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Farage's latest move could cause a stir in the South, writes Phil Hornby

Nigel Farage's decision not to field Brexit Party candidates in Tory-held seats is good news for some Conservatives in the south, but not such good news for others.

In very marginal seats like Southampton Itchen, it could help them hang on. The majority in 2017 was just 31 - the smallest Tory majority in the country. But UKIP got more than 1000 votes. If most of them go to the Tories (and that's a big if) it becomes harder for Labour to gain the seat.

It's the same story in Hastings and Rye - where in 2017 Tory the majority was 346, the UKIP vote nearly 1500.

Can Boris Johnson get enough votes to hold onto Downing Street? Credit: Zheng Huansong/Xinhua News Agency/PA Images

But Mr Farage's decision means his party will stand in Labour-held seats so it does nothing to help Tories trying to gain seats from Labour, like Portsmouth South (Lab maj 1554, UKIP vote 1129).

The Brexit Party leader hopes the party hurt most by his decision will be the Lib Dems. He spoke of a "western corridor" from southwest London, through Hampshire and all the way down to Land's End where he says the Lib Dems would have won seats from the Conservatives on December 12th. The Lib Dems say the Conservatives are now the Brexit Party. Labour say Mr Farage has now obeyed Donald Trump and got a deal with Boris Johnson.

Credit: Kirsty O'Connor/PA Wire/PA Images

Nigel Farage is a Kent man who began his political career at a by-election in Eastleigh where he only just beat the Monster Raving Loony Party. In the 25 years since then he has become the most influential politician of his generation. But he still doesn't know what his legacy will be. He hopes this announcement means he'll be remembered as the man who helped achieve Brexit - rather than the man who helped stop it.

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