Ukip wins its first election seat in General Election 2015
Published 08/05/2015 | 05:20
Ukip has won its first seat at a General Election - but Douglas Carswell saw his majority slashed.
Mr Carswell - who won by 12,404 votes in Clacton last year after defecting from the Tories and forcing a by-election - held off his old party by only 3,547 this time around.
And he blamed the electoral system for the Eurosceptic party's failure to perform as strongly as hoped elsewhere.
"Here, in our part of Essex, people voted Ukip and they got Ukip," he said in his acceptance speech.
"Yet across the country about five million people will have either voted for Ukip or for the Green Party. Those five million people will be lucky to get a tiny handful of MPs in the House of Commons.
"That failure to translate those five million votes into seats is less a reflection of how my party or the Green Party campaigned, rather it tells us how dysfunctional our political system is."
Mr Carswell got 19,642 votes, with Tory rival Giles Watling on 16,205.
Elsewhere Ukip has been forced into third place in Thurrock, one of its highest priority seats, as Jackie Doyle-Price won re-election for the Conservatives by a slender majority over Labour.
Nigel Farage launched his manifesto in the seat which Tim Aker had been tipped to win in a tight three way battle.
But Ms Doyle-Smith hung on with 16,692 votes to Labour's 16,156 and Ukip on 15,718.