We’ve just seen this item on Your Thurrock: Is Nigel Farage set to stand in Thurrock? Reading the piece, you could be forgiven for thinking it’s nothing more than speculation. However, given the number of Brexit Party candidates that have already been unveiled while no one has yet been announced as the candidate for the Thurrock constituency (current MP, Jackie Doyle-Price (Con)), this may well turn out to be an accurate prediction.

We’re assuming that Farage would only contest Thurrock in a general election if, for whatever reason, the UK does not leave the EU as expected on October 31st. If the UK is still an EU member come November, Johnson would have been seen to have failed in delivering his promise and would have no choice but to call an election. Suffice to say, Farage’s presence would result in a lively contest which he could possibly win but if he did, we don’t reckon it would be by a massive margin. With the Brexit Party taking votes from both Labour and the Tories, the result is likely to be a rough three way split with Farage possibly scraping it through to a win.

We’ll be watching developments on this very closely. One of our main concerns is what this could do to community relations in Thurrock which has a large number of EU citizens from mainland Europe living here. At the moment, the biggest issue for EU migrants is trying to secure settled status via a process that’s far from helpful and could well be regarded as obstructive. To date we’ve not seen a lot of evidence of open hostility towards EU citizens and we hope that if Farage does run as a candidate in a general election, tensions are not intentionally stirred up. If they are, we’ll have no hesitation in calling out whichever scumbags are responsible…

Should Farage run as a candidate, we’ll be forensically digging through everything he’s ever said about the NHS, worker’s rights, the environment, trade ‘deals’ with the US…the list goes on. Forensically digging through, highlighting his right wing economic agenda and asking the people of Thurrock if this is what they really want. Not only that, keeping a close eye on how well briefed he is on contentious local issues and what stance he takes on them. Which is a far better strategy than finger pointing and name calling…

This is all ifs and buts though isn’t it? If the UK departs the EU on October 31st without any kind of a deal, predicting what happens next will be difficult. One thing that will be certain is that the Brexit Party will have little reason to continue to exist having seen it’s objective achieved. The assumption is that a fair number of their supporters may well find a home in a Tory party that has lurched even further to the right.

With predictions on the impact of a no deal Brexit ranging from nothing more that a few months inconvenience all the way through to total chaos, whether there would even be a general election depends on the severity of the situation. Somehow, we think a situation where the government of the day has to call on emergency powers just to maintain some semblance of basic functioning and order isn’t going to be conducive to a general election.

To conclude, there’s a lot of conjecture. That’s a reflection of the weird, unpredictable and volatile times we live in. It highlights why we need to be flexible and ready to adapt to whatever situation we find ourselves in. Indeed, we’re living in ‘interesting times’… Finally, we’d like to remind you of our position on Brexit which is: