STAND DOWN, NIGEL!

A host of Farage’s own can­di­dates and back­ers fear the Brexit Party could cost vi­tal Tory seats – and Brexit it­self. Now the Mail urges YOU to tell him...

Daily Mail - - Front Page - By David Churchill, Sam Green­hill and Larisa Brown

The Brexit Party leader was warned Bri­tain could end up with a ‘shabby coali­tion of so­cial­ists, Lib Dems, Scot­tish and Welsh na­tion­al­ists’ if he con­tests seats the Tories are try­ing to win.

A string of Mr Farage’s can­di­dates are lead­ing calls for him to pull back and to­day the Daily Mail is giv­ing read­ers the

op­por­tu­nity to write to their lo­cal Brexit Party can­di­date to ask them to stand down.

Writ­ing in this news­pa­per, the for­mer Brexit Party hope­ful in the bat­tle­ground seat of Work­ing­ton begs col­leagues to copy his de­ci­sion to with­draw. Philip Walling said not do­ing so could help deny Boris John­son a ma­jor­ity and in­crease the ‘hideous’ prospect of Labour’s Jeremy Cor­byn in No 10.

He says: ‘I plead with ev­ery other Brexit can­di­date to do what I have done: ex­am­ine your con­science in the cold light of rea­son. And if you think you risk split­ting the Tory vote, and so dam­ag­ing the best chance of Brexit that Bri­tain has got, then for God’s sake – stand down.’

A grow­ing num­ber of Mr Farage’s as­so­ciates and donors – in­clud­ing his ally Ar­ron Banks – have also launched a re­volt against his re­fusal to call an elec­tion truce with the Tories.

A ma­jor YouGov poll of 11,500 vot­ers shows the Brexit Party presents a se­ri­ous threat to Mr John­son’s hopes. Although Labour sup­port is col­laps­ing across the coun­try, the

‘The strat­egy is not work­ing’

Brexit in is iden­ti­fied Mr some stand­ing Farage Party re­gions. his has where is party’s polling not but of­fi­cially can­di­dates as this high an­nounced news­pa­per as in 19 dozens per cent who has of mar­ginal can email seats. to Over­leaf their lo­cal is a Brexit let­ter Party that read­ers can­di­date, urg­ing them to step aside.

Anal­y­sis in the Mail last week found that the Brexit Party could make a cru­cial dif­fer­ence in al­most 90 Tory tar­get seats. In 38 of those, Mr John­son could snatch vic­tory from Labour if 70 per cent of those plan­ning to vote for Mr Farage switched to the Con­ser­va­tives.

Yes­ter­day’s YouGov poll re­in­forced those find­ings, show­ing that the Brexit Party is record­ing high poll rat­ings in a string of re­gions. In the North East, it is on 19 per cent, up from the 4 per cent that Ukip recorded at the 2017 snap gen­eral elec­tion.

The pre­dicted Tory vote share has fallen in ev­ery re­gion since 2017 but the poll is most dis­as­trous for Labour, with its sup­port col­laps­ing across the coun­try.

In York­shire and Hum­ber, the pre­dicted Labour vote share is now just 29 per cent, com­pared with 49 per cent in 2017. Nigel Evans, the Tory can­di­date for Ribble Val­ley in Lan­cashire, said: ‘ The dan­ger in the North West and North East will be where a Brexit can­di­date steals suf­fi­cient votes to al­low the Re­main can­di­date to win.

‘A num­ber of Brexit can­di­dates have al­ready de­cided they know the strat­egy is not work­ing, they know the dan­gers, and they don’t want to lose Brexit. Farage’s ‘Yet that strat­egy is ex­actly could what do.’ Nigel Yes­ter­day, an­other for­mer Brexit Party can­di­date – Peter Udale, who was due to stand in the Cotswolds – quit and urged vot­ers in his area to back the Tories in­stead. He said: ‘By far the big­gest threat that cur­rently faces this coun­try is a govern­ment led by Jeremy Cor­byn. If he got into No 10, he would un­der­mine our econ­omy, our de­fence and our union.

‘I there­fore be­lieve it is fun­da­men­tally wrong for the Brexit

Party, which is strongly pa­tri­otic and has a deep al­le­giance to our union, to stand can­di­dates in con­stituen­cies where the Tories have a chance of win­ning.’

Pro­fes­sor Matthew Goodwin from the Uni­ver­sity of Kent said Mr Farage risked ‘dam­ag­ing his legacy’ by tak­ing votes from the Tories.

Speak­ing on the Daily Tele­graph’s Brexit Pod­cast, he said: ‘I don’t think they will win any MPs ... Nigel Farage clearly has to ask him­self a ques­tion at this point – does he want to go down in Bri­tish his­tory as the most in­flu­en­tial politi­cian not elected to West­min­ster who ef­fec­tively brought about Brexit?

‘Or does he po­ten­tially want to go down in his­tory as the guy who at­tracted 5 to 7 per cent at the elec­tion and cost Boris John­son and the Con­ser­va­tives an elec­tion vic­tory and by ex­ten­sion brought down Brexit. This is the fun­da­men­tal choice fac­ing both Farage and the Brexit Party.’

Multi-mil­lion­aire Mr Banks, who cam­paigned with Mr Farage un­der the Leave.EU ban­ner dur­ing the 2016 ref­er­en­dum, said: ‘Like ev­ery­thing in life, what is the point of do­ing some­thing if you can’t win?

‘He risks split­ting the vote and let­ting a Lib Dem through the mid­dle to win – a party which wants to can­cel Brexit al­to­gether.’

Novem­ber 14 is the dead­line for can­di­dates to de­cide whether or not to stand.

‘Risk dam­ag­ing his legacy’

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