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Relatively thick runner-up backs Conservative (6)


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'relatively thick runner-up backs conservative' is the definition.
I can't tell whether this definition defines the answer.

'runner-up backs conservative' is the wordplay.
'runner-up' becomes 'loser' (runner-up can mean anyone other than the winner).
'backs' means one lot of letters go next to another.
'conservative' becomes 'C' (UK political abbreviation).
'loser' after 'c' is 'CLOSER'.

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(Other definitions for closer that I've seen before include "One who is skilled at bringing a business transaction to a satisfactory conclusion" , "Nearer or meaner" , "Nearer or more intimate" , "Nearer as to time or event" , "one concludes" .)

I've seen this clue in The Independent.
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