Farage’s Reform UK vows to fight the Tories in every seat at next year’s general election

Reform UK has said it plans to stand against the Tories in every seat at the next election in a move which could spell electoral trouble for Rishi Sunak.

The party, which contested the 2019 general election as the Brexit Party, has given “cast-iron guarantees” to top figures that it will not do a deal with the Tories.

In the 2019 contest, former leader Nigel Farage stood down hundreds of candidates to help Boris Johnson beat Jeremy Corbyn to No 10.

Nigel Farage, the former Reform UK party leader with Tice, his successor


But Richard Tice, who took over as leader in 2021, has told senior figures including former Tory minister Ann Widdecombe that he will not repeat the move, The Sunday Times reported.

The development will set alarm bells ringing in Downing Street, with Reform threatening to split the Tory vote in key seats across the country – boosting Labour’s chances.

Luke Tryl, director at pollsters More in Common, said Reform could see the Tories lose more than 30 additional seats.

He told The Independent: “Reform could well be the difference between a hung parliament and a Labour majority.”

The party’s support has been boosted by growing discontent at Mr Sunak’s record on immigration and asylum, with around one-tenth of voters currently supporting Reform.

And while it has so far failed to live up to the poll rating in a series of by-elections, in two recent contests – Mid Bedfordshire and Tamworth – its vote share was larger than the amount by which Labour won.

Prime minister Rishi Sunak is already facing a difficult general election campaign


“The Tories can take some hope to date that Reform’s by-election performances haven’t been as good as those poll ratings, meaning upcoming contests in Blackpool and Wellingborough will be a good test of how real that reform threat is,” Mr Tryl added.

Reform could also be boosted by the return of Mr Farage from his stint on I’m a Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here. He has spoken regularly to Mr Tice since his return and the pair are expected to discuss his “future role” in the coming days.

Mr Tice told The Sunday Times: “In the 2024 election year we will be ready whenever it comes, spring, summer or autumn. We will be standing in seats everywhere in England, Scotland and Wales.

“Many, including Tory MPs and commentators, still don’t believe us, but I have news for them: you are seriously underestimating our intent to have a massive impact in this coming election.”

A senior party figure meanwhile said the “toxic Tories are done and finished… we will attack them mercilessly”.

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