Former Conservative MP Douglas Carswell’s coastal seat of Clacton is Ukip’s “most demographically favourable seat”, notes Matthew Goodwin in the FT. So by defecting and announcing his plan to run as Ukip candidate in the by-election, Carswell has “almost certainly handed the party its first elected member of parliament”.
His defection will be particularly welcomed on the left, where many believe Ukip is splitting the right and “clearing the path” for Labour’s return to power in May 2015. But this is “dangerously misguided”.
Ukip is growing fastest among the groups that Labour is struggling to win over: the over-65s [...]