In the Spectator today, Nigel Farage raises the possibility of joint Conservative/UKIP candidates at the next election.
“What I do know is there are Conservative associations up and down the country who think this could be a way forward.
“All I would say to you is that in terms of co-operation or deals or anything in the future, firstly it’s some way off. But secondly, I can see that there are associations thinking along these lines. If they approach us, would I entertain and contemplate such ideas? Of course I would.”
Farage also makes clear his contempt and scorn for David Cameron.
“He’s a committed warmist and he wants to build wind turbines all over Britain. He’s so committed to the EU that he doesn’t want to have a referendum in case we give the wrong answer and he sees no difficulties at all with mass immigration – it’s cheaper chauffeurs and gardeners and nannies. He completely has turned his back on the concept of grammar schools to give people from poorer backgrounds the opportunity to get on.”
If you’re a Tory MP, in a marginal seat, or an association/candidate in a target seat that Tories need to win to achieve a majority, then Farage’s potential offer seems very attractive, especially with UKIP polling at nearly 10% and outpolling the the Lib Dems in some instances.
But how will David Cameron and the rest of the leadership act, if MPs, candidates and associations start approaching UKIP?
The other variable in this is, if Labour promise in their manifesto an in/out referendum, as 81 Conservative MPs recently rebelled on the issue.
The issue of Europe could yet cause as much problems for David Cameron as it did to the Premierships of Margaret Thatcher and John Major.
Note: Mike Smithson is on holiday until June 7th.