South Thanet

2015 Result:
Conservative: 18838 (38.1%)
Labour: 11740 (23.8%)
Lib Dem: 932 (1.9%)
Green: 1076 (2.2%)
UKIP: 16026 (32.4%)
Independent: 61 (0.1%)
Others: 728 (1.5%)
MAJORITY: 2812 (5.7%)

Category: Marginal Conservative seat

Geography: South East, Kent. The eastern part of the Thanet council area and two wards from the Dover council area.

Main population centres: Ramsgate, Sandwich, Broadstairs, St Peters.

Profile: A coastal seat, snaking around the eastern coast of the Isle of Thanet and then south into Dover to include the historic Cinque port of Sandwich and the rural villages inland from it, including Ash and Wingham. The main centres of population is the ferry port, fishing town and coastal resort of Ramsgate, the more genteel seaside town of Broadstairs and Cliftonville, a residential part of Margate. Thanet suffers from the economic problems often associated with declining seaside towns, and has some of the most deprived wards in the otherwise generally affluent Kent.

Politics: Historically this was a safely Conservative area, the Isle of Thanet seat that existed until 1974 was solidly Conservative throughout its history, as was this seat`s immediate predecessor Thanet East. In 1992 Jonathan Aitken enjoyed an apparently safe 23% majority here, but in 1997 he lost his seat to Labour`s Stephen Ladyman and subsequently his liberty after being found guilty and jailed for perjury. The seat was regained by the Conservatives in 2010 under Laura Sandys, a Tory moderate and pro-European. The 2015 election was one of the most high profile constituency battles, fought between the UKIP leader Nigel Farage, Craig Mackinlay, a UKIP to Conservative defector chosen to replace Sandys, and the Labour candidate Will Scobie. Ultimately Mackinlay won, prompting Nigel Farage to briefly honour a promise to resign as UKIP leader.


Current MP
CRAIG MACKINLAY (Conservative) Born Chatham. Educated at Rainham Mark Grammar and Birmingham University. Former chartered accountant and tax advisor. Medway councillor since 2007. Contested Gillingham 1992 as Independent, 1997 as UKIP, Totnes 2001 for UKIP, Gillingham 2005 for UKIP, Kent Police Commissioner election 2012 for the Conservatives. First elected as MP for Thanet South in 2015. Acting leader of UKIP 1997, Deputy leader of UKIP 1997-2000. Defected to the Conservatives in 2005.
Past Results
2010
Con: 22043 (48%)
Lab: 14426 (31%)
LDem: 6935 (15%)
UKIP: 2529 (6%)
MAJ: 7617 (17%)
2005*
Con: 15996 (39%)
Lab: 16660 (40%)
LDem: 5431 (13%)
UKIP: 2079 (5%)
Oth: 1076 (3%)
MAJ: 664 (2%)
2001
Con: 16210 (41%)
Lab: 18002 (46%)
LDem: 3706 (9%)
UKIP: 501 (1%)
Oth: 1012 (3%)
MAJ: 1792 (5%)
1997
Con: 17899 (40%)
Lab: 20777 (46%)
LDem: 5263 (12%)
Oth: 1049 (2%)
MAJ: 2878 (6%)

*There were boundary changes after 2005

Demographics
2015 Candidates
CRAIG MACKINLAY (Conservative) Born Chatham. Educated at Rainham Mark Grammar and Birmingham University. Chartered accountant and tax advisor. Medway councillor since 2007. Contested Gillingham 1992 as Independent, 1997 as UKIP, Totnes 2001 for UKIP, Gillingham 2005 for UKIP, Kent Police Commissioner election 2012 for the Conservatives. Acting leader of UKIP 1997, Deputy leader of UKIP 1997-2000. Defected to the Conservatives in 2005.
WILL SCOBIE (Labour) Educated at Dane Court Grammar and York University. Thanet councillor since 2011, Kent county councillor since 2013.
RUSS TIMPSON (Liberal Democrat) Educated at South Bank University. Businessman, fire engineer and former Royal Navy submariner.
NIGEL FARAGE (UKIP) Born 1964, Farnborough. Educated at Dulwich College. Former commodities broker. Contested Itchen, Test and Avon in 1994 European election. Member of the European Parliament for South-East England since 1999. Contested Eastleigh by-election 1994, Salisbury 1997, Bexhill and Battle 2001, South Thanet 2005, Bromley and Chistlehurst 2006 by-election, Buckingham 2010. Leader of UKIP 2006-2009 and since 2010.
IAN DRIVER (Green) Thanet councillor since 2011, originally elected for Labour.
GRAHAME BIRCHALL (United Thanet) Born 1952. Businessman and former serviceman. Former Canterbury councillor for the Labour party.
DEAN MCCASTREE (Independent) Born St Lucia. Financial Trader. Former Thanet councillor, former Lambeth councillor. Contested Brent Central 2010.
ZEBADIAH ABU-OBADIAH (Al-Zebabist) Musician.
NIGEL ASKEW (Reality) Publican.
RUTH BAILEY (Manston Airport Independent) Teacher.
AL MURRAY (No description) Born 1968, Stewkley. Educated at Bedford School and Oxford University. Comedian.
Links
Comments - 1,983 Responses on “Thanet South”
  1. The Jury in Craig MacKinlay trial retired to consider their verdict on Wednesday.

  2. The Jury in Craig MacKinlay trial retired to consider their verdict on Wednesday.

    I hope the judge & jury thrown the book at him but seeing him tooing and frowing to court his smirking face has the ‘I’m getting off’ look plastered all over it – and Tories usually do get off such charges

  3. The Jury has paused deliberating for Christmas and will resume deliberations in January.

  4. Craig Mackinlay found not guilty so no Bi election here coming.
    His Co Defendant Marion Little found guilty through of two counts by Majority verdict.

  5. Craig Mackinlay found not guilty so no Bi election here coming.

    It amazes me that people bang on about how anti politician joe public is, yet presented with ample evidence to support a conviction, 12 members of the public decided to acquit Craig Mackinley, which lond of explains his arrogant smirks everyday he walked into court

  6. Tim J – nonsense.

    They convicted the Agent, who is legally responsible for the Return.

    Incidentally, even if convicted there wouldn’t have been a by-election, both because of his re-election since and the fact the sentence was only 9 months.

  7. The Agent is legally responsible yes, but if you believe the high ups in CCHQ weren’t ultimately pulling the strings on this I have a bridge to sell you…

    As so often in life, a low level expendable official is made a scapegoat to cover the tracks of those more powerful and more important. Early in my career I worked for a firm prosecuted for price fixing where exactly the same thing happened.

    Most Conservative Associations are now unable to afford professional election agents so routinely appoint amateur volunteer agents at election time. A consequence of this prosecution may well be that well-meaning blue rinse ladies from the WI will be much less willing to act as amateur Tory party agents in the future.

  8. ‘A consequence of this prosecution may well be that well-meaning blue rinse ladies from the WI will be much less willing to act as amateur Tory party agents in the future.’

    Which would be second good thing that might come out of it, Farage being defeated being arguably the first, although I have to say with the increasing prominence of Brexiters like Gerald Batten, Boris Johnson, and James Goddard, Farage comes across as a good egg – something I’d never thought I’d say

  9. Agree with you on Farage. He’s at least had the courage to criticise the drift of UKIP into the Tommy Robinson party, oblivious as he is to the likelihood that his own rhetoric on race and immigration over the past decade arguably enabled it. At least he believes what he says, which is more than you can say for Boris.

    Electoral law in this country is a complete mess; this is the latest in a long line of cases to highlight that. I’m not holding my breath that much will be done about it.

  10. The Likelihood would have been had he been convicted he would have been under massive pressure to resign and possibly he would have done so unlike Onasanya,

  11. HH – whilst you are correct in what you say, on this instance the Agent was one and the same: a high up from CCHQ sent to the constituency. Indeed this accounted in part for the very high overspend on her and colleagues’ accommodation and living expenses.

    Arrogance and/or stupidity.

  12. Yes the agent in this case was indeed a professional from CCHQ. I find it very hard to believe that her actions weren’t ultimately directed from much higher up, given the prominence of the Thanet constituency and how closely it was interwoven into the national campaign. In a fair world it should have been Grant Shapps or the party treasurer in the dock. This case may well have big implications in terms of people being willing to act as legal Agents in the future, in key seat campaigns which are in reality being run from the centre.

  13. Comments from Craig Mackinlay, ‘I would not want anyone in this House to go through what I have been through’
    Andrea Leadsom: ‘It is fantastic that he has been found not guilty. Election law on spending in 2015 was fragmented & unclear.’

  14. That comment is so careless and unbecoming of her high office that it reads like a Trump tweet. We dodged a bullet when she didn’t win the Tory leadership.

  15. It does sound Trump like – yet she made it in the Commons during Leader of the House questions.

  16. Andrea Leadsom: ‘It is fantastic that he has been found not guilty. Election law on spending in 2015 was fragmented & unclear.’

    Which basically reads ‘he’s guilty but got away with it so it’s all good’

    What a stupid woman she really is

  17. We’ve known for a long time her stupidity, but this comment also reflects a shameless, venal edge that her dunderheadedness has generally overshadowed.

  18. Leadsom has shown her darker side before. Remember when she castigated the BBC for not.being ‘patriotic’ enough Brexit? She is also a proven liar (her CV is total bollocks).

    Anyone else think she is also lying about her age? My mother is 63 and looks so much younger than her.

  19. Her whole political career is one big, shameless lie. She did after all say that leaving the EU was the maddest idea ever before voting for it and then.

    And who can forget her comments about Theresa May not having a stake in society because she hasn’t had any children

    A decisively second rate politician and a third rate person

  20. I doubt she is lying about her age because that would not have survived CV gate.

  21. I enjoyed the Brexit drama, particularly the portrayal of Farage.

    Of those in it I’ve only interviewed Bernard Jenkin and they got his slightly camp, posh, pompous delivery just right. I doubt the Labour Lord will be very happy with how he was portrayed (an old duffer).

    Pity Kate Hoey wasn’t in it, although they did show Geldof abusing the fishermen.

    Most time is spent showing Dominic Cummings of Vote Leave and Craig Oliver of Stronger In.

  22. It was good i thought

  23. As for Tory women lying about their age: plenty have and admitted to doing so but not Leadsom.

    Teresa Gorman and Edwina Currie being the most high profile of the HRT exponents.

    As for politicos looking rough, just look at Glenda Jackson before and after being an MP. Or Judy Finnegan from the media. But it is usually the men. Indeed even those elected aged 30, looked 40 after a couple of years in the House from Stockton S to Rosedale & D.

    Tristan – your comment is both defamatory and illogical. Indeed Leadsom is famously a workaholic who drove to a selection meeting after giving birth. There are plenty of MPs with misleading CVs though, as I have detailed on here previously.

  24. I’m still not entirely sure what I thought of it. I know it was important for a drama like this to remain as close a retelling of actual events as possible, but unfortunately that faithfulness to the real story meant there were things missing from what I would have considered a complete narrative. What, for example, was Cummings’s motivation? Why was he so keen to run and win this campaign? We were never given any clues. How then am I meant to sympathise with him?

  25. Well I assume it’s because he wanted to leave and leaving it to Farge and Banks to blow it wasn’t an option.

    Im not sure youre supposed to sympathise. Hes clearly got a dissociative personality which is why Benedict Cumberbatch waa a good pick as he seems to play alot of characters like thar; Sherlock, Frankenstein, etc.

  26. Oh look, it’s Lancs Observer throwing the ‘defamatory’ word around again, and generally behaving like a shrill drama queen.

    Mrs Leadsom told so many lies on her original CV that she had to put out a ‘revised CV’ (look it up). Your attempt at bigging her up by saying that driving to some selection meeting just after giving birth actually encapsulates everything that is wrong with British politics; hard faced ambition beating genuine talent every tine. In short, she’s a nasty, lying, hypocritical c*** who you are very welcome to.

  27. It’s simply a fact that stating in writing that someone is a proven liar is defamatory,

    Something doesn’t cease to be a fact simply cos you don’t like the fact.

    Indeed shrill and drama queen aptly describes more appropriately to the little Tristan and Tabithas who believe the contrary to be the case. Although the cyberNats remain the chieftains of the ‘fingers in the ears’ brigade.

  28. More than 100 thousand people are reported to have joined Nigel Farage new brexit party.

  29. That’s amazing. They’re the third largest party if true. Larger than UKIP ever were. Bit embarrassing for the Lib Dems

  30. 100,000 already is impressive especially since the official launch hasn’t yet happened.

    It would be fascinating to find out the previous General
    election votes of the 100,000

  31. Presumably UKIP and Conservatives. Some Labour but probably not as large as Labour voters share of all Brexit voters.

  32. Brexit Party without the right wing tarnish of UKIP coupd do well

  33. I don’t think these 100,000 MEMBERS. I believe it’s people who’ve expressed SUPPORT for the Party on http://www.brexitparty.org. Their official website is not yet up and running.

Leave a Reply

NB: Before commenting please make sure you are familiar with the Comments Policy. UKPollingReport is a site for non-partisan discussion of polls.

You are not currently logged into UKPollingReport. Registration is not compulsory, but is strongly encouraged. Either login here, or register here (commenters who have previously registered on the Constituency Guide section of the site *should* be able to use their existing login)