Brexit Party candidates are running in 275 parliamentary seats, after Nigel Farage announced his party would not contest seats won by the Tories in the 2017 general election. But candidates are running in Tory battleground seats, where Boris Johnson hopes to convince Labour Leave voters to switch allegiance. Joe Armitage, a parliamentary procedure expert, said the Brexit Party do not pose a real threat to the Tories but warned there was one scenario int which the party could block a Tory majority.
Mr Armitage told Express.co.uk because the Tories currently lead the polls, the Brexit Party poses little threat to Mr Johnson’s party.
He said: “The Conservative Party’s lead over Labour is opening up rather than closing.
“If that continues then actually the difference between the Brexit Party vote and the Tories, versus the Labour vote, probably won’t be significant enough to allow them to take all of these Labour Leave seats from the Conservatives, or at least deprive them of the ability to win them.”
As a result, the damage caused by Mr Farage’s party could be mitigated.
But Mr Armitage, who works as a senior associate for Global Counsel, said this could change if Labour starts to creep up in the polls.
If the gap closes, the Brexit Party risks preventing Mr Johnson from securing a parliamentary majority.
He said: “If the polls start to close and Labour are on a similar percentage to the Conservative party or within say six or seven points, then the Brexit Party will be a very big material risk to the Conservative Party.”
The political expert said even with the Tories lead in the polls, which currently stands Mr Johnson’s party 12 points ahead of Labour, the Brexit Party still risks depleting the Tory vote.
“That’s the biggest effect they are going to have on this election.”
Mr Armitage asked what benefits the Brexit Party will get from running in the election and even suggested its effect could be to stop Brexit.
He said: “What is the benefit for the Brexit Party?
“If they don’t get any seats their main achievement in this general election might be to stop Brexit.”
YouGov’s detailed MRP poll, which predicted the Tories would win 359 seats, predicted the Brexit Party’s refusal to stand down in all seats will cause Boris Johnson’s Tory Party to lose eight seats.
The results suggested that if the Brexit Party had stood down in the handful of marginals, the Tories were more likely to win the seat.
The eight battleground seats identified by YouGov were Weaver Vale, High Peak, Alyn and Deeside, Bury North, Bolton North East, Gower, Sedgefield and Delyn.