The UK Independence Party (UKIP) is targeting the seaside constituency ofClacton-on-Sea to win its first ever seat in parliament.
Here’s why its candidate, Douglas Carswell (above), is likely to win, in a series of charts we contructed from census data:
1. Clacton has a far higher proportion of over 65s than in the rest of the country. UKIP tends to appeal more to older people than the young.
For those who are over 60, immigration tends to be one of the most important electoral issue — ahead of the economy. UKIP has pledged to “regain control of our borders and of immigration” by pulling Britain out of the EU.
Clacton is significantly less ethnically diverse than the rest of the country with 97.4% of residents describing themselves as white in the 2011 census, versus a national average of 86%.
YouGov polling suggests UKIP has stronger support among those earning less than £20,000 ($32,000) a year. Clacton has a significantly higher proportion of households with no adults in employment than in the country as a whole.
And according to the 2011 census, its residents also tend to be less well educated than the national average, another factor that plays into UKIP’s traditional areas of support — people who left school at 15 or 16.
So at least on paper Clacton looks like an ideal place for UKIP to try to gain their first foothold in parliament.
The fact that so many of the local factors conspire in their favour against the national averages, however, may also indicate the scale of the task the party faces if Farage is to mount a serious challenge to Britain’s major parties in future.
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