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Brexit supporters say they will run for parliamentary seats, shaking up UK election

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Nigel Farage, a Brexit supporter and serial troublemaker in British politics, announced on Monday that he plans to run in the British general election. next monthIt represents a fresh setback for the prospects of the country’s embattled Prime Minister Rishi Sunak.

The unexpected announcement by Farage could upend the UK election campaign because he represents the far-right movement against immigration. He threatens the Conservatives’ campaign by taking votes away from the ruling Conservative Party. If Farage does so, it could make it more difficult for Sunak and his party to close the double-digit gap in the polls with the opposition Labour Party.

Farage is one of the architects of Brexit, a charismatic leader known for his communication skills, which narrowly supported the British public’s vote to leave the European Union in 2016. Some analysts believe Farage’s early decision not to run this year has weakened the momentum of his Brexit Party’s successor, Reform Britain.

Mr Farage said last month He will not seek He turned down the parliamentary seat because he wanted to prioritize supporting Donald J. Trump’s campaign in the United States. Farage is a long-time ally of the former president and campaigned for him in 2016 and 2020.

But Farage reversed his decision on Monday, saying he would lead Reform Britain for the next five years and run for a seat in Parliament.

“I changed my mind – you know, it’s allowed,” he said. “I’m going to stand in this election,” he said, adding that he would run in Clacton, a seaside area with strong support for Brexit.

The news comes on the eve of one of the biggest events so far in the U.K. general election campaign: a televised debate between Sunak and opposition Labour Party leader Keir Starmer on Tuesday evening.

Sunak is already under enormous pressure with his Conservative Party trailing badly in opinion polls and having made a gaffe-riddled start to the campaign.

Farage’s change of heart could worsen the prime minister’s prospects because, according to analysts, Reform Britain could take a significant number of votes away from the Conservatives. So far, much of Sunak’s campaign strategy appears to be aimed at winning back potential supporters of Reform Britain, motivating his core right-wing voters to vote and avoiding a big defeat.

But on Monday Farage claimed the Conservatives were destined to be swept away by a wave of contempt for the political establishment and were “on the verge of total collapse”.

Despite his high profile and popularity in right-wing British politics, Farage’s planned election in Clacton is uncertain. Despite seven attempts, Farage has never been elected to the British Parliament at Westminster, although he served as a member of the European Parliament for two decades before Britain left the European Union.

Under Britain’s winner-take-all electoral system, it is difficult for candidates from smaller parties to stand out because they need to secure the largest share of votes in the areas they want to represent.

Nonetheless, Mr Farage appears to have calculated his chances of winning in Clacton; A town that firmly supports Brexit It is about 80 miles northeast of London. The constituency is represented by a former MP for the UK Independence Party, which Mr Farage once led and campaigned for Britain to leave the European Union.

With the Conservatives trailing far behind in the polls, Farage has become increasingly vocal in predicting a major defeat for Sunak’s party, even speculating it could be on a scale comparable to the defeat suffered by Canada’s Progressive Conservatives in 1993.

in a Interview with The Sunday Times Farage said in London last weekend that he had named his party “Reform UK” in honor of the Canadian insurgent party of the same name.

“It took them some time, two elections, to become the largest party on the centre-right. Then they absorbed the remnants of the Conservatives and reshaped themselves,” he said.

Asked if he was suggesting a merger between Reform UK and the Conservative Party, Farage replied: “More like a takeover, dear boy.”

Farage has many admirers on the Conservative right, including former cabinet minister Jacob Rees-Mogg, who has even called for Farage to be invited to run for parliament on behalf of the Conservative Party.

Farage has been an outspoken supporter of Trump since 2016, and last week he described the conviction of Trump 34 felony charges This is a “shame”.

The Brexit Party did not field candidates in several parliamentary constituencies in the 2019 general election, in an effort to help former Conservative leader Boris Johnson, who campaigned on a promise to “get Brexit done” and won a landslide victory.

But Richard Tice, who led Reform UK until he was replaced by Farage on Monday, said the same deal would not happen again and pledged to fight the Conservatives in England, Scotland and Wales.

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