Polls still suggest Conservative-UKIP pact key for 2015

The UK media is obsessed with the decline of Labour, but the polls show there is little chance of a Tory government without a pact with UKIP in 2015

Dave! Shake Nigel's hand if you want to win...
The Commentator
On 6 August 2013 11:59

This quietist of months in the British political calendar should be a time for sober reflection. Unfortunately, much of the British media remains locked in old-paradigm thinking. According to The Independent's poll of polls for July:

"A weighted average of July’s polls shows Labour’s lead over the Conservatives has tumbled from 11 points in March to just five points. It puts the Tories on 33 per cent, Labour on 38 per cent and the Liberal Democrats and the UK Independence Party on 11 per cent each."

In an article headlined: "Miliband leadership under fire as Conservatives close gap on Labour in the polls", the stress on the appalling leadership of Ed Miliband is understandable, but it still misses the key point.

And that key point is that the Conservatives still have literally no chance of forming a government on their own at the next election, unless the polls were actually conducted by researchers composed of activists from Labour and UKIP, in which case just disregard them and assume David Cameron is really riding high on 45 percent.

He just isn't.

Unless the nightmare of renewed Tory-Lib-Dem coalition is your preferred option, the Conservatives need to win "outright" in 2015. Here's the only real world way they can do it: They need to form an electoral pact with UKIP. Forget all the bad blood. Politicians have a way of saying "past is past" when it is manifestly in their interests to do so.

The pact does not need to (though may in some constituencies) take the form of an actual joint ticket. But for the benefit of both parties it needs to ensure that at the elections UKIP withdraws candidates and actively campaigns for Conservatives; with the reverse applying in other marginals whereby Conservatives tell their supporters to vote UKIP.

You can skin this cat however you want to. The fact remains that unless some variation on that theme is worked out for 2015, the Conservative Party will not govern Britain alone after those elections; it will probably be pushed into opposition as the Lib-Dems switch allegiance to Labour; if it does stay with the Lib-Dems it will alienate to distraction core Tory activists; and there will be no referendum on the European Union.

For the British right, the electoral fortunes of Ed Miliband are not the main issue unless (which it won't) Labour under his leadership suddenly surges by 10 percentage points, and stays there.

Keep your eye on the ball. Everything now depends on some kind of a deal with UKIP and the Conservatives. The rest is fantasy.

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