Ukip can almost taste electoral success if yet another poll is anything to go by.
The Euro-sceptic party is apparently on par to win a landslide victory at the Clacton by-election on 9 October, after a Tory defector stood down from his post.
Douglas Carswell, who left the Conservatives last month to join the Ukip ranks, will be running for his previous post under his new party and could become Ukip’s first ever MP.
Lord Ashcroft, a Conservative peer, conducted a survey which found that Ukip holds a 32-point lead over the Tories in the Clacton seat.
Writing on ConservativeHome, he said that his Clacton poll showed how “more than half (59 per cent) of those who voted Conservative at the last general election said they would switch to UKIP, as did 45 per cent of 2010 Labour voters.
Ukip’s rising stars
Ukip’s rising stars
1/7 Suzanne Evans
A Tory defector who has only been in the party for a year. She was rapidly appointed national communities spokesman. A former BBC reporter who now runs a PR agency, she has won plaudits within the party for her confidence in front of the camera.
2/7 Steven Woolfe
A barrister from Manchester whose father was mixed-race and mother was white. He was invited to become financial services spokesman before he had even joined Ukip. Now an MEP, his ethnicity and northern upbringing are in strong contrast to the Ukip stereotype.
3/7 Margot Parker
A local businesswoman who impressed Ukip’s hierarchy with her spirited campaign in the Corby and East Northants by-election 18 months ago. She was elected as an MEP for the East Midlands last week. She has a no-nonsense style which party chiefs believe will be persuasive on the national stage.
4/7 Patrick O’Flynn
A former Daily Express journalist who became Ukip’s director of communications and was a strategist behind the Euro-elections campaign. An experienced performer on television who is close to Mr Farage. With his media background he could become a culture spokesman.
5/7 Amjid Bashir
A restaurateur of Pakistani lineage who is one three Ukip MEPs representing Yorkshire and the Humber and currently speaks for the party on small business. After his election he said: “Here I am... of Asian birth, of Asian parentage, Muslim, and I have been selected by this so-called racist party. It disproves that completely.”
6/7 Louise Bours
Until her combative appearance alongside Piers Morgan and Joey Barton on Question Time last Thursday, she was one of Ukip’s lesser-known faces. The new MEP for the north-west is a former actress whose full name is Louise van de Bours. Her northern credentials could come in handy in wooing Labour-leaning voters.
7/7 Paul Nuttall
Long serving activist from Merseyside who became Ukip’s chairman in 2008 and deputy leader two years later. He is a key weapon in the party’s attempts to broaden its appeal to working-class voters in the North of England.
“Most of the Clacton electorate, including nearly nine out of ten UKIP supporters and more than half of Tories, expected Douglas Carswell to hold the seat for his new party.”
Lord Ashcroft’s results follow a Survation poll by the Mail on Sunday, which recorded Ukip having an astounding 44-point lead over the Tories.
It showed 64 per cent of voters were heading for Ukip, with 20 per cent voting Conservative, 13 Labour and 2 the Liberal Democrats.
For Lord Ashcroft, these results were 56 per cent Ukip, 24 per cent for the Conservatives, 16 for Labour and again 2 for the Liberal Democrats.
His poll also found that over half of Clacton’s voters believe Carswell to be “more principled than most politicians”, with two thirds stating that they intended to vote for him because he is the “best candidate” – reasoning slightly removed from the usual ‘dissatisfaction with mainstream politics’ one given by Ukip supporters.
The Conservatives have yet to nominate a candidate for the by-election, with Matthew Offord MP today calling on Boris Johnson to step up to the plate, despite the London Mayor having already laughed off the suggestion.
“The first objection really, is that I've already whacked in the CV for Uxbridge. It would seem a bit eccentric.,” Mr Johnson told LBC Radio yesterday.
Mr Offord, however, believes Mr Johnson should be a “serious consideration” due to his “individual personality” which “would attract not just the traditional Conservative voter, but many of the other parties – including Ukip,” he said.
Prime Minister David Cameron has also said that his party is going to fight tooth and nail for the seat: "Let's go down to Clacton, do the job, fight for every vote," said according to the Mail.
Not all those in Clacton are enthused by Mr Carswell's running, including Ukip's current candidate for the seat - Roger Lord.
He told Buzzfeed that he will be "carrying on" with his fight for the seat.Reuse content