UKIP’s been going around twenty years since it started life. It’s grown steadily. In 2001 the Party netted a mere 1% at the GE. In 2010, it achieved 3%, held back by David Cameron’s cast iron lies. Today, with Cameron exposed and unlikely to be trusted again, UKIP polls at 7%.
The Lib Dems at 8%, down from 22% at election time, are about to become Britain’s fourth party, and UKIP assume the mantle of the third party. The Euro crisis can only have one effect and that is to drive more voters away from the traditional big two and over to UKIP. 10% cannot be far away.
The 81 Conservative MPs who rebelled on the Euro Referendum vote two weeks ago have formed the 81 Club. They will be opposing the government again and soon, it appears. The problem is that all they can do is fell the government. They have no other way to influence events as things stand.
They could try another approach, however, and that would be to fell David Cameron.
UKIP is not bothered about how the Conservatives disintegrate. They are simply waiting for the falsehood, which the party has become, to fall apart, in whichever way it prefers. UKIP’s problem is that it can’t get any MPs elected. That might change dramatically in a byelection before the next GE and the world will be changed. UKIP could surge to 20%.
Or events more likely could take another turn. UKIP are not well organised to win byelections and parliamentary seats. They have more influence as a spoiling operation blocking Conservative MPs. In the light of UKIP growth in support, the ’81’ Conservative MPs will have to move to protect their own seats, let alone worry about retaining power at Westminster – power which is fairly illusory with Nick Clegg setting most of the agenda.
Whether the 81 are concerned to survive as MPs, retain power at Westminster, or both, they must move to fell Cameron. They must seize control of the Party, abandon the Lib Dems and form an electoral alliance with UKIP, putting up joint candidates at the next GE. To fell Cameron, the 81 needs only to become the 120 and Cameron is done for. The longer they leave it, the stronger UKIP will be in this new alliance, and the weaker the Conservatives. It is that realisation, which is driving this rebellion and will soon topple David Cameron.
There is no lead to elect a figurehead within the Parliamentary Party to attack Cameron. The 81 are much safer working as a group with no obvious leaders. History shows that leaders are only picked off, either by the media or by other means.
When a leader does emerge, it won’t be Fox or Davis. It could be John Redwood, Owen Paterson or Theresa May. UKIP, like the Referendum Party before it, will yet again influence events in the big game without needing to join it. This time the moves will have to be decisive, or the complete implosion of the Conservatives is inevitable.