Labour has stormed ahead over the Conservatives in three by-elections, holding Croydon North, Middlesbrough and Rotherham parliamentary seats. And it was a strong showing for The UK Independence Party who came second in Middlesbrough and Rotherham and finished third in Croydon North.

UKIP leader Nigel Farage said it had been a "big night" for his party - adding that that previous best-ever by-election result, a fortnight ago, was 14.3% and this one is comfortably over 20%. So whichever way you look at it, UKIP is on the rise. And the party's strong performance in Rotherham comes less than a week after the town's council took three immigrant foster children away from a local couple, because they were UKIP supporters, which advocates tougher immigration controls for Britain.

And although Labour were the odds-on favourite at the bookmakers to retain all three seats, it was the victor speech of Sarah Champion, who summed it up, when she said: "The Tories shown what they think of Rotherham, and today this result tells David Cameron what Rotherham thinks of the Tories." That may reflect the feeling of the country towards the Tories and Lib Dems who were pushed third behind the BNP, Respect and the English Democrats.

Written and presented by Ann Salter.