IAIN Duncan Smith has dismissed UKIP’s chances in Bolton at the next election — calling them “a collection of a series of protests”.

Cllr David Greenhalgh, leader of the Conservatives in Bolton, warned voters after the recent Harper Green by-election that a vote for UKIP would shore up Labour’s hold of Bolton and make Tory candidates less likely to succeed.

But during his visit to Bolton, Mr Duncan Smith said the Conservatives in government were addressing the concerns UKIP voters might have by promising a referendum on Britain’s EU membership and introducing tighter legislation on immigration.

He added: “UKIP say: ‘We want to have a referendum on Europe’ — the Tories have said we’ll give you a referendum on Europe.

“They say they want control on immigration — we are bringing it down, we have cut it by a third from where it was.

“I have introduced some very tough restrictions on people coming in from Romania and Bulgaria claiming benefits. They can’t claim them until they’ve been here three months.

“It’s about getting the message across to people that we are driving the change that’s necessary.

“If you vote for UKIP you don’t get what you want — you get something else.”