THE Chippenham seat has become a three-horse race in the General Election, after the Liberal Democrats made a pact with other parties in a bid to beat the Conservatives.

Yesterday morning the party announced it had made an electoral pact with Plaid Cymru and the Green Party which affects between 60 and 70 constituencies.

When the Wiltshire Times spoke to sitting Tory MP Michelle Donelan, she was unaware of the move, which aims to avoid splitting the Remain vote.

The pact aims to persuade voters to back the Lib-Dems.

In the 2017 General Election, Michelle Donelan (Conservative) polled 31,267 votes (54.72 per cent), compared to Helen Belcher (Lib-Dem) on 14,637 (25.62 per cent) and Andrew Newman (Labour) with 11,236 votes (19.66 per cent).

Lib-Dem candidate Helen Belcher said she is “extremely grateful” to the Green Party, adding: “I am very pleased to say the Green Party has stepped aside again, like they did in 2017.

“It makes the public’s vote even clearer and we need to stop Brexit and focus more important things such as climate change.”

Ms Donelan later said: “The public won’t be manipulated by a pact and tactical voting, and this doesn’t promote democracy.

“I have done a lot of work in the constituency and I hope the public will recognise this.”

Labour announced this week that their candidate Martha Anachury will also be standing for the Chippenham seat.

The Green Party has said its possible candidate for South West Wiltshire seat is Julie Phillips and in Devizes a row has broken out over the selection of a new Tory candidate.