James O'Brien 10am - 1pm
Election expert explains how Brexit Party U-turn won't help Tories
11 November 2019, 15:17
Nigel Farage announced that the Brexit Party will not stand candidates in the 317 seats won by Tories - but this election expert think it won't necessarily help the Conservatives.
Professor Steven Fielding said: "Well, I think for you know, right off the bat, it seems that Nigel Farage wants to have a hung parliament.
"By standing down seats that Tories already hold, he's not given them those seats because they're still in competition but he's really taken the pressure off Boris Johnson in terms of holding on to the seats he already has.
"But by still standing in those seats that the Tories need to get the majority, he hasn't really done them any favours.
"I think, as your Political Editor said, in those Labour leave-voting seats that the Tories have to win, if the Brexit Party stands, which it says it will but of course they may change their point of view within hours, that when they did really well in European Elections in those areas, they took for every one vote they took off the Labour Party, they took three votes off the Conservative Party.
So they're not exactly helping them win seats."
Shelagh brought up lifelong Labour supporters who are now voting Conservative.
Fielding responded: "Yes, and and they have and they and they definitely did in 2017.
"The question is, how many more will do so in this election?
"Because there's already been questions asked about whether Boris Johnson can appeal to those voters like Theresa May did.
She might not have appealed to everybody across the country but she was quite effective in bringing Labour voters to the Conservative Party in 2017."
Fielding then suggested that the Brexit Party have revealed itself to be "the Conservative Party in other clothes".
Shelagh argued that Nigel Farage makes out that he is the anti-establishment candidate but he's now "cutting deals" with the Tories on Downing Street.
Fielding suggested that Labour will use the message 'if you vote for the Brexit Party, you vote for the Tories' in the upcoming General Election.