Nigel Farage believes that one of his party’s strengths is that it can reach voters who do not care very much for politics and would not be inclined to vote at all were it not for Ukip.

When Farage comes to South Thanet, he is one of the few politicians who could not walk through Ramsgate unrecognised.

Ukip hopes his star status will carry him into Parliament, but if the latest poll commissioned by Lord Ashcroft is correct, the seat is slipping out of his hands.

While Farage’s roles as Ukip leader, candidate and working MEP limit the time he can spend nurturing the constituency, Conservative Craig Mackinlay, and Labour’s Will Scobie, are out electioneering every day.

The i paper caught up with Mr Mackinlay in Cliftonville, doing what is called targeted canvassing. He had a list of residents who Tories believed could be persuaded to vote for them, on the basis of previous telephone or door to door canvassing.

Lord Ashcroft’s poll suggested Labour supporters are also thinking of voting tactically, though Mr Scobie is adamant Labour is taking at least as many votes from the Tories here as it is losing to them.

And celebrity has its limits. Outside the Ukip office, a young woman was resting. She has a vote, she lives in the constituency and went to school in it. What did she think of Nigel Farage? “Oh, no, sorry, I don’t know who he is.”

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