Clacton: Final full day of campaigning in the by-election contest - meet the candidates here

Andy Graham, Liberal Democrat candidate for Clacton, speaks to Sylvia Harper on the doorstep in Clac

Andy Graham, Liberal Democrat candidate for Clacton, speaks to Sylvia Harper on the doorstep in Clacton. - Credit: Archant

Candidates in the Clacton by-election will be making a final push for votes today during the last full day of campaigning before polling begins.

Douglas Carswell, campaigning in Frinton yesterday.

Douglas Carswell, campaigning in Frinton yesterday. - Credit: Archant

The campaign trail was hotting up yesterday as the eight people looking for votes ramped up their efforts.

Home Secretary Theresa May visited the town to give her backing to Conservative candidate Giles Watling.

The EADT spoke to the four main party candidates to find out what they had been up to.

Shadow Business Secretary Chuka Umunna visited the Clacton College, part of Colchester Institute, yesterday to speak to students and apprentices before joining Labour candidate Tim Young on the campaign trail.

Shadow business secretary Chuka Umunna visits Clacton College, with a member of staff and Clacton La

Shadow business secretary Chuka Umunna visits Clacton College, with a member of staff and Clacton Labour candidate Tim Young. - Credit: Archant

Mr Umunna said: “People feel disconnected with the economic and political system, and our job is not just to understand that anger but to do something about it.

“The principle way is to make sure they have the skills to succeed, and that is what this college is all about.

“It is not just about ensuring people have a job but good quality work which is secure and affords some degree of resilience. That is not the case for too many people in Clacton where almost one-third of people are in poverty, many are earning less than four years ago and unemployment is above the national average.”

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Mr Young added: “We are seeing people from Clacton gaining qualifications and then having to move. We need to incentivise more employers to Clacton, because these young people want to stay here to make their homes.”

Liberal Democrat candidate Andy Graham was yesterday out knocking on doors around the Peter Bruff ward of Clacton.

He said: “Campaigning is going really well and people are talking on the doorstep.

“People appreciate us listening even if they don’t agree with us.

“Street lights have been a big issue, people feel very unsafe and the county council has been ignoring them.

“Housing is a major issue. There is no point building thousands of houses if there is no infrastructure, jobs or doctors to go with them. It needs to be joined up.

“As an MP I will be able to influence that both at local and national level.”

Douglas Carswell, the former MP who triggered the by-election by resigning when he left the Tories to join UKIP, campaigned in Holland-on-Sea and Frinton yesterday.

He said: “People are very concerned about a lot of issues – local ones such as a shortage of GPs and street lights, and national ones such as a failure to control our borders and the fact the economic recovery seems to exist only on Whitehall spreadsheets and not people’s pockets.

“If I am the MP my priority will be improving the local area.

“I may have changed party but I am still me. I think I am more me as I am not governed by the whips office.

“I tried to help and intervene in the street lights switch off but I could never go for it fully because I had to be mindful that Essex County Council is a Tory fiefdom. I’m not going to have to do that any more.”