UKIP's victory at the European Parliament election and success on the Isle of Wight, has been described as remarkable by Conservative MP Andrew Turner.
Following yesterday's (Monday) result, which saw UKIP take four of the ten MEP seats for the South East region, compared with three for the Conservatives, Mr Turner congratulated the party's supporters.
Mr Turner said: "It would be disingenuous to try to pretend that this is anything other than a remarkable result for UKIP, both nationally and in the South East. I am of course very glad that three of my Conservative colleagues Dan Hannan, Nirj Deva and Richard Ashworth were re-elected; they have an excellent track record of hard work for the region.
"However, for UKIP to increase their number of seats to four is testament to the disillusion and disconnection that many people feel from mainstream political parties. I know from speaking to Islanders that two UKIP policies in particular find resonance with Island voters – they want a say on our relationship with the EU and they don’t like the way in which we have no say on who comes into our country. Let me be clear – I share those concerns, but believe that the way to achieve change is to support the Conservative Party, campaigning for change."
He said he had opposed membership of the Common Market in 1975, supported calls for an in or our referendum and would campaign to leave the EU.
He said immigration was an important issue.
"Although the Conservatives have successfully brought in policies to cut immigration from outside the EU, not enough has been done to curb the free movement of people within its borders. We can hardly be surprised when people turn to parties who say they will deal with those issues.
"One good thing about the vote last week, whether or not it was the intention of those who voted UKIP), is that the major political parties are at last taking those concerns seriously. There will doubtless be new announcements from both parties over the coming weeks and months due to this result. Indeed shockwaves from anti-EU results are being felt across Europe.
"Finally, I would like to say that I very much dislike the view that somehow UKIP has 'borrowed’ votes from other parties. Votes belong to voters, not parties – and if they want to vote for UKIP, other minority parties or even the Monster Raving Loony Party that is a failure of those of us in mainstream politics to convince people that we can represent their interests. I am certainly conscious that I need to continue to work to get that message across until the General Election in May next year."
to see how the Isle of Wight voted.