This is a potential game changer and a warning for austerity politicians from the third biggest economy in Europe. Watch the fear spread throughout the political classes.
This triumph of pragmatism and realism over vision means the two major parties are essentially advocating minor variations of the same sorts of policies. A major economic upswing might still save the Tories, just as a 'Black Wednesday' style catastrophe could catapult Labour to a majority - but neither is that likely in the 26 months before voters go to the polls.
Crisis communications, whether political or corporate, have changed massively in recent years. Twenty-four hour rolling news, blogs and now Twitter mean that speed is critical, and leaving a vacuum - even for a few hours - can see a story escalate rapidly beyond manageable means.
It's time the gag was lifted on straight talking and a real representative voice in politics spoke on behalf of the people. This is what Ukip represents. When you meet people, like I did, who say they haven't voted for thirty years but they are going to the election box to vote Ukip, you know you are on to the right thing.
All too often I'm told that now's not the time to raise environmental issues. Of course it is tough for voters not sure where tomorrow's lunch money or next week's rent is coming from to think beyond those pressing personal problems, but the fact is there are many immediate environmental issues that demand our attention now.
How on earth can you announce you want to raise £3.5 billion from an auction and then not make maximizing the money that you're trying to raise a priority?
The media has become obsessed that Ukip is taking votes from the Tories. But it's simply not that simple. Look at all the recent by-election results and I think it's clear to see we are having an impact across the board.
The half-term general election rehearsal currently underway in Eastleigh might be fascinating those in the politics business but the result won't begin to restore the electorate's trust in politicians.
Since the coalition government was elected, the manifesto promise of the Big Society has morphed into relentless bashing of benefit claimants via the media. Whether stories originate from press officers or from journalists, the results are the same. Strivers vs. Shirkers, benefit scroungers, large families fleecing the public purse, single mums, teen mums, are all headlines that fuel the increasingly hate-filled rhetoric against benefit claimants.
A survey from The Children's Society recently revealed that nearly half of teachers often see children coming into school hungry, with no lunch and no means to pay for one. Six million households are struggling just to afford to heat their homes.
The disparities across the country are vast. Poverty levels in constituencies such as Manchester Central and Poplar and Limehouse reach over 40 per cent; in contrast, the poverty rate in the Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister's constituencies is under 10 per cent.
I imagine even David Cameron might have been alarmed if someone had told him three years ago that his government would be looking at privatising our emergency services.
Who votes on what, when, and why: what if one half of the job share turns out to be a rebel in disguise whilst the other is a party loyalist to the core?
Being honest about the limits that face us but having a clear set of priorities shaping our actions allows for a more honest, more human and more humane politics to be shaped.
Government after government across Europe has been thrown out since the great recession began to drive back living standards. Whether on the centre-left, such as Gordon Brown and Zapatero, or on the right with Berlusconi and Sarkozy, political rejection has started to look inevitable. But Rafael Correa's massive re-election win in Ecuador yesterday was a reminder to his European counterparts that political defeat is no iron law of politics.
The politics of gender have bubbled to the surface of political debate. Some Tories are worried that women are deserting them in such numbers that the party will lose the next election.