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Duncan Carswell (left) and Arron Banks: ready to square up in Clacton.

You couldn’t make it up: UKIP battle begins

THE SNAP GENERAL ELECTION has not been welcome news for UKIP – the far right political party with no MPs but plenty of little Engand/anti-immigration views.

There was a time when all was going relatively well for UKIP.

They had goaded Coalition Government Prime Minister David Cameron into promising, at the 2015, General Election, that he would hold an “in/out” referendum.

Douglas Carswell, Tory MP for Clacton, defected to UKIP in 2014 – to give the impression that support for Brexit was growing among respectable politicians. He forced a by-election – which he fought, and won, on a UKIP ticket. He retained the seat at the 2015 General Election (with a very much reduced majority).

In June 2016, UKIP and their fellow “out” campaigners reached their final goal, winning the in/out referendum.

It’s not all been plain sailing for the Kippers, though. Carswell was their only candidate elected in 2015 – and even then he didn’t last the distance, resigning from UKIP and continuing to sit as an Independent on the basis that the referendum having been won, there was no further need for UKIP as a electoral choice. Alongside the Carswell saga there has been a mass of internal strife, bickering and leadership contests. David Cameron must look at them now and wondering why on earth he was so scared of such a rag bag outfit.

It looks like there’s more electoral fun due in June. Carswell will be fighting the Clacton seat again – this time as an Independent. Having left the Tories, he will be contesting the seat as an Independent – with the Tories fielding their own candidate. It seems there will also be a UKIP candidate – with Arron Banks (a major donor to UKIP, who never liked Carswell) having decided to stand in Clacton for UKIP. Banks has already declared that he “knows nothing about Clacton” and promised to spend the election campaign in the constituency, finding out what people’s concerns are.

This leaves us with the prospect of Duncan Carswell fighting a seat against candidates from two parties, for both of which he has stood in the same seat before. This is, of course, unless anything changes before close of nominations. Let’s hope the good electors of Clacton can keep up. You couldn’t make it up.

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