Thanet District Council has changed hands between Labour and the Conservatives four times in the last 20 years. Since 2011, the Council has gone from minority Conservative control to minority Labour control. The Conservatives and Labour are level on 26 seats each, with 4 independent councillors. The lack of a working majority for both sides has made decision making and service reform slow and difficult.
UKIP, which won 7 out of the 8 Thanet seats in the Kent County Council election in 2013, is set to make big gains here. With Nigel Farage standing in South Thanet, a significant proportion of UKIP’s national resources are being spent here. The highest levels of unemployment in the South East make jobs and the economy a major issues in the former resort town.
While it is unlikely we will see UKIP gain outright control of the Council, they may well win a significant, and influential, block of seats.
Measurement and evaluation