I visited a UKIP rally for the Newark by-election: this is my report for the Spectator blog.
After the European elections, we can smell blood,’ said a cheerful UKIP activist, Scott Cross, from Hampshire. Former Tory activist Steve Stanbury, who defected to UKIP a few years ago, felt ‘exhilarated and invigorated for the first time in ages.’ And this exuberance was given full vent when their saviour Farage appeared. Entering the packed 500-plus crowd in Newark’s genteel Kelham Hall, the ovation was standing and the roar was deafening. The grand Victorian hall is usually used for weddings, but marital celebrations had nothing on the enthusiastic applause from UKIP’s blue rinse brigade yesterday, still buzzing from their triumph in the EU elections a week earlier.