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Prime Minister David Cameron defends Conservative's campaign strategy in Rochester and Strood by-election

By Paul Francis

David Cameron has defended the party’s “kitchen sink” strategy in the by-election battle for Rochester and Strood, saying it was the right thing to do.

Mr Cameron was making his fifth campaign visit to the area with just 48-hours before polling gets underway, fulfilling a promise he made at the outset of the campaign.

Ukip is odds on to win on Thursday and return Mark Reckless as its second MP to Parliament despite a massive drive by the Tories to halt the Ukip surge.

David Cameron during an earlier visit this month. John Westhrop
David Cameron during an earlier visit this month. John Westhrop

Some have suggested the influx of Conservative MPs and ministers on a daily basis has ultimately proved counter-productive.

With five visits under his belt - an unprecedented number of visits by a leader - Mr Cameron will be closely associated with the outcome.

His final visit came today where he toured the premises of MCL, a company in Upper Halling which carries out building maintenance, disabled conversions and the manufacture of heating control systems.

Asked if we satisfied the party had done all it could to win the by-election, Mr Cameron said: “I think Kelly has fought a very strong local campaign; she has been very strongly backed by the Conservative party, by cabinet ministers and I think that is absolutely right.

This is a very important election for the people of Rochester and Strood. I want them to have the very best chance of this candidate Kelly [being elected].”

He added: “I believe in leading from the front, which is why have come down five times to play my part in the campaign and it is the right thing to do.”

Kelly Tolhurst, MP for Rochester and Strood.
Kelly Tolhurst, MP for Rochester and Strood.

He sidestepped questions about a comment from one of his MPs who had claimed that a vote for UKIP would mean that house prices would fall.

“I am not a forecaster of house prices,” he said.

“But I do know that the choice in this by-election is either to vote for Kelly Tolhurst, a strong local candidate or vote for Ukip where you have instability, insecurity and the danger of Ed Miliband being a step nearer Downing Street.”

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