Last minute attempts to avert defeat in this week’s by-election in Rochester have taken a curiously middle-class turn, as the Conservatives have claimed voting UKIP will cause house prices to fall.
Tory spin doctors are appealing to Rochester and Strood’s home-owning class, by reminding property owners of the unusual knock-on effect of a local council win by the quasi-fascist British National Party (BNP) Barking and Dagenham in 2006. Shocked, yes comfortable home-owners apparently fled the area, causing house price inflation to slow in the Borough.
The Daily Telegraph quotes Tory MP Charles Walker of Broxbourne, one of many of the party who have been whipped into visiting the seat. He stated the party line on Rochester property prices plainly when he said: “The danger is if you vote Ukip, the value of your house will go down”. Property experts have apparently questioned the statement, saying there is no solid evidence to base the claim on.
UKIP have reacted angrily to the Tory claims and have said these dirty tricks have been tried before. A UKIP spokesperson told Breitbart London: “The Tories tried this in Clacton, they’re now trying it in Rochester. It is not just utterly desperate, but actually shows how much contempt they have for the electorate.
“Trying to scare people away from the ballot box is fundamentally undemocratic, and reflect the nasty, American-style campaigning that the Tories have bought in and tried to exercise for months now. Sadly for them, the British public are smarter than the Tories would like”.
The Conservatives have been desperate to avoid a second by-election defeat, but all the indications appear to point towards an easy UKIP win. The Euro-sceptic party has been in the lead in local polls since former Tory MP Mark Reckless defected during the UKIP conference in September. The politics of the by-election have become increasingly personal in some respects, with a recent leaflet attacking the background and education of Mr. Reckless, despite the fact that until two months ago he was a properly appointed Conservative member of parliament.
Winning it’s second member of parliament could be a watershed moment for UKIP, who have recently claimed that a strong win could lead to six more Conservative MP’s defecting to the purple benches. In any case UKIP leader Nigel Farage may urge further potential defectors to hold on until the new year, preventing any more costly by-elections before the general election which the well endowed Conservative party can better afford.