What with the rise of UKIP votes, is the party previously dismissed as consisting of 'fruitcakes, loonies and closet racists' a potential coalition partner in a future UK government?
Ukip: the party that's coming in from the cold
the UK Independence party, which has spent well over a year regularly scoring at least 6% or 7% in the polls, and often climbing as high as 11%, thus relegating the poor old Lib Dems to fourth place. At last week's Corby byelection, the party managed an impressive 14.3%, its highest-ever share of the poll in any such contest. That day, there was also a byelection in the seat of Cardiff South and Penarth, where it managed 6.1% – not nearly as convincing, but still its highest share in any Welsh election. And in the same day's somewhat shambolic elections for police and crime commissioners, Ukip's share of the vote per candidate once again put it ahead of Nick Clegg's lot.Personally, I doubt this, as Ukip votes tend to come from disgruntled Tory voters - if anything, Ukip could very well deny the Tories another term in office by splitting the centre-right vote, at the same time that the left-wing vote is likely to be sucked up by Labour at the Lib Dem's expense.Yesterday, the Tory MP and party vice-chairman Michael Fabricant published a report titled The Pact, in which he advocates an electoral deal between the Conservatives and Ukip, on the basis of a referendum on Britain's EU membership, and a place in a future Tory cabinet for the Ukip leader Nigel Farage.
Also, Ukip has had a relatively easy ride from the media spotlight, as no one seriously thinks of them as players in the big league and there's been less attention shone on them. But if that was to change, then the bizarre personalities of the likes of Nigel Farage (the top photo in the article says it all), their love of hands-in-the-till, and the inherent contradictions of a Eurosceptic party having its most success in the European Parliament will be put under the microscope of media scrutiny, something I suspect Ukip is poorly equipped for.