Nigel Farage expected to declare he is running for parliament

Nigel Farage is making an “emergency” announcement about the general election, with speculation mounting that the former UKIP leader will launch his latest bid to become an MP.

One source has told The Independent that the honorary president of Reform UK will declare he is going to stand for parliament in Clacton, in Essex. However, neither Farage or Reform would confirm or deny this.

The seat is seen as a soft target with the pro-Remain former actor Giles Watling defending the seat for the Tories.

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The honorary president of Reform UK has so far shied away from seeking a seat in the general election, but rumours have been swirling that he will run in Clacton.

It is understood that Mr Farage has been looking at the Essex seat for a number of months because it was previously held by Ukip’s Douglas Carswell and had a high vote in favour of Brexit.

Mr Farage had announced last week that he had been taken by surprise by the early election called by Rishi Sunak and did not have time to stand as a candidate.

Farage is expected to run in Clacton (EPA)
Farage is expected to run in Clacton (EPA)

Instead he said he would campaign for Refom around the country.

However, there were concerns in Reform UK that his failure to be a candidate meant their vote would not hold up in the election.

Tory peer and pollster Lord Rob Hayward told The Independent: “No single decision as Nigel Farage not standing has been more damaging for a single party in this election campaign. It has had a real impact on Reform.”

Already, an MRP super poll over the weekend had suggested the Conservatives could be reduced to 66 seats but with Farage potentially boosting the Reform vote the possibility of a wipeout will be seen as more realistic.

However, Mr Farage is taking a risk because he has never won a parliamentary seats after seven attempts. He has though won European Parliament national elections as the leader of Ukip and the Brexit Paty (now Reform UK).

Over the weekend Mr Farage said he wants to stage a takeover of the Conservative Party affter the election, highlighting the possibility Mr Sunak faces a Canada ‘93 style wipeout.

Speaking to the Sunday Times, he said: “Why do you think I called it Reform? Because of what happened in Canada - the 1992-93 precedent in Canada, where Reform comes from the outside, because the Canadian Conservatives had become social democrats, like our mob here.

“It took them time, it took them two elections, they became the biggest party on the centre-Right. They then absorbed what was left of the Conservative Party into them and rebranded.”

Asked if he was suggesting a merger between Reform and the Conservatives, he said: “More like a takeover, dear boy.”

But, despite being expected to announce his candidacy at 4.00pm, Mr Farage also said on Sunday he would not be standing in the general election. “I’ve said no,” he added.