Gazette: Election 2015 header

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Douglas Carswell - UKIP
Douglas Carswell was first elected as a Conservative MP in 2005.  But he sensationally quit the Tory party in August last year and resigned his seat, triggering a by-election that he won in Ukip colours.  He was re-elected with an increased majority of 12,404 votes.  Mr Carswell was born in 1971 and lived in Uganda until his late teens, before going on to read history at the University of East Anglia and King's College, London.  He worked in business, commercial television and fund management before going into politics.  As Clacton’s MP he was part of the successful campaigns to keep open Clacton Hospital's maternity unit and Peter Bruff mental health ward. Mr Carswell is married to Clementine and has a six year old daughter – and Crumble, the dog.  He is a regular church-goer, he is keen on gardening, runs to keep fit and makes his own jam.

Tim Young - Labour
FORMER Clacton schoolboy Tim Young will be hoping to claw back votes for Labour after the party polled less than 4,000 votes in October.  Mr Young went to St Clare's Primary School and Clacton County High School.  He had a 20 year career in the financial services industry where he was also a union representative. He has been a borough councillor for 23 years and has been leader of the Labour group on Colchester Borough Council since 1997.  He stood for election as the parliamentary candidate for North Essex in 1997. He also stood in the Clacton by-election in October. Mr Young has been active in campaigns for to retain services, including the maternity unit, at Clacton Hospital and to get the streetlights turned back on.  He is also son and nephew to Reg and Bob, who have been popular entertainers in Clacton for 60 years.

David Grace - Liberal Democrat
David Grace was born in Leigh-on-Sea and spent his early years in Southend.  He studied economics and history at Cambridge University, where he was elected president of the Cambridge Union.  He has worked in the private, public and voluntary sectors, as a lawyer, a software developer, an investigator for the Local Government Ombudsman and as a campaigner for regional development and environmental conservation.  He has been married and has two grown-up sons, a rugby player and an actor, and has performed in cabaret himself in Bournemouth, Blackpool, Brighton and at the Edinburgh Festival.  Mr Grace currently runs the James Madison Trust, an educational charity, and the Social Liberal Forum, which fights for a fairer economy and a stronger society.  Mr Grace is also an executive member of the European Movement, founded by Winston Churchill to promote unity in place of war, and frequently speaks in schools and public meetings about the issue.

Chris Southall - Green
Chris Southall trained as an engineer at the Royal Aircraft Establishment in Farnborough and has been self-employed most of his life as a potter, computer engineer, drummer and has worked with people who have special needs.  Mr Southall has two children and three grandchildren. He lives with his partner Rosie and her teenage daughter in Great Clacton, where they have an eco house and permaculture land centre, which is often opened to the public.  Mr Southall has stood for the Green Party in numerous local and national elections and has also been a school governor and a parish councillor.  He is an active environmental campaigner in Clacton and is co-ordinator of Tendring Green Party.  He has fought for green lifestyles to counteract the increasing threat from climate change and the destruction of the natural world by consumerism.
Giles Watling - Conservative
FRINTON councillor and actor Giles Watling is once again standing for election in the Clacton constituency after being beaten by Ukip’s Douglas Carswell in October’s by-election.  Mr Watling moved to Frinton with his wife Vanda and their young family in 1995. He was part of the team that saved Frinton Summer Theatre from closure in 1974, following which he went on to run it for several years.  Mr Watling’s most prominent television role was as Oswald in the 1980s sitcom Bread.  He has also starred in Dr Who and alongside Jason Donavan in Priscilla, Queen of the Desert.  Mr Watling became a district councillor for Frinton in 2007 and went on to serve as portfolio holder for corporate government and resources. His hobbies include sailing and he has also helped to fundraise to give opportunities for disabled children to sail.