LABOUR'S Warrington South candidate Faisal Rashid has welcomed comments from his Liberal Democrat rival over tactical voting to avoid a Tory Brexit.

During the Warrington Guardian debate between candidates fighting for the seat on Thursday, Liberal Democrat candidate Cllr Ryan Bate highlighted the issue.

Remain-backing Cllr Bate, who is supporting calls for a People’s Vote on Brexit, said: “I think my message to people here is, if you want to avoid Brexit because you do not believe it is the right course for this country, then you have got a choice to vote tactically.

“My message to those people who are considering tactical voting is look at the evidence and, if you want to avoid Brexit in any kind, then do what you need to do.”

It comes amid fears from pro-Remain voters that a vote for his party could split the vote and ensure pro-Brexit Tory candidate Andy Carter wins the seat ahead of Labour, which would deliver a major boost to Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

The Liberal Democrats won less than six per cent of the vote in the constituency in each of the 2015 and 2017 general elections, with the battle for the seat effectively being out of Labour and the Tories.

Jo Crotty won 27.5 per cent of the vote for the party in 2010 but it still put them in third place, with the Tories beating Labour to secure the seat.

Mr Rashid, who is defending a majority of 2,549, has confirmed he would back Remain in a second EU referendum.

Campaign groups including the People’s Vote, Warrington for Europe and have recommended people vote for him.

Mr Rashid said he ‘very much welcomes’ the comments made by Cllr Bate over tactical voting in the ‘two-way marginal seat’.

“Voters here face a clear choice on December 12,” he said.

“The Prime Minister’s Brexit deal is a bad deal and does not get Brexit done.

“It would cripple our jobs and living standards.”

In relation to Mr Johnsons’ deal, Mr Rashid also said he ‘would never sign up to such a deal’ and will always put the people of Warrington first.

He added: “My position is clear: Labour will deliver a public vote and I will campaign to Remain in that vote.

“I believe that staying in the European Union is the best deal on the table for our town.

“A vote for me is a vote for hope and a brighter future for Warrington South.”

During Thursday’s debate, Mr Carter, who has thrown his support behind Mr Johnson’s deal, said: “If you want to get Brexit done there is only one choice at this upcoming election and that’s a vote for the Conservatives.

“Your vote matters, it matters more than ever.

“You can decide more chaos and confusion with Corbyn and his cronies, or Brexit done with Boris and the Conservatives.”

Liberal Democrats’ David Myall says Cllr Bate is a ‘great candidate’ but confirmed he will not be voting for him.

He said: “I regret this, but with our electoral system, that could allow a Conservative/Brexit Party MP to win with substantially less than 50 per cent of the vote.

“Repeat that over the country and you get a large majority of seats, without a majority of votes.

“This is why a hung Parliament, with no overall majority for any party, is the best result in my opinion.

“Faisal Rashid has the best chance of winning the seat and Labour’s position is to support a referendum on a renegotiated deal.

“This is really important: we have to ask people to choose between an actual, planned and costed exit plan and remaining – a totally different question to the one asked in 2016.”