In South Thanet, Nigel Farage is everywhere and nowhere. He’s the subject of every political conversation and his beaming face stares out from countless posters and billboards. But the man himself is absent. No-one I speak to in the area – supporter or opponent – has seen him. He refuses to appear at debates with other candidates. His own debates are ticket-only, reportedly so he can eject anyone who disagrees with him. Ukip themselves won’t return my calls and there is no office presence in the seat.
The day after I visit Thanet, Farage is on the BBC criticising it for not giving Ukip fair coverage in the election. But the irony is that Farage seems to be using his national media presence to batter his opponents in South Thanet into submission rather than taking them on face-to-face.
As he prepared for his tour of London media studios, the rest of Westminster seemed to be heading down to Thanet. On the day I visit, foreign secretary Phillip Hammond has come down from London, flanked byRead More »from The ghost of Farage hangs over Thanet