Nigel Farage is edging closer to confirming he will run for parliament in Thanet South at the general election.
Ukip activists have reportedly said Mr Farage is on a shortlist for the seat - although aides to the party leader insisted no list had been drawn up.
Rozanne Duncan, the secretary of the local branch, told the Financial Times: "It is the worst-kept secret in town. We now have two names on the list and one of them is Mr Farage. Whether he will get selected or not is another matter... although I'd be surprised if he doesn't."
Farage has previously dropped heavy hints that he will seek election in Thanet South - where Tory incumbent Laura Sandys is standing down. The MEP was born in Kent and lives nearby.
A Ukip spokeswoman said: "The branch are starting to receive nominations from people interested in standing, but there's no shortlist of candidates yet.
"Even when there is a shortlist of candidates finalised for hustings, that list will be kept confidential. We are still a long way off announcing a candidate for Thanet South."
Farage unsuccessfully challenged Commons Speaker John Bercow in his Buckingham seat in 2010. However, since then Ukip has made some significant electoral advances - including coming top in European polls in Ma