UKIP leader hails party’s Rotherham showing

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THE leader of UKIP has hailed his party’s performance at the Rotherham by-election as one of his highlights of 2012.

Nigel Farage said it had been a ‘remarkable year’ for the party which has seen its ratings rise from 4.5 per cent to 15 per cent.

In November’s Rotherham by-election – called after the resignation of sitting Labour MP Denis MacShane over expenses fraud – UKIP’s Jane Collins finished second with 21.79 per cent of the vote, behind Labour’s Sarah Champion.

The Conservatives trailed in fifth, with the Liberal Democrats seventh.

Mr Farage said: “I’m particularly pleased to think back to the by-elections, especially the ones we had in Corby, Rotherham and Middlesbrough.

“What it showed was that despite the media obsession that UKIP is taking Tory votes – which of course we are – what those Northern constituencies showed is that Labour votes are coming to UKIP in real numbers too.”

And Labour MP Jon Cruddas has predicted UKIP will have ‘a great 2013 and an even better 2014’ when they could win the European elections.

The MP for Dagenham and Rainham said: “2013 will be the breakthrough year of four-party politics – with UKIP the big winners.”