Nigel Farage is close to standing as the Ukip candidate in South Thanet in Kent following polls that showed the party is likely to win the seat in next year's general election on the basis of current trends.
The Conservatives have selected a former Ukip member in a bid to stave off Farage but it was reported that the Ukip leader has chosen the South Thanet constituency rather than Folkestone and Hythe, the south-coast seat with which he had been linked.
Ukip insisted on Friday that the shortlist has not yet been drawn up and nothing was confirmed, although a local source claimed Farage was on the list.
Farage had already said South Thanet was a distinct possibility, and he contested the seat in 2005.
Another possible candidate is the newly elected Ukip MEP Janice Atkinson, who lives in Kent and joined Ukip from the Conservatives.
A poll financed by Lord Ashcroft last month for the constituency showed Ukip on 33%, the Conservatives on 29% and Labour on 29%.
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