and Labour candidate Andy McDonald secured over 60% of the vote. The Tory only managed to beat the fringe Peace Party candidate by 3 votes.
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In Croydon North UKIP's Winston McKenzie managed a comfortable third, 540 votes clear of the Lib Dem candidate and 2,737 votes behind the second-placed Tory. Labour retained this safe seat with an increased majority.
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