Clacton (UK Parliament constituency)

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Coordinates: 51°50′N 1°09′E / 51.83°N 1.15°E / 51.83; 1.15

County constituency
for the House of Commons
Outline map
Boundary of Clacton in Essex for the 2010 general election.
Outline map
Location of Essex within England.
County Essex
Population 85,359 (2011 census)[1]
Electorate 67,447 (December 2010)[2]
Major settlements Clacton, Frinton-on-Sea and Walton-on-the-Naze
Current constituency
Created 2010
Member of parliament Vacant (parliament dissolved)
Number of members One
Created from Harwich
European Parliament constituency East of England

Clacton is a constituency[n 1] represented in the House of Commons of the UK Parliament.

Clacton was represented by Douglas Carswell until 3 April 2017. Carswell defected to the UK Independence Party (UKIP) on 28 August 2014 from the Conservative Party. He resigned to force a by-election, held on 9 October 2014, in which he stood as the UKIP candidate and was re-elected.[3] Carswell retained the seat for UKIP at the subsequent general election.[n 2] On 25 March 2017, he left UKIP to sit as an Independent.[4] After Prime Minister Theresa May called a snap election on 19 April 2017, Carswell announced that he would not contest the election.


Following their review of parliamentary representation in Essex, the Boundary Commission created this as a new seat, consisting of essentially the former Harwich constituency, minus the town of Harwich itself and a few nearby villages, plus St. Osyth and Weeley, moved from the old North Essex constituency. Apart from the North Sea it is surrounded by the Harwich and North Essex constituency on all other sides.

This new seat contains the towns of Clacton-on-Sea, Frinton-on-Sea and Walton-on-the-Naze, as well as surrounding villages.

The electoral wards used to form the Clacton constituency are entirely within the district of Tendring

  • Alton Park, Beaumont and Thorpe, Bockings Elm, Burrsville, Frinton, Golf Green, Hamford, Haven, Holland and Kirby, Homelands, Little Clacton and Weeley, Peter Bruff, Pier, Rush Green, St Bartholomews, St James, St Johns, St Marys, St Osyth and Point Clear, St Pauls and Walton.

Constituency profile[edit]

The new seat is almost completely coastal, comprising seaside resorts along the Tendring peninsula. It shares an inland border with just one constituency – Harwich and North Essex.

Like some other coastal seats, such as Christchurch in Dorset, the electorate is one of the oldest in the country, with a high proportion of retirees, and low numbers of non-white residents. The area has experienced a considerable influx of White British families from areas of East London such as Barking and Dagenham, leading to the town of Clacton becoming known as "Little Dagenham."[5]

The stark exception is the village of Jaywick, which suffers from extremely high levels of deprivation.

In Both the Indices of deprivation 2010 and 2015 an area of Jaywick was identified as the single most deprived LSOA in all of England, out of around 32,000, with unemployment estimated at almost 50%. Many homes are essentially beach huts and lack basic amenities. In the 2007 Index, this area was the third most deprived in the country.

Members of Parliament[edit]

The constituency's member of parliament until 2017 was Douglas Carswell, who had previously sat for the Harwich constituency since gaining that seat for the Conservatives in 2005.

On 28 August 2014, Carswell announced his defection to UKIP.[3] Although not required to seek re-election following a change of party allegiance, Carswell triggered a by-election in which he was elected as the UKIP candidate.[6] He was re-elected as MP in the 2015 general election, seeing his majority cut by roughly three-quarters, an 11% swing to the Conservatives. Mr Carswell then became UKIP's only MP in the Commons, as Mark Reckless, a fellow Conservative defector, lost his seat.

On 25 March 2017, Carswell announced that he was quitting UKIP to sit as an independent MP, saying that "I switched to UKIP because I desperately wanted us to leave the EU. Now we can be certain that that is going to happen, I have decided that I will be leaving UKIP".[7]

Carswell is not standing for re-election and has endorsed Conservative candidate Giles Watling.[8]

Election Member Party
2010 Douglas Carswell Conservative
2014 by-election UKIP
Mar 2017 Independent


General Election 2017: Clacton[9]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Liberal Democrat David Grace
Independent Nick Martin N/A
UKIP Paul Oakley
Labour Natasha Osben
Independent Caroline Shearer[10] N/A
Green Chris Southall
English Democrat Robin Tilbrook N/A
Conservative Giles Watling[11]
General Election 2015: Clacton[12][13]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
UKIP Douglas Carswell 19,642 44.4 Increase 44.4
Conservative Giles Watling 16,205 36.7 Decrease 16.3
Labour Tim Young 6,364 14.4 Decrease 10.6
Green Chris Southall 1,184 2.7 Increase 1.5
Liberal Democrat David Grace 812 1.8 Decrease 11.2
Majority 3,437 7.8 Steady
Turnout 44,207 64.1 Increase 0.1
UKIP gain from Conservative Swing Increase 30.4
By-election 2014: Clacton[14]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
UKIP Douglas Carswell 21,113 59.7 N/A
Conservative Giles Watling 8,709 24.6 Decrease 28.4
Labour Tim Young[15] 3,957 11.2 Decrease 13.8
Green Chris Southall 688 1.9 Increase 0.7
Liberal Democrat Andy Graham 483 1.3 Decrease 11.6
Independent Bruce Sizer 205 0.6 N/A
Monster Raving Loony Alan "Howling Laud" Hope[16] 127 0.4 N/A
Independent Charlotte Rose 56 0.2 N/A
Majority 12,404 35.1 N/A
Turnout 35,338 51.2 Decrease 13.0
UKIP gain from Conservative Swing Increase44.1
General Election 2010: Clacton[17][18]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Conservative Douglas Carswell 22,867 53.0 +8.6
Labour Ivan Henderson 10,799 25.0 −10.9
Liberal Democrat Michael Green 5,577 12.9 −0.6
BNP Jim Taylor 1,975 4.6 N/A
Tendring First Terry Allen 1,078 2.5 N/A
Green Chris Southall 535 1.2 N/A
Independent Chris Humphrey 292 0.7 N/A
Majority 12,068 28.0 N/A
Turnout 43,123 64.2 +1.6
Conservative hold Swing +9.7

See also[edit]


  1. ^ A county constituency (for the purposes of election expenses and type of returning officer)
  2. ^ As with all constituencies, the constituency elects one Member of Parliament (MP) by the first past the post system of election at least every five years.


  1. ^ "Clacton: Usual Resident Population, 2011". Neighbourhood Statistics. Office for National Statistics. Retrieved 2 March 2015. 
  2. ^ "Electorate Figures – Boundary Commission for England". 2011 Electorate Figures. Boundary Commission for England. 4 March 2011. Archived from the original on 6 November 2010. Retrieved 13 March 2011. 
  3. ^ a b "Tory MP Douglas Carswell defects to UKIP and forces by-election". BBC News. 
  4. ^ "Job done – thank UKIP!". 25 March 2017. 
  5. ^ "Why have the white British left London?". BBC News. 
  6. ^ "Clacton by-election candidates". BBC News. 
  7. ^
  8. ^ [1]
  9. ^ "Statement of Persons Nominated - Clacton Constituency" (PDF). Tendring District Council. Retrieved 12 May 2017. 
  10. ^ [2]
  11. ^ [3]
  12. ^ "Election Data 2015". Electoral Calculus. Archived from the original on 17 October 2015. Retrieved 17 October 2015. 
  13. ^ "Clacton parliamentary constituency – Election 2015 – BBC News" – via 
  14. ^ Lodge, Will (16 September 2014). "Clacton: Carswell strolls to victory for UKIP at Clacton by-election". East Anglian Daily Times. Retrieved 12 Oct 2014. 
  15. ^ Poll: Is Clacton a town that’s going nowhere?
  16. ^ "Page not found – The Official Monster Raving Loony Party". 
  17. ^ "Election Data 2010". Electoral Calculus. Archived from the original on 26 July 2013. Retrieved 17 October 2015. 
  18. ^ "Clacton". BBC News. 7 May 2010. 

External links[edit]