THE battle for a seat in the Conservative stronghold of Christchurch is a ‘two-horse race’ says the UKIP candidate.

With the party membership for the Christchurch UKIP branch second to that of Nigel Farage’s South Thanet constituency, candidate Robin Grey believes he can take the parliamentary seat for the party come May.

Last year Christchurch was named in a list of the top ‘UKIP-friendly Tory seats’ but has traditionally been a safe seat for the Conservative over the years.

Current Conservative MP Chris Chope holds one of the most comfortable Tory majorities in the country.

With 27,888 votes in total, Mr Chope has a majority of 15,410.

But with UKIP making advances in the county council elections of 2013 in Christchurch, their ongoing campaigning could go some way to skewing the result.

Speaking to the Daily Echo from the party’s office in Bargates, Mr Grey said the response he is getting from public meetings and door-to-door canvassing fills him with confidence.

“I think I can win this seat based on what’s happening out there.

“There is an amazing amount of support for what we are doing,” he said. He said as well discussing UKIP’s national policies people are also raising more local issues, particularly about Navitus Bay and building on the greenbelt.

“People feel like their politicians don’t care about them.

“There’s not a lot of faith in the system,” he said.

“Christchurch is a Tory stronghold. But many people feel forgotten; they feel left behind and fed up.

“This is the first time there is a possibility of change in Christchurch.

“What gives me the most confidence is what I get on the doorstep and at public meetings.

“I am pretty confident I will win this.

“People are fed up and want to see change.”

Christchurch MP Chris Chope said he failed to see how in an election where all the parties are intending to stand, it could be a ‘two-horse race’.

“If you think, Christchurch had a Liberal Democrat MP and I know there is an active Labour party in Christchurch.

“It has also come to my notice there could be a Green candidate as well.

“Obviously the whole General Election is probably one of the most significant that we have had for a generation.

“No-one is complacent and nobody enters into an election without hoping to win.

“I think it is quite hard for Mr Grey to differentiate his product from the Conservatives because the Conservatives are offering a referendum on the EU, a tougher approach to immigration, lower taxes and improvement in the economy.”