COLCHESTER’S Conservative candidate admitted he faces a battle to retain his seat after welcoming Prime Minister Boris Johnson to the town in bid to boost his campaign.

Will Quince hosted Mr Johnson at property marketing firm Think BDW, on the Severalls Industrial Estate, where he addressed party faithful.

Mr Johnson ended his speech with a call to arms to party supporters in a bid to secure a majority at December 12’s election.

He said: “When you go out of here I want you to tell your family and friends about the choice which faces this country because with just nine more seats we can get a working majority in Parliament, a Parliament which works for you.

“We can take this country forward and escape the morass of the last three and-a-half years.

“Or else we can have Groundhog Day under Corbyn and Sturgeon with yet another hung parliament - miserable, paralysed and unable to deliver on the promises of the people.”

He said: “Let’s get Brexit done and get on with and get on with our project of sensible, moderate, dynamic tax-cutting but one nation Conservative Government.”

Incumbent Mr Quince is feeling the squeeze from the opposition including from Labour’s Tina McKay and Lib Dem’s Martin Goss, who is a senior Colchester councillor.

Mrs McKay has been boosted in the last few days by her party’s rise the national polls and more than one tactical voting site backing her campaign.

Mr Quince admitted he was taking nothing for granted in the race.

“The Prime Minister came here because Colchester is a key seat for us,” he said.

“We have to hold all of our seats as well as gain nine if we want a majority. I have always said with anything in politics the public decides which is as it should be but I am not being complacent.

“I hope the people of Colchester will recognise my record but I do not take anything for granted.”

Home Secretary and Witham MP Priti Patel and Conservative Party chairman Braintree’s James Cleverly, also gave speeches.

Ms Patel has been criticised for ducking a hustings event in her constituency in order to attend the rally. The audience was told she was on ministerial duties.

She has also been ranked the lowest of all north Essex’s MPs in’s People-Power Index. The poll uses ten data sources to rank MPs on their availability, participation and listening.

Ms Patel ranked 643 out of 650, Mr Cleverly was 557th, Mr Quince 447th, Clacton’s Giles Watling 440th and Harwich and North Essex’s Sir Bernard Jenkin was 270th. The poll was topped by Caerphilly’s Labour MP Wayne David with Tory Justin Tomlinson in second.

The other candidate in Colchester is Mark Goacher representing the Green Party.