Clacton no longer target seat for Labour

LABOUR has insisted it will not abandon its bid to win back Clacton at the next general election, despite dropping the constituency as a target seat.

The shadow cabinet’s list of 106 target seats does not included the seaside constituency.

A Labour candidate will stand, but little national resources will be spent on trying to win the seat.

Former MP Ivan Henderson won his seat during the 1997 Labour landslide, but lost to Tory Douglas Carswell in 2005 by just 920 votes.

At the last election in 2010, Mr Carswell massively increased his majority over Mr Henderson, gaining 53 per cent of vote, compared to just 25 per cent for Labour.

Mr Henderson said Labour was not abandoning the Clacton and Harwich seats, but had to strategically target the areas it was most likely to win.

He said: “All parties are finding it harder and harder to raise funds in the current economic climate, so cannot cover every constituency.

“They have to limit their resources to target where they have the most impact.

“What we have to do here us fill the gap with our own fundraising and get our own local resources and foot soldiers out there.

“The Labour policy is not to give up on any seat and we will fight for every council, European and parliamentary seat.”

Mr Henderson said that despite Mr Carswell’s increased majority, the influence of smaller parties could help Labour regain Clacton.

In the 1997 election, votes for the then UK Referendum Party helped him to beat the Conservatives by a narrow majority.

“The issue here will be whether UKIP stand and how strong their support is,” he said.

“In 2001 I won the election without having to rely on others, but in 1997 the Tories lost about 1,200 votes to the Referendum Party.”

Mr Henderson has yet to decide whether he will put himself forward for the next election.

Mr Carswell did not want to comment on Labour’s plans, but added: “I do not take anything for granted and I try to work as hard to serve life-long Labour members of the public in the constituency as I do anyone else.

“I’m not concerned about whether UKIP stand as I believe we need an open competition – the more that stand the better.”

Comments (6)

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7:33pm Fri 18 Jan 13

jeffbridges says...

Has Labour lost faith in its onetime backbone of voting faithful,
the pensioners who many were onetime labour diehards?
the many retirees who moved to safer living areas like clacton, holland and district came mainly from eastend london.
they done well for themselves years ago when offered to purchase there homes at that time, then rolling foreward the years, had enough to move out the humdrum life in bigger cities, to the rest of clactons elderly residents.
its them residents who will vote,
and just maybe Labour knows this.
Has Labour lost faith in its onetime backbone of voting faithful, the pensioners who many were onetime labour diehards? the many retirees who moved to safer living areas like clacton, holland and district came mainly from eastend london. they done well for themselves years ago when offered to purchase there homes at that time, then rolling foreward the years, had enough to move out the humdrum life in bigger cities, to the rest of clactons elderly residents. its them residents who will vote, and just maybe Labour knows this. jeffbridges

9:03am Sat 19 Jan 13

bullyboy says...

labour wont need resources people now are sick to death with this so called goverment they are parasites today this goverment has just wasted one million pounds on olympic tickets for themselves why the elderly are waiting hours for a ambulance in this area due to cut backs fares going up and up whilst the transport minister is being driven to work in a chauffeur driven car costing the tax payer £80.000 a year i just hope that people will now wake up and realize that we are not in this together only them living off you
labour wont need resources people now are sick to death with this so called goverment they are parasites today this goverment has just wasted one million pounds on olympic tickets for themselves why the elderly are waiting hours for a ambulance in this area due to cut backs fares going up and up whilst the transport minister is being driven to work in a chauffeur driven car costing the tax payer £80.000 a year i just hope that people will now wake up and realize that we are not in this together only them living off you bullyboy

2:04pm Sat 19 Jan 13

Ossiepith says...

It's all done purely on numbers. The Labour Party doesn't have the money the Conservative Party has so has to concentrate on the marginals. Sadly Clacton is not a marginal seat. Ivan Henderson won the seat when it was part of the larger Harwich constituency. A lot of his votes came from Harwich. This doesn't mean, I am sure, that the local Labour Party will not be fighting the seat hard, they just won't have any national resources devoted to it.
It's all done purely on numbers. The Labour Party doesn't have the money the Conservative Party has so has to concentrate on the marginals. Sadly Clacton is not a marginal seat. Ivan Henderson won the seat when it was part of the larger Harwich constituency. A lot of his votes came from Harwich. This doesn't mean, I am sure, that the local Labour Party will not be fighting the seat hard, they just won't have any national resources devoted to it. Ossiepith

6:57pm Sun 20 Jan 13

FTWJackal says...

Are you sure its not just that Clacton has so many issues and problems, that the Labour candidate just won't have enough hours in the day to sort this dump out ?
Are you sure its not just that Clacton has so many issues and problems, that the Labour candidate just won't have enough hours in the day to sort this dump out ? FTWJackal

9:31pm Mon 21 Jan 13

AllforChris says...

I think this Government works for themselves and so does Tendring District Council!!!
I think this Government works for themselves and so does Tendring District Council!!! AllforChris

9:34pm Mon 21 Jan 13

AllforChris says...

I can rememeber when Ivan Henderson had this seat- he did a lot for the residents- how times have changed. Currently, we all go without, whilst a lot of MP's live without stress or worry over how they will pay their next heating bill. Something has gone wrong along the line- we usesd to care about others in this Country- now that care has gone in favour of the 'fast buck'. Where will it end?
I can rememeber when Ivan Henderson had this seat- he did a lot for the residents- how times have changed. Currently, we all go without, whilst a lot of MP's live without stress or worry over how they will pay their next heating bill. Something has gone wrong along the line- we usesd to care about others in this Country- now that care has gone in favour of the 'fast buck'. Where will it end? AllforChris

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