Senior Tories risk losing seats if Nigel Farage returns to politics, experts say | conservatives | Daily News Byte

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Iain Duncan Smith, Dominic Raab and Theresa Villiers are among the majority of Conservative MPs who are likely to face a resurgent Populist party led by Nigel Farage at the next election, experts have said.

His constituencies are among hundreds of Tory-held ones where the Brexit Party did not stand in the 2019 general election, but Reform UK candidates would erode an already slim majority by attracting a relatively small number of voters.

According to an analysis of data from the House of Commons Library, that alone includes more than 30 Tory-held seats – many considered to be in “blue wall” areas of southern England – where incumbent MPs are already defending a majority of less than 10%.

“There are significant seats where the Conservative majority is not large over Labor or the Lib Dems, and last time there was no Brexit party candidate. If a Brexit Party-type candidate stands next time, Conservative MPs are struggling even before there is any swing in local opposition,” said. University of Manchester Professor Rob Ford, 2019 British General Election and author of Brexitland.

The return to frontline politics by Farage – now a broadcaster with GB News but who has hinted he may return – is a necessary warning from others such as Ford and Professor John Curtis, who are able to capitalize on reform. Recent polls – such as YouGov put the party at 9%.

“Reform UK needs Farage to return, and if he does – however immigration is the issue for him – the Tories will have good reason to be concerned,” said Curtis, professor of politics at the University of Strathclyde. , who added that Reform UK was a means by which Brexit-supporting voters could register their displeasure at Conservative economic mismanagement while remaining true to their Leave credentials.

Farage is listed as a “person of significant control” by Reform UK on Companies House, which is registered as a limited company and has been headed by businessman Richard Tice since March 2021.

However, the fall of Boris Johnson and doubts about the Brexiter credentials of Rishi Sunak and Jeremy Hunt, who backed Remain, fueled speculation of a Farage return at the same time as a small but steady stream of disillusioned Tory voters and ex-members. Join Reform UK.

While the party claims tens of thousands of Conservatives are joining, the weekly trickle is evident at least on Facebook pages where Tory defectors are announced and congratulated.

Sources close to Farage say he is considering an immediate return or waiting until a Labor government moves to introduce proportional representation, which would pave the way for new hard-right MPs such as Reform UK or a renamed version.

Tice did not rule out the possibility of a return by Farage when the Guardian presented him with the scenario of Tice’s “chairman” becoming “chief executive”. The former Ukip leader was a “busy guy with GB News”, Tice added: “There’s nobody more angry about the state of the country than someone like Nigel who spent 25 years of his life trying to get to Brexit to deliver his platform. Chances are, and then seeing that others It’s wasted.”

However, he unequivocally stated that Reform UK was “absolutely committed” to standing everywhere except Northern Ireland.

“The best thing for the country would be if we got rid of the Conservatives and I hope we’re seeing the dying days of the last majority-Conservative government in my lifetime,” said Tice, who expected a “major thing”. Be a representation of proportional representation in three or four years.

Reform UK has pre-planned the rollout of various policies in the coming weeks in an attempt to capitalize on the momentum of the vote, despite a disappointing showing in the recent Chester by-election, in which the party won just 2.74% of the vote.

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