What UKIP victory means

Nigel Farage flanked by fellow UKIP MEPs Janice Atkinson and Diane James

A political earthquake? Really? Some weren't convinced after the results of the local elections in England.

Few can doubt it now.

It is over 100 years since a national election has been won by a party other than the Conservatives and Labour.

What's more the UK Independence Party did it by winning seats not just in every region of England but in Wales and Scotland too.

The impact of the result will be immediate.

David Cameron will face pressure to harden up his promise to renegotiate Britain's relationship with the EU and to reduce immigration to win back the many Tory voters lost to UKIP.

Ed Miliband will face an inquest into why before the votes of Londoners were counted Labour were only neck and neck with the Tories.

And Nick Clegg will face demands to explain what can save his party if it is not a change of leadership.

Alex Salmond will have to confront the fact that he failed in his aim of ensuring that Scotland was a UKIP-free zone. However, he'll use the result to urge Scots to break free from the anti European forces which topped the poll in England.

Only Nigel Farage can be totally satisfied today although he knows all too well that winning a national election which he described as a "free hit" on the political establishment is much easier than winning a single seat in Westminster.

A year ago few took that prospect seriously. They do now.

Nick Robinson Article written by Nick Robinson Nick Robinson Political editor

Will the UK join military action against Islamic State?

One thing and one thing alone will determine whether the UK joins the US in taking military action against IS forces - parliamentary opinion.

Read full article

More on This Story

Features & Analysis

Elsewhere on the BBC

  • FrogsBright...but deadly

    The vivid skin of the Amazon's golden poison arrow frog contains toxins strong enough to kill a human

Programmes

  • Islamic StateClick Watch

    Can the location of Islamic State militants be found with open source data?

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.