The Leader of The Pact – Why There Shouldn’t Be a Pact Between the Conservatives and The Brexit Party – For Now

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The parable of the wren who rides on the back of an eagle during a competition to see which bird species could fly the highest may well be an apt metaphor when it comes to whether The Brexit Party and Conservatives should create a pact together. If The Brexit Party wants to win then it will have to allow the Conservatives to soar, well at least to a point.  When questioned on the issue of there being such a pact, the constitutional historian David Starkey recently stated, “It is the moral duty of Nigel Farage and of Boris Johnson to come together, if not they will hang separately”.

Unfortunately, another parable also comes to mind when listening to top figures in both parties talk on this issue. That being the tale of the scorpion who poisons a frog while it gives the scorpion a life saving lift across a river. Whilst Farage is saying he’d like to work with the Conservatives as long as they don’t go for Theresa May’s deal, he also states that if they do so, he’ll deliberately split the vote. Meanwhile, the Conservatives are not only saying they don’t want anything to do with Farage, but are pushing the notion that a vote for the Brexit Party would be a vote for Corbyn.

What I aim to set out in this article is a strategy that does not involve a pact, well not initially, but instead a way for the Brexit Party to wield considerable influence regarding the future direction of Brexit. They may well already have considered this, however, if they have they seem to be keeping it under wraps whilst appearing to be on a possibly destructive course.

Both Peterborough and Brecon are examples of areas with very high Leave referendum results, yet have subsequently not voted in a Leave MP in their recent elections. If an area had a Leave vote of 60% or more in the referendum, then surely a leave candidate should win in an election? It should be easy, easy like a Sunday Morning trade deal? But, given the remain parties are working together, and it’s only recently that the main parties have become much clearer about their Brexit positions, is it not the right time for the two main pro leave parties to do the same?

Ironically, a formal pact between the Conservatives and The Brexit Party before an election is probably neither required or desirable. Both parties have potential voters who will  be put off by an association with each other and as we will see, If anything, nearly all the power regarding a coalition will lie in the hands of Nigel Farage.

Whilst the EU elections saw a massive win for The Brexit Party it is highly unlikely that that would be repeated in a general election, however, the Brexit Party may well be able to get themselves in to a position where they can call some of the shots, especially on issues relating to Brexit, merely by following the following strategy.


Main Strategy

Firstly, the Brexit Party should help make sure the Conservatives get around 290 seats by not standing against the 288 Tory MPs who voted against the recent Benn Bill for an extension (and therefore they were not totally against the possibility of a WTO Brexit).  It should not be difficult for the Brexit Party to countenance not standing against them. (See list number 1 below of those constituencies). They will have to weigh up whether these seats are likely to win too, and if necessary make way in other constituencies to keep up the number of Tory seats. One way or the other, they need to make sure the Conservatives win close to 300. This number could be lower if The Brexit Party could be sure of winning more than 30 seats themselves, essentially the combined total of their MPs and the Conservatives should be upwards of 330 to secure a majority in The House.

Although this strategy requires the Conservatives winning a minimum of 290 seats, they should be limited to no more than 310, if they get that many they could make a deal with the DUP again. In order to keep the Conservatives from getting a majority The Brexit Party will have to split the vote in some conservative constituencies, which is also another factor that would make a pact difficult.

The upshot of all of this is that it would only take a small number of Brexit Party hopefuls to gain seats to force the conservatives in to a confidence and supply agreement, at which point The Brexit Party could lever the direction of Brexit.

How will they do this?

There are 120 Labour seats in majority Leave constituencies, so it’s probably safe to assume that if the Brexit Party field candidates in almost all these constituencies it’s very likely they could gain at least 30 seats, if not more. There are a couple of pro Deal or No Deal Labour MPs who might be better not stood against too, but generally speaking nearly all the Labour constituencies should be contested by The Brexit Party given Labour’s pro-remain stance.

What Happens if Boris Gets a Deal before an election?

Nigel Farage has recently stated that if Boris Johnson accepts a rehash of Theresa May’s Withdrawal Agreement then the gloves will be off and he will stand against the Tories in every one of their constituencies, even if it means no Brexit at all. For most Brexiters, even those who loathe the Withdrawal Agreement, this would be a big mistake. After all, let’s say Johnson does sign a new Treaty with the EU before the next election, would it not be better for The Brexit Part to use the strategy above to get in to the driving seat at times too and work on negating such a deal from the inside?

There are risks, of course, for instance The Conservatives could win a majority whatever strategy Farage chooses, or they may not win enough seats, but when it comes to getting a tail to wag the dog, you’re going to have to perform some amazingly surgical operations. One of the main tasks for The Brexit Party will be identifying which Conservative seats to leave alone and which to target.

There are other things The Brexit Party could do to give themselves more leverage. The first would be to offer within their manifesto a new election once Brexit had definitely been enacted, and the second would be to give way on its other policies outside of Brexit, well, at least until the following election. I spoke to Richard Tice about this at the first Brexit Rally, he was insistent that these other policies, “common sense policies”, would not lose them many votes, but if the name on the tin says Brexit, then I, and I expect many others, don’t want to find traces of other ingredients in there as well.

Of course, much depends on the situation when the next General Election comes. If Johnson manages to get a clean break from the EU then the wind will definitely have been blown out of The Brexit Party’s sails, however, if as Nigel Farage has been saying the Brexit on offer is merely a Brexit in Name Only, then there will be a good chance for the Brexit party to gain power, but as said above, definitely not by splitting the vote, especially in a reactive display of chucking out dummies, prams, babies and bathwater.

If the Brexit Party does not heed David Starkey’s warning, then it is still possible for Brexit party members to study the lists below and see what might be the best way to vote in their own constituency, even if it goes against Brexit party policy, but even so, as we’ve all heard a thousand times, when it comes to Brexit, “Brexit means Brexit”, not The Brexit Party.

What can the Brexit Party or its members do?

There are several lists below, the first is the list of Conservative MPs who voted against an extension, the second is a list of Labour MPs in Leave areas. Please double check any data below before acting on it as I may have made mistakes collating it.

1    The following 288 constituencies had MPs who voted against an extension and accepted the possibility of a no deal Brexit in the recent vote. These number around 290 which would be a good amount of Tory MP’s to “Prop up the Brexit Party” whilst not giving the conservatives enough of a majority to rule parliament by themselves.

[list 1]

ConstituencyFirst nameLast name
Selby and AinstyNigelAdams
Hitchin and HarpendenBimAfolami
WindsorAdamAfriyie
WaveneyPeterAldous
TelfordLucyAllan
Southend WestDavidAmess
PudseyStuartAndrew
CharnwoodEdwardArgar
Louth and HorncastleVictoriaAtkins
South NorfolkRichardBacon
Saffron WaldenKemiBadenoch
WycombeStevenBaker
West WorcestershireHarriettBaldwin
North East CambridgeshireStephenBarclay
Basildon and BillericayJohnBaron
North West NorfolkHenryBellingham
Mole ValleyPaulBeresford
Rossendale and DarwenJakeBerry
Harrow EastBobBlackman
ReigateCrispinBlunt
WellingboroughPeterBone
Worthing WestPeterBottomley
West Aberdeenshire and KincardineAndrewBowie
MansfieldBenBradley
Staffordshire MoorlandsKarenBradley
Altrincham and Sale WestGrahamBrady
FarehamSuellaBraverman
Stoke-on-Trent SouthJackBrereton
North West LeicestershireAndrewBridgen
Old Bexley and SidcupJamesBrokenshire
CongletonFionaBruce
South SwindonRobertBuckland
Brentwood and OngarAlexBurghart
Bournemouth WestConorBurns
Vale of GlamorganAlunCairns
South SuffolkJamesCartlidge
StoneBillCash
LewesMariaCaulfield
CheltenhamAlexChalk
Gillingham and RainhamRehmanChishti
ChristchurchChristopherChope
Bury St EdmundsJoChurchill
GordonColinClark
Middlesbrough South and East ClevelandSimonClarke
BraintreeJamesCleverly
The CotswoldsGeoffreyClifton-Brown
Suffolk CoastalThereseCoffey
Folkestone and HytheDamianCollins
South LeicestershireAlbertoCosta
WitneyRobertCourts
Torridge and West DevonGeoffreyCox
Preseli PembrokeshireStephenCrabb
Chatham and AylesfordTraceyCrouch
EastleighMimsDavies
MonmouthDavidDavies
MontgomeryshireGlynDavies
ShipleyPhilipDavies
Haltemprice and HowdenDavidDavis
GosportCarolineDinenage
HuntingdonJonathanDjanogly
AldershotLeoDocherty
ChippenhamMichelleDonelan
Mid BedfordshireNadineDorries
St Austell and NewquaySteveDouble
HertsmereOliverDowden
ThurrockJackieDoyle-Price
South DorsetRichardDrax
Rochford and Southend EastJamesDuddridge
Banff and BuchanDavidDuguid
Rutland and MeltonAlanDuncan
Chingford and Woodford GreenIainDuncan Smith
LudlowPhilipDunne
Northampton NorthMichaelEllis
Bournemouth EastTobiasEllwood
Camborne and RedruthGeorgeEustice
Ribble ValleyNigelEvans
Bexleyheath and CrayfordDavidEvennett
LichfieldMichaelFabricant
SevenoaksMichaelFallon
Cities of London and WestminsterMarkField
ChelmsfordVickyFord
TorbayKevinFoster
North SomersetLiamFox
Rayleigh and WickfordMarkFrancois
South East CambridgeshireLucyFrazer
Mid NorfolkGeorgeFreeman
Finchley and Golders GreenMikeFreer
YeovilMarcusFysh
North ThanetRogerGale
Wyre ForestMarkGarnier
WealdenNusratGhani
Bognor Regis and LittlehamptonNickGibb
Chesham and AmershamCherylGillan
SalisburyJohnGlen
Richmond ParkZacGoldsmith
Scarborough and WhitbyRobertGoodwill
Surrey HeathMichaelGove
GloucesterRichardGraham
Ochil and South PerthshireLukeGraham
Ayr, Carrick and CumnockBillGrant
Maidstone and The WealdHelenGrant
North WiltshireJamesGray
Epsom and EwellChrisGrayling
AshfordDamianGreen
Bolton WestChrisGreen
BurtonAndrewGriffiths
AngusKirsteneHair
HarlowRobertHalfon
Thornbury and YateLukeHall
West SuffolkMatthewHancock
Chelsea and FulhamGregHands
Forest of DeanMarkHarper
Castle PointRebeccaHarris
CopelandTrudyHarrison
Carmarthen West and South PembrokeshireSimonHart
South Holland and The DeepingsJohnHayes
North East HertfordshireOliverHeald
WellsJamesHeappey
DaventryChrisHeaton-Harris
North DevonPeterHeaton-Jones
Sittingbourne and SheppeyGordonHenderson
Arundel and South DownsNickHerbert
East HampshireDamianHinds
North DorsetSimonHoare
Meon ValleyGeorgeHollingbery
Thirsk and MaltonKevinHollinrake
KetteringPhilipHollobone
GraveshamAdamHolloway
HenleyJohnHowell
Mid WorcestershireNigelHuddleston
Walsall NorthEddieHughes
South West SurreyJeremyHunt
Ruislip, Northwood and PinnerNickHurd
Dumfries and GallowayAlisterJack
BromsgroveSajidJavid
North East HampshireRanilJayawardena
Harwich and North EssexBernardJenkin
Morley and OutwoodAndreaJenkyns
NewarkRobertJenrick
DartfordGarethJohnson
OrpingtonJoJohnson
Sleaford and North HykehamCarolineJohnson
Uxbridge and South RuislipBorisJohnson
Clwyd WestDavidJones
Harrogate and KnaresboroughAndrewJones
NuneatonMarcusJones
Shrewsbury and AtchamDanielKawczynski
ChichesterGillianKeegan
South RibbleSeemaKennedy
StirlingStephenKerr
East YorkshireGregKnight
SolihullJulianKnight
SpelthorneKwasiKwarteng
Epping ForestEleanorLaing
Berwickshire, Roxburgh and SelkirkJohnLamont
Milton Keynes NorthMarkLancaster
Mid DerbyshirePaulineLatham
South NorthamptonshireAndreaLeadsom
StaffordJeremyLefroy
GainsboroughEdwardLeigh
Northampton SouthAndrewLewer
Great YarmouthBrandonLewis
New Forest EastJulianLewis
Bridgwater and West SomersetIanLiddell-Grainger
AylesburyDavidLidington
Hornchurch and UpminsterJuliaLopez
Filton and Bradley StokeJackLopresti
WokingJonathanLord
East Worthing and ShorehamTimLoughton
South ThanetCraigMackinlay
RedditchRachelMaclean
St AlbansAnneMain
HavantAlanMak
North West HampshireKitMalthouse
North CornwallScottMann
East RenfrewshirePaulMasterton
MaidenheadTheresaMay
Blackpool North and CleveleysPaulMaynard
Derbyshire DalesPatrickMcLoughlin
StevenageStephenMcPartland
TattonEstherMcVey
FyldeMarkMenzies
Plymouth, Moor ViewJohnnyMercer
Bexhill and BattleHuwMerriman
South Basildon and East ThurrockStephenMetcalfe
BasingstokeMariaMiller
Cannock ChaseAmandaMilling
Amber ValleyNigelMills
Sutton ColdfieldAndrewMitchell
SouthportDamienMoore
Portsmouth NorthPennyMordaunt
LoughboroughNickyMorgan
Halesowen and Rowley RegisJamesMorris
Morecambe and LunesdaleDavidMorris
Newton AbbotAnne MarieMorris
Aldridge-BrownhillsWendyMorton
Dumfriesshire, Clydesdale and TweeddaleDavidMundell
South East CornwallSheryllMurray
South West WiltshireAndrewMurrison
Bromley and ChislehurstBobNeill
Truro and FalmouthSarahNewton
Hereford and South HerefordshireJesseNorman
HarboroughNeilO’Brien
HendonMatthewOfford
HexhamGuyOpperman
Tiverton and HonitonNeilParish
WithamPritiPatel
North ShropshireOwenPaterson
RugbyMarkPawsey
Hemel HempsteadMikePenning
Weston-Super-MareJohnPenrose
Brigg and GooleAndrewPercy
DevizesClairePerry
Croydon SouthChrisPhilp
TamworthChristopherPincher
Central Suffolk and North IpswichDanielPoulter
Taunton DeaneRebeccaPow
BanburyVictoriaPrentis
Hertford and StortfordMarkPrisk
The WrekinMarkPritchard
CorbyTomPursglove
HorshamJeremyQuin
ColchesterWillQuince
Esher and WaltonDominicRaab
WokinghamJohnRedwood
North East SomersetJacobRees-Mogg
TewkesburyLaurenceRobertson
CheadleMaryRobinson
RomfordAndrewRosindell
MorayDouglasRoss
North East DerbyshireLeeRowley
MacclesfieldDavidRutley
Sutton and CheamPaulScully
Isle of WightBobSeely
South West BedfordshireAndrewSelous
Welwyn HatfieldGrantShapps
Reading WestAlokSharma
Elmet and RothwellAlecShelbrooke
BroadlandKeithSimpson
KingswoodChrisSkidmore
CrawleyHenrySmith
Norwich NorthChloeSmith
Skipton and RiponJulianSmith
Southampton, ItchenRoystonSmith
MeridenCarolineSpelman
SherwoodMarkSpencer
PendleAndrewStephenson
CarlisleJohnStevenson
BeckenhamBobStewart
Milton Keynes SouthIainStewart
South West DevonGaryStreeter
Central DevonMelStride
Beverley and HoldernessGrahamStuart
York OuterJulianSturdy
Richmond (Yorks)RishiSunak
New Forest WestDesmondSwayne
East DevonHugoSwire
PooleRobertSyms
St IvesDerekThomas
Aberdeen SouthRossThomson
ErewashMaggieThroup
Rochester and StroodKellyTolhurst
Mid Dorset and North PooleMichaelTomlinson
North SwindonJustinTomlinson
North WarwickshireCraigTracey
BosworthDavidTredinnick
Berwick-upon-TweedAnne-MarieTrevelyan
South West NorfolkElizabethTruss
Tonbridge and MallingThomasTugendhat
North West CambridgeshireShaileshVara
CleethorpesMartinVickers
Chipping BarnetTheresaVilliers
BroxbourneCharlesWalker
WorcesterRobinWalker
Wyre and Preston NorthBenWallace
Somerton and FromeDavidWarburton
Boston and SkegnessMattWarman
ClactonGilesWatling
Faversham and Mid KentHelenWhately
South DerbyshireHeatherWheeler
Calder ValleyCraigWhittaker
MaldonJohnWhittingdale
North HerefordshireBillWiggin
South StaffordshireGavinWilliamson
Dudley SouthMikeWood
Hazel GroveWilliamWragg
Kenilworth and SouthamJeremyWright
Stratford-on-AvonNadhimZahawi

The following list shows the Labour areas (or Labour cooperative MPs) where there were majority Leave Votes in the referendum. Most of these areas, though not all, do not have large Conservative opposition. All these areas should be sought after by the Brexit Party.

[list 2]

Oldham East and SaddleworthDebbieAbrahams57.90%
Rother ValleyKevinBarron66.50%
Derby SouthMargaretBeckett61.40%
RhonddaChrisBryant60.40%
Birmingham, NorthfieldRichardBurden59.30%
Leeds EastRichardBurgon61.40%
Birmingham, Hodge HillLiamByrne50.80%
Liverpool, WaltonDanCarden52.20%
RotherhamSarahChampion68.50%
DarlingtonJennyChapman58.10%
Cynon ValleyAnnClwyd56.70%
GedlingVernonCoaker56.30%
BurnleyJulieCooper66.60%
Normanton, Pontefract and CastlefordYvetteCooper70.00%
West LancashireRosieCooper55.00%
Bolton North EastDavidCrausby58.10%
WakefieldMaryCreagh62.60%
Dagenham and RainhamJonCruddas70.00%
Bradford SouthJudithCummins63.60%
Coventry SouthJimCunningham50.40%
Stockton NorthAlexCunningham66.30%
ScunthorpeNicholasDakin68.70%
CaerphillyWayneDavid55.10%
AshfieldGloriaDe Piero70.50%
SloughTanmanjeet SinghDhesi54.10%
BootlePeterDowd54.80%
Birmingham, ErdingtonJackDromey58.50%
WallaseyAngelaEagle52.50%
ElthamCliveEfford52.40%
Sunderland CentralJulieElliott55.40%
OgmoreChrisElmore58.90%
Newcastle-under-LymePaulFarrelly61.60%
Coventry North EastColleenFletcher57.80%
Don ValleyCarolineFlint68.50%
MakerfieldYvonneFovargue64.90%
Sheffield, Brightside and HillsboroughGillFurniss60.00%
North TynesideMaryGlindon59.50%
Bishop AucklandHelenGoodman60.90%
LlanelliNiaGriffith56.70%
Denton and ReddishAndrewGwynne61.40%
Sheffield, HeeleyLouiseHaigh57.20%
DelynDavidHanson54.40%
Kingston upon Hull West and HessleEmmaHardy68.00%
Swansea EastCarolynHarris61.80%
WorkingtonSueHayman61.00%
Wentworth and DearneJohnHealey70.00%
JarrowStephenHepburn61.20%
HartlepoolMikeHill69.50%
Washington and Sunderland WestSharonHodgson64.70%
BlackburnKateHollern55.90%
KnowsleyGeorgeHowarth52.30%
ChorleyLindsayHoyle56.70%
Bradford EastImranHussain55.60%
Barnsley CentralDanJarvis68.20%
Kingston upon Hull NorthDiana R.Johnson59.80%
Clwyd SouthSusan ElanJones60.00%
HyndburnGrahamJones65.80%
Merthyr Tydfil and RhymneyGeraldJones58.40%
Newport WestRuthJones53.70%
North DurhamKevanJones60.30%
Warrington NorthHelenJones58.10%
Worsley and Eccles SouthBarbaraKeeley62.30%
Leicester WestLizKendall50.80%
AberavonStephenKinnock60.10%
WansbeckIanLavery56.30%
South ShieldsEmmaLewell-Buck62.70%
RochdaleTonyLloyd58.00%
Salford and EcclesRebeccaLong-Bailey52.80%
WrexhamIanLucas57.60%
HalifaxHollyLynch60.80%
Ellesmere Port and NestonJustinMadders58.30%
Birmingham, Perry BarrKhalidMahmood54.20%
Blackpool SouthGordonMarsden67.80%
MiddlesbroughAndyMcDonald64.50%
Hayes and HarlingtonJohn MartinMcDonnell58.20%
Wolverhampton South EastPatMcFadden67.80%
St Helens NorthConorMcGinn58.40%
Heywood and MiddletonLizMcInnes62.00%
Newcastle upon Tyne NorthCatherineMcKinnell56.80%
GatesheadIanMearns56.20%
Doncaster NorthEdMiliband71.00%
BridgendMadeleineMoon50.30%
Newport EastJessicaMorden59.30%
WiganLisaNandy63.00%
Great GrimsbyMelanieOnn69.20%
Ynys MônAlbertOwen50.90%
Barnsley EastStephaniePeacock70.90%
Erith and ThamesmeadTeresaPearce54.60%
ChesterfieldTobyPerkins59.30%
Birmingham, YardleyJessPhillips60.60%
Houghton and Sunderland SouthBridgetPhillipson64.50%
North West DurhamLauraPidcock55.00%
Bolton South EastYasminQureshi63.10%
Ashton-under-LyneAngelaRayner63.40%
Leeds WestRachelReeves53.30%
Wolverhampton North EastEmmaReynolds67.50%
St Helens South and WhistonMarieRimmer56.10%
Coventry North WestGeoffreyRobinson58.40%
DewsburyPaulaSherriff57.10%
Stoke-on-Trent NorthRuthSmeeth72.00%
Blaenau GwentNickSmith62.00%
Wolverhampton South WestEleanorSmith54.40%
WarleyJohnSpellar61.60%
Ilford NorthWesStreeting53.30%
Alyn and DeesideMarkTami58.10%
TorfaenNickThomas-Symonds60.80%
HemsworthJonTrickett67.40%
HaltonDerekTwigg57.70%
BlaydonLizTwist56.10%
West Bromwich EastTomWatson68.20%
SedgefieldPhilWilson59.40%
Doncaster CentralRosieWinterton67.40%
West Bromwich WestAdrianBailey68.70%
Batley and SpenTracyBrabin59.60%
IslwynChrisEvans58.90%
PrestonMarkHendrick55.70%
Feltham and HestonSeemaMalhotra58.30%
Oldham West and RoytonJimMcMahon62.30%
Nottingham NorthAlexNorris63.30%
LeighJoPlatt63.30%
Stalybridge and HydeJonathanReynolds58.50%
HuddersfieldBarrySheerman51.90%
Stoke-on-Trent CentralGarethSnell64.80%
RedcarAnnaTurley67.70%

There are also several seats where the Liberal Democrats are in power but closely followed by a Conservative candidate who is willing to go for a WTO clean break, such as in my own area of Eastbourne.  Also, the situation is similar in Hastings and Rye, but their current MP, Amber Rudd, is clearly not happy about a hard Brexit, so it will depend on who is the Conservative candidate and their leanings regarding Brexit as to whether The Brexit Party should field a candidate. In some ways, as long as the Conservatives get around 300 but no more than 310 seats and The Brexit Party get enough to create a partnership with them then The Brexit Party can get something more akin to their vision of Brexit.

[list 3] Coming soon –

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