POLITICS

Calm Down About Clacton: 5 By-Election Losses The Tories Swiftly Recovered

13/10/2014 14:45 BST | Updated 13/10/2014 16:13 BST
LEON NEAL via Getty Images
Newly-elected UK Independence Party (UKIP) MP Douglas Carswell (L) poses for photographers with a copy of the local paper in Clacton-on-Sea, in eastern England, on October 10, 2014. Britain's anti-EU UK Independence Party won its first seat in the House of Commons Friday, sending jitters through Prime Minister David Cameron's Conservatives seven months before what is likely to be a tight general election. AFP PHOTO / LEON NEAL (Photo credit should read LEON NEAL/AFP/Getty Images)

Ukip's Douglas Carswell became its first elected MP after winning the Clacton by-election last week, securing a majority of over 12,000 votes in a decisive victory over the Tories, his former party.

Ukip is hoping to capitalise on this momentum to win the next by-election in Rochester and Strood, prompted by the defection of Tory MP Mark Reckless. But history shows that the Tories have quickly snatched back some seats they have lost in by-elections at the following national elections.

Election expert Lewis Baston told the Huffington Post UK: "It's not very unusual for the government party to regain such losses, particularly if it is winning the election nationally."

Baston, a senior research fellow at the Democratic Audit research group, stressed that Carswell was likely to survive as he had won by an "exceptionally large" margin and built up a personal vote.

But with speculation rife about how many extra MPs Ukip could get before the 2015 general election, here are five seats the Tories snatched back just months after their own by-election losses.

Clacton: 5 By-Elections That The Tories Swiftly Recovered