Oh dear. It's been a difficult week for Nigel Farage. The Brexit party leader announced on Monday that he would not be standing candidates in Tory-held seats. He had hoped that in return the Conservatives would consider standing down candidates in a number of Labour heartlands where he believed the Brexit party would fare better. The Tories, however, were having none of it.
To make matters worse a number of Brexit party candidates have got cold feet about Farage's strategy. All election candidates had to submit their documents by 4pm to stand. Dudley North was seen as a key target seat of the Brexit party. However, the candidate for that seat announced at 3.59pm they would not be seeking election.
Given Lowe's last minute decision, there was no time for the Brexit party to field a different candidate meaning it is a straight Tory/Labour race. Brexit party sources are none too pleased with the tactics – Nigel Farage had been due to speak in Dudley on Friday at 11am. Given that they no longer have a Brexit party candidate that now looks a less fruitful pursuit.
Mr S makes that two-nil to the Tories...