UKIP has thrown down the gauntlet in Great Yarmouth and vowed to build on its county council triumphs by winning the parliamentary seat there.

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In an intriguing match, government communities minister Brandon Lewis will come up against his former campaign assistant, Matthew Smith, who helped him win the seat from Labour in 2010.

A recent survey by pollsters Survation predicted that Yarmouth was one of eight seats nationally that UKIP might claim at the next general election.

And Mr Smith, 25, who vanquished the town’s former Labour MP Tony Wright when he was elected as a UKIP county councillor earlier this month, is confident he can topple his former Tory boss on the national stage.

Announced as UKIP’s prospective parliamentary candidate today, he said: “I am delighted to be selected for an area I know very well and truly love.

“To have the chance to fight to represent the people of Yarmouth is an honour. Unlike previous politicians who were parachuted in to make a name for themselves my focus and drive is to serve the local area.

“And I do fancy my chances. Victory is not beyond the realms of possibility.”

Mr Smith, of High Street Gorleston, grew up locally and went to Lynn Grove High School and East Norfolk Sixth Form College.

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