Nigel Farage and UKIP are facing their “biggest political challenge yet” after the seat of Thanet South became the most contested single seat in a British General Election. Party officials at UKIP and the Conservatives confirmed they have visited each house eleven times between them, and plan to “ramp up” over the next few weeks.
Voters have been deluged with thousands of party activists delivering hundreds of thousands of leaflets. Campaigners for the two frontrunners, UKIP leader Nigel Farage and the Conservative Craig Mackinlay, have also been joined by Labour, which is running a major offensive in its own heartlands.
UKIP claim to have fully canvassed the entire electorate seven times, whilst the Conservatives have done it four times. Both sides agree this is the biggest single campaign of the 2015 general election and believe they are setting the record for the most contested seat ever.
On Saturday both parties ran major action days, with activists flooding in from across the country. UKIP have backed up their ‘ground war’ with the familiar public meetings that they hold in each target seat. The Conservatives have despatched senior politicians and their latest celebrity backer, Sol Campbell.
A senior Conservative told Breitbart London: “The prize is very big, Nigel Farage says he’ll give up if he loses so the party are throwing the kitchen sink at the seat. It’s hard to say who is going to win this.
“Thanet is not like Clacton, there are large parts of the constituency that are classic Tory heartlands and may well stay with us.”
So far UKIP have been polling behind the Conservatives as a party, but this does not include Nigel Farage’s person vote. When voters are told Nigel Farage is UKIPs candidate they back him with an 11 percent majority.
A UKIP party manager said: “This is UKIPs biggest political challenge yet. We think we will win but it’s not going to be easy. We’ve covered the seat seven times already, and will be putting far more resources in as the election gets closer.”
Campaigns of this magnitude normally only take place in marginal constituencies holding a by-election. In general elections political parties often find it hard to spare the sort of manpower needed to run operations of this scale.