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Farage poll: 'No evidence of fraud'

Initial inquiries by police have found "no evidence" of electoral fraud in Thanet South, the seat that Ukip's Nigel Farage failed to win at the general election.

Kent Police was contacted by a member of the public on Monday after Mr Farage lost out to the Conservatives' Craig Mackinlay, who racked up 18,838 votes to Mr Farage's 16,026.

A force spokesman said: "On Monday May 11, Kent Police was contacted by a member of the public from outside the county around election fraud due to speculation on social media in South Thanet.

"Initial inquiries by officers have been carried out and so far no evidence of electoral fraud has been found."

Claims of suspicious behaviour surfaced following a lengthy delay in declaring the seat's results at Margate's Winter Gardens.

The Twitter hashtag #thanetrigged gained momentum when Ukip claimed victory in the local council election, with the party taking control of the authority.

Some users said that Ukip's local council triumph so soon after Mr Farage's defeat pointed to suspicious behaviour in the parliamentary contest.

Mr Farage quit as Ukip leader after he failed to win, but his resignation was rejected by the party's national executive committee and he remains as leader.

Thanet District Council said in a statement: "A single complaint has been lodged with Kent Police by a member of the public, from outside of the county, with concerns around the Thanet parliamentary election - following speculation on social media.

"Kent Police has an obligation to follow up this complaint. Thanet District Council is not under investigation for election fraud.

"The council's returning officer is satisfied that the correct processes were followed and a member of the Electoral Commission was present at the election in Thanet.

"In response to the speculation on social media: Thanet's parliamentary boundary is larger than the district boundary - extending into the Canterbury and Dover area - so comparing the parliamentary and district election results is misleading. There were no lost or stolen ballot papers."

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