Clacton

2015 Result:
Conservative: 16205 (36.7%)
Labour: 6364 (14.4%)
Lib Dem: 812 (1.8%)
Green: 1184 (2.7%)
UKIP: 19642 (44.4%)
MAJORITY: 3437 (7.8%)

Category: Marginal UKIP seat

Geography: South East, Essex. Part of the Tendring council area.

Main population centres: Clacton, Frinton-on-Sea, Walton-on-the-Naze, Holland-on-Sea, Jaywick.

Profile: A coastal seat consisting mainly of the chain of seaside resorts along the coast of the Tendring penisula, from the deprived Jaywick in the south through Clacton itself, the more genteel Frinton-on-Sea and Walton-on-the-Naze to the North, a destination for birdwatchers with its nature reserve and the marshes of Hamford Water. The towns have experienced the same decline as most English seaside resorts, and are perhaps better characterised as retirement destinations than tourist ones with a high proportion of over 65s in the electorate.

Politics: The Clacton seat is the successor to the old Harwich seat, renamed in 2010 after the town of Harwich itself was moved into the North Essex seat. Harwich had been represented by the Conservatives and their allies (it was one of final National Liberal seats when the party was finally wrapped up in 1968) since the 1930s, until falling to Labour in their 1997 landslide, probably helped by one of the Referendum party`s best performances in the country (they took just over 9%). The seat was won back by the Conservatives in 2005 and in 2010 Douglas Carswell increased his majority to an extremely healthy 28%, no doubt helped by the removal of the comparatively Labour voting Harwich and the decision by UKIP not to stand a candidate against him. In 2014 Carswell himself defected to UKIP and resigned to cause a by-election, the first Parliamentary defector to test his switch in a by-election since 1982. He successfully defended the seat again in 2015, the only UKIP success at the general election.


Current MP
DOUGLAS CARSWELL (UKIP) Born 1971, Westminster. Educated at Charterhouse and University of East Anglia. Former corporate development manager and Conservative party researcher. Contested Sedgefield 2001. First elected as MP for Harwich in 2005. Defected from the Conservative party to UKIP in 2014, resigning and winning the subsequent by-election.
Past Results
2010
Con: 22867 (53%)
Lab: 10799 (25%)
LDem: 5577 (13%)
BNP: 1975 (5%)
Oth: 1905 (4%)
MAJ: 12068 (28%)
2005*
Con: 21235 (42%)
Lab: 20315 (40%)
LDem: 5913 (12%)
UKIP: 2314 (5%)
Oth: 631 (1%)
MAJ: 920 (2%)
2001
Con: 19355 (40%)
Lab: 21951 (46%)
LDem: 4099 (9%)
UKIP: 2463 (5%)
Oth: 247 (1%)
MAJ: 2596 (5%)
1997
Con: 19524 (36%)
Lab: 20740 (39%)
LDem: 7037 (13%)
Oth: 1290 (2%)
MAJ: 1216 (2%)

*There were boundary changes after 2005, name changed from Harwich

Demographics
2015 Candidates
GILES WATLING (Conservative) Born 1953, Chingford. Actor and theatre director. Tendring councillor since 2007. Contested Clacton 2014 by-election.
TIM YOUNG (Labour) Born Clacton. Educated at Clacton County High School. Colchester councillor since 1992. Contested Clacton by-election 2014.
DAVID GRACE (Liberal Democrat)
DOUGLAS CARSWELL (UKIP) See above.
CHRIS SOUTHALL (Green) Engineer and smallholder. Contested Clacton 2010, 2014 by-election.
Links
Comments - 1,120 Responses on “Clacton”
  1. I knew Tom McNally he was quite a nice guy

  2. I don’t see 27% of the vote going to Lab, LD and Arron Banks.

    I’d expect Lab do to better than 10%.

    Unless Banks moves all his fans and the Kassamists to the Jaywick coastline he isn’t getting 5000 votes.

  3. If Carswell is an independent I say Con 32 Ind 28 UKIP 22 Lab 10 Banks 4 Lib 3 Green 1.

  4. I wouldn’t be surprised if he held on here standing as an independent. UKIP support could be negligible, who knows where the Conservatives will be in the polls, the rest don’t count and he clearly is a very popular constituency MP.

  5. Douglas Carswell will either be the Tory candidate or won’t stand in 2020 imo.

  6. Douglas Carswell is standing down.

    Would have been difficult for him to run as the Tory as he presumably couldn’t become a member in time.

  7. Guaranteed Conservative gain then.

  8. Aaron Banks has decided not to stand here after all

  9. Well there wasn’t much point in him playing out his rather pointless personal vendetta against another candidate when that other candidate announced his retirement.

  10. Might as well put this question here: how far will the UKIP vote fall? One poll today put them on 4%. They’re just absolutely tumbling — I think sub-5% is now very possible.

  11. I would go with sub-5%. Their fall may in practice be further exaggerated by not running the number of candidates they did in 2015.

  12. It’s difficult to gauge exactly how far UKIP vote will fall.

    On the plus side they should get considerably more coverage from the broadcasters than they did in 2015, based on their improved performance in that General Election. Whether this is necessarily good news for them given their current internal difficulties is moot point – but numerous prat falls did not put off an eighth of the electorate last GE.

    What I don’t doubt if that they will continue to have great difficulty translating votes to seats, and will come under immense pressure in certain seats thanks to the emergence of UKIP Lite (aka the May Conservative party).

  13. Giles Watling is set to be the Tory candidate here again

  14. That is a surprise.

    Both because he’s 64 and he also said 2015 was his last attempt.

    ConHome seems to suggest there were a lack of applications for this seat – perhaps they read the Matthew Parris article on Clacton – as well as GW changing his mind and having one last/third attempt.

  15. Tory candidate admits he backed remain…in a seat which voted for leave by over 70%. Potential for a shock UKIP hold?

  16. I admit, unlikely. Most people vote in line with the national tide and there’s no doubt that UKIP have collapsed.

    But…that doesn’t disguise the fact that the Tories have made it unecessarily harder for themselves. Silly!

  17. Giles Watling’s sister Deborah has sadly passed away after s short battle with lung cancer. She was also an actor and was best known for playing Victoria in Doctor Who in the 1960’s.

  18. St Pauls Ward By-election, 15.02.18 (caused by the resignation of Jack Parsons who was elected as UKIP, defected to Labour then to Inds. He resigned – after being convicted of possession of a knife in a public place – although he did try to retract his resignation which he said was a draft email sent in error ):

    Cons 40% (+7%)
    Ind 17% (+17%)
    Ind 14% (+14%)
    Lab 12% (+12%)
    UKIP 7% (-30%)
    Green 2% (+2%)

    Cons Gain

  19. Doesn’t add up to 100

  20. Apologies – omitted the LibDem by mistake.

    Hadn’t realised they bothered in this borough.

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