Brexit Party’s exit sets up four-way fight for Borders seat at Westminster
Next month’s UK Government general election contest for the Berwickshire, Roxburgh and Selkirk seat looks set to be a four-way fight now Brexit Party candidate Michael Banks has dropped out.
The Borders seat is one of 317 nationwide the party has decided against contesting in the hope of boosting the Conservatives’ chances of retaining them.
John Lamont, hoping to hang on to the seat he won for the Tories from the Scottish National Party’s Calum Kerr in 2017, will be cheered by that move.
Mr Kerr, though, will fancy his chances of getting his old seat back, though, as pollsters are tipping the SNP to add to its 35-strong tally of MPs on December 12.
Liberal Democrat Jenny Marr and Labour’s Ian Davidson are also standing.
Nominations are open until 4pm this Thursday, November 14, so further challengers might yet emerge.
Explaining his U-turn at a Brexit Party rally in Hartlepool, former UK Independence Party leader Mr Farage said: “I think this announcement prevents a second referendum from happening, and that, to me, I think right now, is the single most important thing in our country.
“In a sense, we now have a leave alliance – it’s just that we’ve done it unilaterally.
“We’ve decided ourselves that we absolutely have to put country before party and take the fight to Labour.”
The last election was also a four-way fight between all but one of the same challengers, with Mr Lamont claiming 28,213 votes, Mr Kerr 17,153, Mr Davidson 4,519 and Liberal Democrat Caroline Burgess 2,482.