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UKIP to contest every Worcestershire seat for the general election
THE UK Independence Party is planning to field candidates in ALL six Worcestershire seats at next year's general election, it has emerged.
The announcement will have a major impact on the vital seat of Worcester - and could ultimately decide whether it stays Conservative or switches to Labour.
Your Worcester News can reveal how party figures are already working furiously behind the scenes to make sure all the seats have candidates in place within weeks.
It has already selected a candidate for West Worcestershire, dentist Richard Chamings, and in the Wyre Forest, where activist Michael Wrench is in place.
Now it plans to home in on Worcester, where it finished second in eight of the 11 city council seats it contested last week, and go on to fill all the rest in a clean sweep.
James Carver, a UKIP MEP for Worcestershire, said: "We won't be rushed into the selections but we are planning to go into it with candidates in all six seats.
"I do think the turnout at the European elections would have been a lot lower if we hadn't contested it.
"Whether you agree with us not, we're putting candidates up everywhere in Worcestershire and it'll make the other parties scratch their heads.
"Worcester is obviously a marginal seat. We plan to launch a strong campaign across the county and aim to challenge on all fronts."
It comes as a Worcestershire Conservative MP yesterday insisted it was up to the other parties to "communicate better".
Sir Peter Luff, who represents Mid-Worcestershire and is retiring next year, said: "In the European elections people tended to vote with UKIP because it was 'risk free', but a general election is different - you're electing a Government which makes decisions that affect people every day.
"I don't see what policies UKIP have other than leaving Europe - all the main parties need to stand up and communicate theirs in a way everybody understands so they can see we're on their side."
In Worcester, Conservative MP Robin Walker has a 2,982 majority and is up against Labour's Joy Squires, a city councillor, and Louis Stephen for the Greens.
Nationally, UKIP believes it can make a breakthrough in parliament next year, and in the event of no party having an overall majority could hold the balance of power.
Prime Minister David Cameron has ruled out doing any deals with UKIP.
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