Farage Refuses to Nominate Candidates in Conservative Elected Ridings

In the December 12 general election, the Brexit Party will focus on the constituencies won in 2017 by Labor, said its leader.

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Brexit Party leader Nigel Farrage on a trip to Hartlepool in the UK.
Brexit Party leader Nigel Farrage on a trip to Hartlepool in the UK. SCOTT HEPPELL / REUTERS

Good news for Boris Johnson, less than five weeks away from a crucial general election on December 12: Nigel Farage, the leader of the Brexit Party (BP), finally agreed on Monday, November 11, not to present any candidates facing to the Conservatives in the 317 ridings won by them in the June 2017 poll.

The pressure of the Tories, and even of an old accomplice and donor, Arron Banks, had become too strong. The latter, co-founder of the Leave.EU movement, repeated in recent days that it was now necessary to vote conservatives rather than BP, the only hope of seeing the Brexit actually come true. He even threatened, reported the Times Monday morning, to let go completely Mr. Farage by launching an application, called "back Brexit, back Boris", allowing the voters to identify in their constituency the good candidate to hope for a divorce with the EU.

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"The BP will not contest any of the 317 ridings won by the Conservatives in the last election. But we will focus our efforts on all those held by Labor, who have completely broken their 2017 promises to respect the result of the referendum (from 2016) " Said Nigel Farage from Hartlepool, a port city in the north-east of England, exactly in his target: located in a labor-hardened constituency, but having voted almost 70% in favor of an exit from the European Union (EU).

Sudden conversion

The MEP got away with a spin. He who was still categorical last week about his willingness to nominate candidates " all over ", and which conditioned any agreement with the Tories to a pure and simple abandonment by Mr. Johnson of his deal with Brussels, explained his reversal by his sudden conversion to the arguments of Mr. Johnson. The latter promised to negotiate a free trade agreement of the type "Super Canada" (modeled on the one negotiated between Brussels and Ottawa). "It's a big change," assured Mr. Farage without laughing.

"In any case, the BP does not have the means to present candidates everywhere", confided to us, at the beginning of November, a former Tory minister. In addition, the youngest party, created in early 2019, has very little chance of winning even a handful of seats in the House of Commons because of the voting system, a first-past-the-post majority ( the elected member of a constituency is the one who gets the most votes). The Conservatives were nevertheless very nervous in recent days, fearing that the votes in favor of the BP do not handicap their candidates in the constituencies where they are in tandem with Labor, or even with Liberal Democrats.

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Mr. Farage's non-aggression pact does not guarantee them the absolute majority lost by Theresa May in 2017, which Johnson dreams of reclaiming to finally "achieve" Brexit in the coming months. For the Prime Minister's campaign team covets precisely the same constituencies as the remaining candidates of the BP: these lands of the north of England impoverished, these cities of the "Rugby League", as the survey specialists call them.

Trumpian "alliance"

Aware of the danger, Labor and Liberal Democrats reacted to the quarterback on Monday. "The Conservative Party has just become the party of Brexit," tweeted Jo Swinson, the boss of the lib-dem. "A week ago, Donald Trump asked Nigel Farage to make a deal with Boris Johnson. Today, Mr. Trump's wish has been granted. This alliance "trumpienne" is thatcherism on steroids and could deprive our health system 500 million pounds per week, for the benefit of large pharmaceutical companies ", For its part accused Jeremy Corbyn, the head of Labor.

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The latter accuse the blow. They do not take off in the polls, at 28% of voting intentions, 11 points behind the Tories, according to an average of the polls conducted daily by the Financial Times. Last week, two Labor candidates had to throw in the towel for suspicion of anti-Semitism. The party's second-in-command, Tom Watson, a moderate wing, suddenly resigned, reinforcing speculation about party radicalization.

Finally, the liberal Democrats have entered the field valiantly, with the goal of capturing as many anti-Brexit voices as possible for Labor. Met Monday morning at an event in a London start-up incubator, Sam Gyimah, former Conservative MP spent in M's campme Swinson, barely defends himself: "The" Remain "vote for Labor was a tactical vote in 2017, but it will not happen again," he said.crack there.


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