What sort of welcome will Nigel Farage get in Workington in Cumbria?

Angus Walker

Former ITV News Correspondent

Tories are trying to talk Nigel Farage into winding down his campaign.

Worries and wobbles in Workington.

What sort of welcome will Farage get in Workington in Cumbria today?

This is probably going to be the most famous stop on the campaign trail for the Conservatives, Labour and the Brexit Party.

They’re all after the hearts and minds of so-called "Workington man"; political shorthand for a Labour voter who is also pro-Brexit.

In this part of the world around 60% of people voted for leave in 2016 and yet they are represented by a Labour MP and Labour policy is to offer a second referendum.

So rich pickings say the Tories and so does Farage. So a scrap here over those Workington man voters.

The Brexit Party plans to stand 600 candidates in the election. Credit: PA

The Brexit Party story so far - Farage offered Boris Johnson the chance to join what he called to "Leave Alliance", and together they would capture leave-supporting seats from Labour in the north and jointly return with a “huge” majority in parliament to deliver a harder form of Brexit.

An offer that’s been refused by Johnson.

Farage has said ok I’ll now field around 600 candidates around the country even in Tory marginal seats, where the risk is they will split the vote and stop Tories winning.

"We know the Tories are worried," senior Brexit Party members have said.

I understand there are efforts behind-the-scenes to try to talk Farage our of continuing his campaign.

Pro-Brexit Tory MPs who fear another hung parliament are telling Farage his strategy could end up with him being seen as the man who stopped Brexit.

The conversations go a bit like this: look Nigel you risk public humiliation if you end up with hundreds of lost deposits.

  • Nigel Farage says he thinks the 'Workington man' is a 'load of patronising cobblers to people who live in Workington and this part of the country'

If the Tory manifesto still has "No Deal" on the table and still has an absolute deadline of December 2020 for trade deal negotiations then that’s a ladder you can climb down.

The idea being that Farage can walk away, head held high, saying he held Tory feet to the flames and got the harder approach he wanted.

So far Farage has been demanding Johnson "drops the deal" but on Tuesday when I asked him if there was room for an agreement with the Tories he said "there would have be to be substantial changes" to the deal.

Was that a slight wobble? That’s what to watch out for in Workington and elsewhere during this campaign.