Former Tory MP Douglas Carswell looks set to become Ukip’s first MP in the House of Commons today, as voters in Clacton-on-Sea, Essex, go to the polls.
Carswell, who left the Conservatives in late August triggering a by-election, is expected to win the seat for Nigel Farage, delivering a heavy blow to David Cameron in the process.
Polls have consistently put Carswell ahead, with one last week giving the Tory defector a 40-point lead over his former party. The seat has become a political battleground, with immigration and the UK’s membership of the European Union dominating the debate.
The Clacton by-election comes on the same day as one in Heywood and Middleton, sparked by the death of Labour MP Jim Dobbin. Ukip is expected to do well, but not win the seat outright.