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Thanet South: Where UKIP is the betting favourite for GE2015 even though the polls have it in 3rd place

July 4th, 2014

Could Farage be named as candidate quite soon?

At the time of the Newark by-election Nigel Farage indicated that he’d be announcing which seat he’d contest at GE2015 by “the end of the month”.

Well we’ve now moved into July and we haven’t heard. But the speculation continues that Farage will choose the Kent seat of Thanet South which was won by the Tories from LAB at GE2010.

It was one of the seats polled by Lord Ashcroft in May and this found that UKIP was in third place five points behind the Tories and four behind LAB.

Because of the speculation that the party leader will be the Ukip candidate Ladbrokes make the party the favourite to win. It’s probably a good choice for UKIP because on paper it looks like a tight three-way marginal where the winner might do it with barely a third of the votes.

    The big danger for Farage is that wherever he stands there’ll be anti-UKIP tactical voting. This happened in Newark and would almost certainly be experienced wherever Farage stands

It will, of course, attract a lot of media attention and party leaders tend to perform better than their parties in their seats that they contest at general elections.

I find the constituency a tricky one to call even without the Ukip dimension. Given current national polling it is right at the margin of what could be possible for Labour.

If Farage is Ukip candidate then the Tory and Labour will both be saying that they are the ones best placed to thwart him. Whatever I’d expect that the LDs share will be squeezed down much further than the poll.

  • An intriguing footnote is that one of the Tory hopefuls short-listed for the Thanet South selection is a former UKIP leader, albeit for just a short time in 1997.
  • Mike Smithson

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