Giles Watling

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Person.png Giles Watling   Twitter WebsiteRdf-icon.png
(Actor, Politician)
Giles Watling.jpg
Tory Giles Watling opposing UKIP's Douglas Carswell at the 2014 Clacton by-election
BornGiles Watling
Chingford, Essex
ChildrenElizabeth Jemima
Parents • Jack Watling
• Patricia Hicks

Employment.png Member of Parliament for Clacton

In office
9 June 2017 - Present

Giles Watling, a Tendring District Councillor, stood as the Conservative Party candidate for Clacton in the 8 June 2017 General Election.[1]

Giles Watling was elected with 27,031 votes, Labour's Tasha Osben came second on 11,203 and UKIP's Paul Oakley third with 3,357 votes. The remaining five candidates secured fewer than 1,000 votes each.[2]

Third time lucky!

Clacton by-election.jpg

Giles Watling previously stood unsuccessfully in Clacton on two occasions: in the May 2015 General Election and at the Clacton by-election on 9 October 2014.[3]

Formerly a Frinton Town Councillor and currently a Tendring District Councillor, Giles Watling was selected at an Open Primary that was held in Clacton on 11 September 2014.[4] The Clacton by-election was caused by the resignation on 28 August 2014 of Tory MP Douglas Carswell who defected to the UK Independence Party and stood as the UKIP candidate for the seat.[5] Douglas Carswell was elected as UKIP's first MP with 21,113 votes, a majority of 12,404 over Giles Watling who came 2nd with 8,709 votes.

In the 2015 General Election, when Douglas Carswell was elected at Clacton as UKIP's sole MP with 19,642 votes, Giles Watling improved his by-election performance coming second with 16,205 votes.[6]


Giles Watling started his career as a child actor in 1962 in the long-running TV series "Gideon’s Way" as Malcolm Gideon. Since those early days he has worked in a wide variety of media as producer, director and actor. He is probably best known to the public for his performances in British sit-coms such as "How’s Your Father", "You’re Only Young Twice", "Keep It In The Family", "Allo Allo" and the vicar Oswald in Carla Lane’s "Bread". His father, Jack Watling, starred in more than 50 films, including "The Power Game" in 1965.[7]


Bernard Jenkin MP for Harwich supporting Giles Watling in his by-election campaign

Giles Watling was first elected as a Tory local councillor in 2007 at the age of 54. On 11 September 2014, in his first foray into national politics, 61-year-old Watling was selected out of a choice of just two candidates, both vetted by Conservative Party headquarters, at a US-style Open Primary meeting attended by around 240 residents. It was picketed by a group of UKIP supporters from the north-east, who had travelled down by minibus to express their delight that Nigel Farage's insurgent party seems to be on course to win its first parliamentary election at Clacton.[8]

Watling said:

"It’s an honour and great privilege to be selected. I’ve served as a councillor for seven years. I care passionately about this area and we’re going to lift it, we’re going to take it somewhere else."[9]

On Saturday 13 September 2014, Bernard Jenkin MP for Harwich joined Giles Watling campaigning in Frinton's Connaught Avenue where they were pictured with Barnie, the Irish Wolf Hound.[10]

18 February 1953|