POLITICS

Douglas Carswell's Clacton Seat Is Most Ukip-Friendly In Britain, Say Experts

28/08/2014 14:33 BST | Updated 28/08/2014 14:59 BST

Tory MP Douglas Carswell, who announced today he was defecting to Ukip and triggering a by-election, has a good chance of being re-elected as according to experts his Clacton seat is the "most Ukip-friendly" in Britain.

After winning his Essex seat, originally called Harwich, in 2005 with a majority of over 1,000 votes, Carswell built on his success in the next election by gaining a majority of over 12,000 votes in 2010 - over half of those who voted in his constituency.

According to research by professor Matthew Goodwin, from Nottingham University, and Manchester University's Rob Ford, Carswell's Clacton voters are the most Ukip-friendly in the entire country.

See also:

Goodwin, co-author of the book Revolt On The Right, explained on his blog: "This is because the seat contains high concentrations of voters who are likely to be very receptive toward Nigel Farage: it has lots of pensioners, lots of voters without a degree, lots of voters with no educational qualifications and higher than average levels of economic disadvantage and unemployment.

"UKIP tend to thrive in such communities --older, less well educated and insecure voters provide the ideal breeding ground for Farage's army.

"Clacton is also very 'white', with high numbers of voters born in the country and few minorities, which again favours UKIP, who poll strongest in ethnically homogeneous areas."

Carswell's defection comes after internal polling by Ukip emerged that indicated there were 12 seats the party would target heavily, most of them currently Conservative-held.

The full list of top targets, according to Sky News, include: North Thanet, Forest of Dean, Sittingbourne and Sheppey, Aylesbury, East Worthing and Shoreham, Great Yarmouth, Thurrock, South Thanet, Eastleigh, Portsmouth South, Boston and Skegness, Grimsby.