NIGEL Farage is edging closer to confirming he will run for the Kent Westminster seat of Thanet South at next May's general election.

Ukip activists have reportedly said Mr Farage is on a shortlist for the seat -although aides to the party leader insisted no list had been drawn up.

Rozanne Duncan, the secretary of the local branch, said Farage's possible candidacy was the "worst-kept secret in town". She added: We now have two names on the list and one of them is Mr Farage.

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"Whether he will get selected or not is another matter ... although I'd be surprised if he doesn't."

Mr Farage has previously dropped heavy hints that he will seek election in Thanet South - where Tory incumbent Laura Sandys is standing down. The MEP was born in Kent and lives nearby.

A Ukip spokeswoman said: "The branch are starting to receive nominations from people interested in standing, but there's no shortlist of candidates yet.

"Even when there is a shortlist of candidates finalised for hustings, that list will be kept confidential.

"We are still a long way off announcing a candidate for Thanet South."

Mr Farage unsuccessfully challenged John Bercow in the Buckingham seat in 2010, but UKIP have since come top in European polls.