Failing Tories Leaking Support to UKIP In The North East

Reuters/Suzanne Plunkett
Only a fortnight ago, David Cameron pleaded with UKIP supporters to “come home” to the Conservatives and not to use their vote as a “protest” in the general election.Insisting that he had heard the message of frustrated Tories “loud and clear” he begged supporters of UKIP to help Cameron inflict a fatal blow on Miliband by securing an overall majority.

Speaking to the Telegraph, he said: “Now please, come on, let’s get together and take the country forward,” warning them they are needed to “avert the danger of a Labour government.”

That message continued as the possibility of a Labour/SNP agreement reared its head, as polls show the far-left Scottish Nationalists could win 50 seats – albeit a large number off Labour. These are seats which the Tories, and certainly not UKIP, have a real chance of winning so the mathematical benefit to the right at least is that the seat goes from one left-wing party to another.

In England it’s a different matter. While the Tories are hoping to decapitate the Lib Dems in the West, there seems a real reason for right-leaning voters to put their cross tactically on the ballot paper. Certainly in the marginal seat of Chippenham, in Wiltshire, the Tories need to win the seat to be in with a chance of gaining that majority they are desperate for.

Latest figures put Michelle Donelan in the lead but it’s a close contest against incumbent Duncan Hames whose message of love for the NHS and organic vegetables goes down well with many of the well-meaning and well off voters who can afford to vote Lib Dem. With UKIP only in the teens, it’s extremely unlikely that they are going to win. So shouldn’t the eurosceptic supporters think with their heads, not their hearts, and vote blue to avoid yellow?

Ms Donelan says she’s only interested in “a positive campaign” and wants people to vote for her as someone who will do “the best job for the community.”

“I hope that will persuade them to vote Conservative” she told Breitbart London. But in the national picture “If we do not win this seat the likelihood is that we will get Ed Miliband in No. 10” she says.

But in the North of England, internal polling by UKIP shows that in seats such as Great Grimsby, Rotherham, Heywood and Middleton and Dudley North, it’s the Tories who are a distant third. Surely if the Conservatives really wanted to keep Ed Miliband out of Labour, and more importantly stop the “horror” of a Labour/SNP coalition, shouldn’t the party be nudging its supporters to vote purple to avoid Red Ed?

One of their campaign team tells me that the Tories “are on about 16 per cent in Heywood and Middleton and Labour on about 40 [per cent]. Shouldn’t this mean it’s really a two-horse race between Liz McInnes and John Bickely, the candidate who came within 618 votes of causing one of the biggest upsets in modern political history?

“To secure our economic recovery and push on to a brighter future for Britain, people should vote Conservative,” is all a spokesman is prepared to come up with.

It’s a similar situation in Great Grimsby with a head-to-head battle between Unison worker Melanie Onn and Victoria Ayling. “Polling in Grimsby clearly puts the Tories way behind in third therefore a vote for UKIP can stop Ed Miliband taking a step closer to Number 10,” her campaign manager said.

“To avert the danger of a Labour government the Tories should be getting behind Victoria Ayling as only she can beat Labour who have done nothing positive for the constituency since 1945.”

Outgoing MR and Tory leader of the Commons was forced to defend Tory tactics this morning on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme. When asked if, in a straight fight between Labour and the SNP there was a lesser of two evils, Mr Hague, backed into a corner, said:  “We have to point out the dangers, that unless there is a Conservative majority in two-and-a-half weeks the people who want to break up the UK will be running the UK.” Despite sliding out of answering the question directly, the Conservatives are not going to get a majority based on the result of the majority of Scottish constituencies.

It was a remarkably similar answer to the one from the party’s press office, which no doubt features on an internal Q&A document given to all party candidates and staff.

But the problem is, it doesn’t answer the question and it makes the Conservatives look hypocritical and far from pragmatic.