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Rochester and Strood by-election will see landslide victory for Ukip according to first exit poll

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Ukip look set to win the Rochester and Strood by-election by a landslide.

According to our straw poll, the right-wing party are on course for victory – with 49% of voters putting their faith in Mark Reckless, giving him a majority of 3-4,000.

And that view was backed up at 10.20pm on Thursday, with 'senior Conservative Party sources' telling Sky News the party had 'no chance' of winning the election.

Turnout in the high-profile poll is thought to be between 50 and 55%.

We spoke to 100 people as they left polling stations during the day to find out their views.

Parliamentary candidate for Rochester and Strood Mark Reckless with Ukip leader Nigel Farage
Parliamentary candidate for Rochester and Strood Mark Reckless with Ukip leader Nigel Farage

The results paint a dim picture for Liberal Democrats – with none of the people we spoke to voting for Geoff Juby. The Greens look set to overtake them – with 6% of the vote in our poll.

The results of our straw poll:

Ukip – 49%

Conservative – 29%

Labour – 16%

Greens – 6%

Liberal Democrats – 0%

Meanwhile, it was announced at 10.30pm that shadow attorney Emily Thornberry had resigned from the shadow cabinet hours after tweeting a picture from Rochester of a white van parked outside a house draped in Union Flags.

The tweet was captioned simply 'Image from Rochester' but was dubbed patronising and condescending by critics.

The offending image tweeted by Emily Thornberry
The offending image tweeted by Emily Thornberry

The story is featured on the front page of Friday's edition of The Sun. Thornberry tweeted: "Earlier today I sent a tweet which has caused offence to some ppl. That was never my intention and I have apologised."

The front page of Friday's Sun
The front page of Friday's Sun

Mark Kelly voted Ukip after always previously voted Labour.

He said: “I'm a Trade Unionist as well but this year I just thought 'no'. I will not be dictated to by Europe, and I have concerns over immigration.”

He said: “I think it will be closer between Ukip and Conservatives that people initially thought.

"I will be up at 4am Friday so should see the results, but it will be good to get back to normal a bit without hundreds of leaflets through the door everyday."

Marion Oomar said: "I think it's going to be very close between Conservatives and UKIP and I hope whichever way it goes it is the best result for Medway in the long run."

Many voters said they were glad it was all over.

Kevin Hann said: “It was definitely overkill. I’d like to know how much money they spent in this by-election. I must have had eight phone calls and about 20 letters in my post-box about this, and you wouldn’t even get this in a general election. I think David Cameron suddenly realised he might lose the seats.”

Alison Seager added: “We got tons and tons of electoral propaganda. It just bombarded us."

Charlotte Rose
Charlotte Rose

Meanwhile, the BBC has predicted independent Charlotte Rose - who has stood on a 'sexual freedom' ticket - may garner more votes than the Lib Dems, capping a miserable night for the mainstream Westminster parties.

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