Vote UKIP, get Labour, warns David Cameron
Prime Minister David Cameron has warned that a big vote for the UK Independence Party could lead to a Labour victory at next year's general election.
It comes after the Conservatives lost the Clacton by-election to UKIP and were pushed into third place behind UKIP in Heywood and Middleton.
Reacting to the two results, Mr Cameron said the next election was "the most important in a generation".
He said Labour would offer no action on immigration and no EU referendum.
Mr Cameron said: "What last night demonstrates is that if you see a big UKIP vote, you will end up with Ed Miliband as prime minister and Ed Balls as chancellor, Labour in power and, more to the point, you won't have the long-term economic plan that is really starting to deliver for this country the stability and security that people want."
He said his party had seven months to demonstrate that without the Conservatives in government "you'll get no action on immigration, no European referendum, and most importantly, you won't get a continuation of that plan that's delivering success for our economy and security for our people".
Earlier on Friday Tory party chairman Grant Shapps warned that while UKIP took votes from all parties it was in danger of taking the most seats from Conservative MPs.
Mr Shapps, told the BBC UKIP's success in both the Clacton, and Heywood and Middleton was an "alarm clock moment".
"This is a stark message," Mr Shapps said. "If what has happened last night were repeated in 210 days at a general election and you saw Conservative [seats] become UKIP seats what you'd have is Ed Miliband in government."
"Here's the truth. UKIP say they take votes from everyone but in reality they take seats from Conservatives.
"You might think that's fine. But actually let's be clear. That means Ed Miliband in Downing Street, that means no referendum in Europe. It means no control on immigration. It means going back to the bad old days of tax, spend and a big deficit and taking the country back not forwards," he added.
Mark Pritchard, Conservative MP for The Wrekin, told the BBC there were "three people celebrating the Clacton result this morning: firstly, Douglas Carswell, secondly, Nigel Farage, and third, Ed Miliband".
Owen Jones, columnist for The Guardian, told the BBC the by-election results showed "our entire political elite is a walking, talking disaster".
He said the Conservatives and the Labour leadership had "failed to provide solutions to the everyday problems of people".