How will Brexit Party affect Ipswich in 2019 General Election?
- Credit: Archant
The news that The Brexit Party is planning to field candidates across the country is unlikely to have a major impact in most East Anglian seats – but could influence the result in Ipswich.
And the party could see Clacton - the only seat ever held by UKIP in a general election - as a potential target in December's general election.
Ipswich will almost certainly be a two-horse race between Labour and the Conservatives again on December 12. In 2017 only 831 votes separated them and UKIP gained 1,372.
If it is a tight battle again then the Brexit Party could have a critical impact. Many experts suggest the Brexit Party could take votes from the Tories as it clearly did in June's European elections.
But Conservative candidate Tom Hunt disagrees: "I'm not worried - I'd always expected the Brexit Party to stand and I think they're more likely to take votes from Labour leavers than they are from me.
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"I'm quite clear - if you want Brexit and you want to get Brexit done, you have to vote Conservative. And that message is getting across well."
Labour MP Sandy Martin will be defending his seat. He did not know what effect the Brexit Party might have: "Given the Conservative Party's failure to deliver Brexit I can sort of understand why they are standing.
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"But everything they say about how good a no deal Brexit would be is the diametric opposite of the truth - it would be a disaster for the country and the people of Ipswich and I will continue to explain that.
Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage launched his party's campaign by calling on Boris Johnson to ditch his Brexit deal and form a "Leave alliance".
The Brexit Party leader said he will field a candidate in every seat in Britain if the Prime Minister does not drop his EU Withdrawal Agreement and get together in what he said could be a "non-aggression pact".
Mr Farage said if the Tories did not agree to an alliance and abandoning the deal he would make sure every household in the country was made aware it was a "sell out" of Brexit.
He said he would be contesting a seat in the election, but did not say where - one possibility is thought to be that he stands in Clacton which was held by UKIP's Douglas Carswell from 2014 to 2017.
Mr Farage launched the Brexit Party's East of England European election campaign in the Essex resort - and seemed popular among many residents there.