Hartlepool will be the first stop for UKIP leader Paul Nuttall after he formally launches the party’s General Election campaign tomorrow.
Mr Nuttall will be in the town on Saturday morning, just 24 hours after he kicks off the party’s drive for the ballot on June 8.
I do think we have a good chance of winning this seat and maybe a couple of others.Phil Broughton
He will outline the plans for the national campaign at the Marriott County Hall in London’s Westminster Bridge Road from 11am tomorrow.
And he will join the party’s as yet unnamed candidate in the town from 10.30am on Saturday to meet voters and supporters.
The town has seen several high-profile visits including Nigel Farage.
The party came second in the constituency at the last General Election in 2015, with candidate Phil Broughton collecting 11,052 votes, just 3,024 behind Labour winner Iain Wright.
And with Mr Wright announcing he will not stand for re-election, UKIP will believe it has a real chance of overturning Labour’s lead.
Hartlepool’s UKIP chairman John Tennant, a brough councillor and candidate in the Tees Valley mayoral election, has told the Mail he is “seriously considering” putting himself forward as a candidate.
Phil Broughton has also confirmed he hopes to be picked as the party’s candidate for the constituency.
“I do think we have a good chance of winning this seat and maybe a couple of others,” he said. “I reckon if we get two or three seats and have people in Parliament, we can really fight for change, because Labour and the Conservatives are so similar now, even if Corbyn is more to the left.”
Mr Nuttall’s visit to the Headland and Harbour ward on Saturday comes ahead of a by-election on May 4.
None of the parties expected to contest the constituency in June has yet named a candidate.
The Labour Party has said the short timetable means it will have to impose candidates in constituencies whose MPs are stepping down: “This process is necessary and it is only due to the exceptional snap General Election circumstances,” it said.