Nick Clegg
Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg made the comments ahead of the 20 November by-election Getty

Nick Clegg has effectively admitted defeat in the Rochester and Strood by-election and criticised the Conservatives for boasting of a victory ahead of the vote.

The Liberal Democrat leader told LBC Radio that he does not think his party is "going to sweep to victory".

"I'm not going to make predictions – I don't think we're going to sweep to victory," Clegg said.

"The Conservative Party claimed they would wallop [Ukip candidate] Mark Reckless, they shouldn't have raised expectations they were going to win in the first place."

The comments come after the Liberal Democrat candidate for the 20 November by-election told IBTimes UK that Clegg had not visited the constituency and the presence of the party leader would not have "much effect" on the result of the vote.

"It might improve the morale of the people that are working for me. But that's about it – that's the main thing of what would be achieved," he said.

"Unless there is actually something for him to do when he comes down here, to me it's not really needed," the Liberal Democrat candidate said.

Juby, who also sits on Medway Council, said people should vote for him because he understands the issues of local area and would concentrate on "trying to get some extra money to sort some of the transport out and some extra money for the hospital."

He said he was only concentrating on a limited range of issues because "in effect" he would only have three months to do complete the work because of the forthcoming Christmas holidays and the short time before the 2015 General Election next may.

Reckless was criticised after he suggested that European Union (EU) migrants should be deported from Britain "after a fixed period" if the UK leaves the economic and political union.

Reckless failed to rule out the idea that some migrants could be forced to leave the country after a UK exit from the EU.

The Conservative defector was asked during a hustings hosted by ITV whether a Polish plumber, who had lived in Britain for years, would be forced to leave.

"In the near term we'd have to have a transitional period, and I think we should probably allow people who are currently here to have a work permit at least for a fixed period," Reckless said.

"People who have been here a long time and integrated in that way I think we'd want to look sympathetically at."

Naushabah Khan, Labour's candidate for the by-election, challenged Reckless over the comments.

"Where would you stop, Mark? My family are migrants, are we going to say they need to go back as well?" Kahn said.

But Ukip has now "clarified" Reckless' position and referred to the party's policy that EU migrants would be able to stay in the UK in the event of an exit.

Reckless is favourite to win the by-election as he holds a 12-point lead in the opinion polls, according to Lord Ashcroft.