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
European Parliament constituencyEast of England

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.


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.


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.

Changes proposed by the Boundary Commission[edit]

The Boundary Commission for England submitted their final proposals in respect of the Sixth Periodic Review of Westminster Constituencies (the 2018 review) in September 2018 which would reduce the total number of MPs from 650 to 600. Although the proposals were immediately laid before Parliament they were not brought forward by the Government for approval. Accordingly, they will not come into effect for the 2019 election due to take place on 12 December 2019, which will be contested using the constituency boundaries in place since 2010.

The Commission has recommended that the town of Harwich be re-united with Clacton, with St Osyth and Weeley transferred back out, leaving the boundaries very similar to the old Harwich seat, but named Harwich and Clacton.[4]

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 areas of East London such as Barking and Dagenham, leading to the town of Clacton becoming known as "Little Dagenham."[5]

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.

On 28 August 2014, Carswell announced his defection to UKIP.[6] 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.[7] 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.

On 25 March 2017, Carswell announced that he was quitting UKIP to sit as an independent MP,[8] 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".[9]

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.[10] 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.


General election 2019: Clacton
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Labour Kevin Bonavia[11]
Liberal Democrat Callum Robertson[12]
Green Chris Southall[13]
Conservative Giles Watling
General election 2017: Clacton[14][15][16]
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 Democrat 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
Turnout 44,145 63.7 Decrease 0.3
Conservative gain from UKIP Swing Increase 30.7
General election 2015: Clacton[17][18]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
UKIP Douglas Carswell 19,642 44.4 Decrease 15.3
Conservative Giles Watling 16,205 36.7 Increase 12.1
Labour Tim Young 6,364 14.4 Increase 3.2
Green Chris Southall 1,184 2.7 Increase 0.8
Liberal Democrat David Grace 812 1.8 Increase 0.5
Majority 3,437 7.8
Turnout 44,207 64.1 Increase 12.9
UKIP hold Swing Decrease 13.7
By-election 2014: Clacton[19]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
UKIP Douglas Carswell 21,113 59.7 New
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 Democrat 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
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 Democrat 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
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. ^ Boundary Commission for England, 2018 Review (September 2018). "Final recommendations report" (PDF).
  5. ^ "Why have the white British left London?". BBC News.
  6. ^ "Tory MP Douglas Carswell defects to UKIP and forces by-election". BBC News.
  7. ^ "Clacton by-election candidates". BBC News.
  8. ^ "Job done – thank UKIP!". 25 March 2017. Archived from the original on 25 March 2017. Retrieved 25 March 2017.
  9. ^ "Douglas Carswell quitting UKIP to become independent MP for Clacton". 25 March 2017 – via
  10. ^ "Douglas Carswell will not stand in general election". 20 April 2017 – via
  11. ^ twitter. 10 November 2019 title=Kevin Bonavia twitter title=Kevin Bonavia twitter Check |url= value (help). Missing pipe in: |url= (help); Missing or empty |title= (help)
  12. ^ "Liberal Democrat Parliamentary candidates". Mark Pack. 25 November 2018.
  13. ^ "Prospective General Election Candidates". Green Party. Retrieved 12 October 2019.
  14. ^ "Statement of Persons Nominated – Clacton Constituency" (PDF). Tendring District Council. Retrieved 12 May 2017.
  15. ^ "Knife death mother in MP election bid for Clacton". 21 April 2017 – via
  16. ^ "Norfolk North and Penistone & Stocksbridge choose their candidates. Latest selection news. – Conservative Home".
  17. ^ "Election Data 2015". Electoral Calculus. Archived from the original on 17 October 2015. Retrieved 17 October 2015.
  18. ^ "Clacton parliamentary constituency – Election 2015 – BBC News" – via
  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]