Michelle Gildernew has predicted that unionist farmers will help her retain the seat.

Mrs. Gildernew insisted many pro-Remain unionists in Fermanagh and South Tyrone see her as a better option than her Leave-voting unionist rival, Tom Elliott.

Ulster Unionist Mr Elliott, a unionist farmer himself, said he is still a “soft” leaver but agrees with his new party leader, Steve Aiken, that remaining in the EU would be better than the terms of the withdrawal deal.

However, he believes a no-deal exit would also be preferable to the proposed UK/EU agreement.

Mrs. Gildernew claims the backing of pro-Union voters could be key on December 12.

“The Brexit thing is having an impact and people who maybe still wouldn’t necessarily agree with me on a constitutional position, agree with what I’m saying and what Sinn Féin are saying on the Brexit issue and they will vote,” she said.

“People are really, really concerned. Unionist farmers are looking at their future in a post-Brexit UK, and they’re frightened, and they’ve very good right to be.”

She claims some of those same unionists are also now reconsidering their views on the Union itself.

“People who couldn’t comprehend it a few years ago are genuinely examining it and asking themselves those questions now and that’s very healthy, that’s to be welcomed,” she said.

“And Brexit has done that. People now know, if I have to choose which union I am going to be part of, I might pick the European Union in a United Ireland rather than the Union with Brexit.”

Mr. Elliott, who won the seat from Mrs. Gildernew in 2015, only to see her regain it in 2017, sees it differently.

He does not believe Brexit is the issue per se, rather the length of time the process of leaving the EU has taken.

Mr. Elliott backed Leave in 2016 despite his party’s pro-Remain stance.

After the referendum, the UUP changed position and urged support for an EU exit, insisting the democratic vote had to be respected.

It has since moved again, with recently-appointed Mr. Aiken signalling a return to a pro-Remain position, arguing that staying in the EU would be much better than leaving on the terms agreed by the Prime Minister.

There has been speculation over whether Mr. Elliott is in tune with his new leader.

He said he agrees that remaining would be better than Boris Johnson’s deal, but adds a caveat – that a no-deal exit would also be preferable to the current deal.