A NEW poll shows Tory defector Douglas Carswell’s support is not as strong as first thought - but is still more than double that of his Conservative rivals.

Mr Carswell’s resignation from the Conservatives has triggered a crunch by-election in Clacton, for which he will stand for the UK Independence Party.

A poll of 700 voters by Survation published on Sunday showed Mr Carswell had a 44 point lead.

But a more extensive poll by Lord Ashcroft published today shows the lead is 32 points.

The new poll showed Mr Carswell ahead with 56 percent, the Conservatives on 24 percent, Labour on 16 per cent and Lib Dems on 2 percent.