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
Population85,359 (2011 census)[1]
Electorate67,447 (December 2010)[2]
Major settlementsClacton, Frinton-on-Sea and Walton-on-the-Naze
Current constituency
Member of ParliamentGiles Watling (Conservative)
Number of membersOne
Created fromHarwich

Clacton is a constituency[n 1] in the House of Commons of the UK Parliament, containing the town Clacton-on-Sea and also the towns of Frinton-on-Sea and Walton-on-the-Naze. It has been represented since 2017 by Giles Watling of the Conservative Party. It was created in 2010; Douglas Carswell, who was previously the Conservative MP for Harwich, won seat at the general election that year. In 2014, Carswell announced his defection to the UK Independence Party (UKIP); this triggered a by-election in the constituency, which Carswell won with a large majority, becoming UKIP's first elected MP. Carswell retained his seat at the 2015 general election; this was the only constituency won by UKIP at the election. In March 2017, Carswell left UKIP and became an independent MP; he did not stand for re-election in the 2017 general election, and the seat was gained by Watling for the Conservatives.


The seat was created for the 2010 general election following a review of the Parliamentary representation of Essex by the Boundary Commission for England. It was formed from the abolished Harwich constituency, excluding the town of Harwich itself and surrounding areas.


Map of current boundaries

The District of Tendring wards of Alton Park, Beaumont and Thorpe, Bockings Elm, Burrsville, Frinton, Golf Green, Hamford, Haven, Holland and Kirby, Homelands, Little Clacton and Weeley, Pier, Rush Green, St Bartholomews, St James, St Johns, St Marys, St Osyth and Point Clear, St Pauls and Walton.[3]

The new seat consists essentially of the former Harwich constituency, minus the town of Harwich itself and a few nearby villages, plus St Osyth and Weeley, transferred 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. It contains the towns of Clacton-on-Sea, Frinton-on-Sea and Walton-on-the-Naze, as well as surrounding villages.

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 retired people, and low numbers of non-White residents. The area has experienced a considerable influx of White British families from multicultural areas of East London such as Barking and Dagenham, leading to the town of Clacton becoming known as "Little Dagenham."[4]

The village of Jaywick was, in both the Indices of deprivation 2010 and 2015, identified as the single most deprived LSOA in 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]

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

The constituency's Member of Parliament until 3 May 2017, was Douglas Carswell, who had previously sat for the Harwich constituency since gaining that seat for the Conservatives in 2005.[5][6]

On 28 August 2014, Carswell announced his defection to UKIP.[7] Although not required to seek re-election following a change of party allegiance, Carswell triggered a by-election, held on 9 October 2014, in which he was elected as the UKIP candidate.[8] He became the first elected UKIP MP.[9] Carswell retained the seat for UKIP at the 2015 general election, seeing his majority cut by roughly three-quarters, with an 11% swing to the Conservatives. Carswell then became UKIP's sole MP in the House of Commons, as Mark Reckless, a fellow Conservative defector, lost his seat.[10]

On 25 March 2017, Carswell announced on his blog that he was quitting UKIP to sit as an independent MP,[11] 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".[12]

After Prime Minister Theresa May called a snap election on 19 April 2017, Carswell announced that he would not stand for re-election, and he endorsed the Conservative Party candidate Giles Watling.[13] Watling was elected at the 2017 general election; at that election, UKIP's share of the vote fell by 36.8%, one of its largest declines in the country, and the subsequent Conservative victory in Clacton marked the first time every constituency in Essex had returned a Conservative MP since 1987.


Graph of election results in Clacton, including the 2014 by-election (minor parties that never received more than 5% of the vote are omitted)
General election 2019: Clacton[14]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Giles Watling 31,438 72.3 Increase 11.1
Labour Kevin Bonavia 6,736 15.5 Decrease 9.9
Liberal Democrats Callum Robertson 2,541 5.8 Increase 3.8
Green Chris Southall 1,225 2.8 Increase 1.2
Independent Andy Morgan 1,099 2.5 New
Independent Colin Bennett 243 0.6 New
Monster Raving Loony Just-John Sexton 224 0.5 New
Majority 24,702 56.8 Increase 21.0
Turnout 43,506 61.3 Decrease 2.4
Conservative hold Swing Increase 10.5
General election 2017: Clacton[14][15][16][17]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Giles Watling 27,031 61.2 Increase 24.5
Labour Natasha Osben 11,203 25.4 Increase 11.0
UKIP Paul Oakley 3,357 7.6 Decrease 36.8
Liberal Democrats David Grace 887 2.0 Increase 0.2
Green Chris Southall 719 1.6 Decrease 1.1
Independent Caroline Shearer 449 1.0 New
English Democrat Robin Tilbrook 289 0.7 New
Independent Nick Martin 210 0.5 New
Majority 15,828 35.8 N/A
Turnout 44,145 63.7 Decrease 0.4
Conservative gain from UKIP Swing Increase 30.7
General election 2015: Clacton[18][14]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
UKIP Douglas Carswell 19,642 44.4 N/A
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 Democrats David Grace 812 1.8 Decrease 11.1
Majority 3,437 7.7 N/A
Turnout 44,207 64.1 Decrease 0.1
UKIP hold Swing Increase 1.6
By-election 2014: Clacton[19]
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[20] 3,957 11.2 Decrease 13.8
Green Chris Southall 688 1.9 Increase 0.7
Liberal Democrats Andy Graham 483 1.3 Decrease 11.6
Independent Bruce Sizer 205 0.6 New
Monster Raving Loony Alan "Howling Laud" Hope[21] 127 0.4 New
Independent Charlotte Rose 56 0.2 New
Majority 12,404 35.1 N/A
Turnout 35,338 51.2 Decrease 13.0
UKIP gain from Conservative Swing Increase 44.1
General election 2010: Clacton[22][23]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Douglas Carswell 22,867 53.0 Increase 8.6
Labour Ivan Henderson 10,799 25.0 Decrease 10.9
Liberal Democrats Michael Green 5,577 12.9 Decrease 0.6
BNP Jim Taylor 1,975 4.6 New
Tendring First Terry Allen 1,078 2.5 New
Green Chris Southall 535 1.2 New
Independent Chris Humphrey 292 0.7 New
Majority 12,068 28.0 Increase 19.5
Turnout 43,123 64.2 Increase 1.6
Conservative hold Swing Increase 9.7

See also[edit]


  1. ^ A county constituency (for the purposes of election expenses and type of returning officer)


  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. ^ "The Parliamentary Constituencies (England) Order 2007". Retrieved 11 September 2019.
  4. ^ "Why have the white British left London?". BBC News.
  5. ^ "Parliamentary Career for Mr Douglas Carswell". UK Parliament. Archived from the original on 22 April 2020. Retrieved 22 April 2020.
  6. ^ "Result: Harwich". BBC News. 2005. Archived from the original on 22 April 2020. Retrieved 22 April 2020.
  7. ^ "Tory MP Douglas Carswell defects to UKIP and forces by-election". BBC News.
  8. ^ "Clacton by-election candidates". BBC News.
  9. ^ "UKIP gains first elected MP with Clacton win". BBC News. 10 October 2014. Archived from the original on 22 April 2020. Retrieved 22 April 2020.
  10. ^ "Nigel Farage resigns as UKIP leader as the party vote rises". BBC News. 8 May 2015. Archived from the original on 22 April 2020. Retrieved 22 April 2020.
  11. ^ "Job done – thank UKIP!". 25 March 2017. Archived from the original on 25 March 2017. Retrieved 25 March 2017.
  12. ^ "Douglas Carswell quitting UKIP to become independent MP for Clacton". BBC News. 25 March 2017.
  13. ^ "Douglas Carswell will not stand in general election". 20 April 2017 – via
  14. ^ a b c "Clacton Parliamentary constituency". BBC News. BBC. Retrieved 18 November 2019.
  15. ^ "Statement of Persons Nominated – Clacton Constituency" (PDF). Tendring District Council. Retrieved 12 May 2017.
  16. ^ "Knife death mother in MP election bid for Clacton". 21 April 2017 – via
  17. ^ "Norfolk North and Penistone & Stocksbridge choose their candidates. Latest selection news. – Conservative Home".
  18. ^ "Election Data 2015". Electoral Calculus. Archived from the original on 17 October 2015. Retrieved 17 October 2015.
  19. ^ Lodge, Will (16 September 2014). "Clacton: Carswell strolls to victory for UKIP at Clacton by-election". East Anglian Daily Times. Retrieved 12 October 2014.
  20. ^ "Poll: Is Clacton a town that's going nowhere?". Archived from the original on 10 September 2014.
  21. ^ "Clacton on sea by election". 11 September 2014.
  22. ^ "Election Data 2010". Electoral Calculus. Archived from the original on 26 July 2013. Retrieved 17 October 2015.
  23. ^ "Clacton". BBC News. 7 May 2010.

External links[edit]