UKIP surge threatens Midlands Conservative MPs

 

Politics is full of ironies. Take the rise and rise of the UK Independence Party.

Their poll rating has never been higher: 16% according to a recent Survation poll in 'The Mail on Sunday'. Nigel Farage's party will undoubtedly be buoyed by their increasing popularity. But it's Labour who have the biggest cause for celebration.

Michael Fabricant Lichfield MP Michael Fabricant is suggesting an electoral pact with UKIP

Because when UKIP prosper, it's usually at the expense of the Conservatives rather than either of the other two main parties.

In a week dominated by David Cameron's long-awaited 'big speech' on Europe, one of Britain's top pollsters, Professor John Curtice of Strathclyde University, calculates nine local Conservative MPs whose constituencies are not normally considered front-rank marginals could lose their seats in 2015 if UKIP maintain their current ratings.

UKIP would not win the seats themselves, but they would draw enough support away from the Conservatives for Labour to capture them.

Professor Curtice says the local Tory MPs who could face defeat because of UKIP are:

Karen Bradley.................Staffordshire Moorlands

Andrew Griffiths............Burton

Mark Garnier...................Wyre Forest

Margot James................Stourbridge

Chris Kelly........................Dudley South

Jeremy Lefroy..................Stafford

Karen Lumley...................Redditch

Mark Pawsey....................Rugby

Christopher Pincher......Tamworth

Add to this the possibility of Conservative voters switching to UKIP in seats currently held by Labour. In the last general election, the margin of defeat for second-placed Conservatives was lower than the number of votes cast for UKIP in six of their local target seats: Dudley North, Newcastle-under-Lyme, Solihull, Telford, Walsall North and , Walsall South. So the UKIP factor threatens to make it harder still for the Conservatives to secure their longed-for overall majority. Conversely, it may also strengthen the possibility Labour's chances of securing a majority themselves.

That's why the Conservative MP for Lichfield and former government whip Michael Fabricant is suggesting an electoral pact with UKIP with the promise of an 'in-out' EU referendum.

Nigel Farage Nigel Farage: "It's war" with the Tories

So far his recommendation has met a stony official silence from his party and a firm rejection from the UKIP leader.

Nigel Farage says "it's war" with the Tories.

But if the poll ratings continue as they are, could more and more Tory MPs be open to persuasion about a deal with UKIP? What would it take for Mr Farage to shoulder arms?

How likely is it that UKIP's current popularity will sustain through to polling day in 2015? How will they emerge from a heightened level of public scrutiny?

I will be putting these questions, and many more besides, to Professor Curtice himself on this week's Sunday Politics programme. I will also be joined by the Conservative MP for Mid Worcestershire, Peter Luff; the Labour MP for Birmingham Ladywood, Shabana Mahmood and Bill Etheridge who will be UKIP's candidate in one of those seats where the Tories narrowly missed-out last time, Dudley North.

And I hope you will join me too, from 11.00 on BBC One on Sunday morning, 27 January 2013.

 
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  • rate this
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    Comment number 22.

    Having watched the interview with Bill Etheridge on The Politics show, I was struck by his comment which stated that his supporters weren't from other parties. What a load of baloney! Bill himself was a Tory candidate in 2010 and resigned in 2011 because he was sanctioned by Central office for his use of a golly toy and Phil Rowe the Tweedle Dee to Bills Tweedle Dum was a staunch Thatcherite!

  • rate this
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    Comment number 21.

    I agree with some of the previous comments. I doubt that we will have a referendum if Cameron is elected again! I have seen too many lies during my time from both the main parties.
    The question is whether voting for Ukip will allow Labour to get in and ruin the country again ?
    I shall be watching carefully what the voting projections suggest prior to the next election.

  • rate this
    +3

    Comment number 20.

    Given that Labour were woefully lightweight and ran for the hills whenever the EU or Immigration issues were raised, it would be unwise to expect them not to lose voters and MP's to UKIP when the real voting starts.
    Is it really the Tories (who are more EU sceptic than Labour) who are losing out on this issue, or is it the Liberals?

  • rate this
    +4

    Comment number 19.

    So we face some four more years of politicians and civil servants here and in Brussels continuing to feast from the gravy train while they talk talk talk with no promise on the outcome. I too am heading the UKIP way - I've voted UKIP in EU elections, and give me a candidate and I may well do the same in national elections. Where does UKIP stand on gay marriage, another Tory disaster?

  • rate this
    +4

    Comment number 18.

    I have a next door neighbour from Kurdistan who is falsely claiming disability payments from the government. He has just spent three and a half months in Kurdistan courtesy of the British Government benefit system. It's no woder this country is on it's knees. We either allow these fraudsters in to Britain or stop sending British troops troops to their death in these countries. One or the other

 

Comments 5 of 22

 

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