Leave-supporting voters in Labour heartlands should “vote tactically” and back the Brexit Party instead of the Conservatives, Nigel Farage has urged.
At the start of the General Election campaign, the Brexit Party stood down candidates in 317 seats won by the Tories in 2017, but it is still standing candidates in Labour seats which backed Leave during the EU referendum in 2016.
Speaking to a Brexit Party event for supporters and the press, Mr Farage said: “In seats like this we are the challenger and the difficulty is there is a split and it’s a split in the Leave vote because if people in those constituencies vote Conservative, they may well stop us from getting over the line and beating Labour.”
He added: “My appeal is to Leave voters in those constituencies that have been Labour forever – and will be Labour when you wake up on Friday morning – unless you use your vote tactically and sensibly.
“And to Leavers in those seats I say ‘Leavers, don’t waste your vote’.
Earlier, Mr Farage warned that the Prime Minister’s “oven-ready deal” would lead to “many long years of indigestion”.
This is the best conversation of this campaign so far. There are voters in the Brexit heartlands that will never vote Conservative and do not recognise Labour any longer.
They are voting Brexit Party across South Wales and the North of England. pic.twitter.com/EWqW2XZWQC
— Nigel Farage (@Nigel_Farage) December 10, 2019
Addressing supporters, Mr Farage said his decision to stand down his party’s candidates in Tory-held seats was “difficult” but “the right thing to do”.
He added: “It was a case of putting country before party. But since that time, I know it is very rare to have an appearance from Boris Johnson or Jeremy Corbyn but on Friday night, he has gone the wrong way.
“He has stepped back from a Canada-plus-style trade deal and he was talking about his ‘oven-ready deal’ – it’s going to be put in the oven and ready before Christmas.
“All I can say is that will lead to many long years of indigestion because we will be trapped inside an international treaty. We have given Michel Barnier the upper hand.”
Mr Farage also confirmed he will spoil his ballot at the General Election on Thursday.
In Mr Farage’s home constituency, the Brexit Party is not standing a candidate against the incumbent Conservative.
He told a press conference in Westminster that because the Prime Minister is backing his “oven-ready deal” rather than a “Super Canada plus” trade agreement, he would “spoil his paper” on Thursday.
He added that Mr Johnson has “48 hours to change his mind” and those of other voters too.