It is said that the now 32% of Tories who are dissatisfied with David Cameron have nowhere else to go. The number who stayed-at-home for the Bromley by-election showed that the dissatisfied did have another option. Joining UKIP is a second option and today's Times highlights the case of three Tory officers who have chosen this option. The three Tories are Toby Horton, former Chairman of William Hague's local party, Mark Hudson, on the official candidates' list, and Kevin Davidson Hall, former Tory candidate for Peterborough. Anthony Browne, who wrote The Times' story, obviously does not pay enough attention to ConservativeHome as he makes no mention of our hugely relevant Monday finding that UKIP was the favourite choice of party activists when it came to mentioning the other political party closest to their views. If David Cameron does not adopt a more Eurosceptic outlook - and certainly if he fails to deliver on his revised EPP pledge - he will only risk more leakage of supporters to Nigel Farage's party.
For most Tories, however, UKIP candidates are the Europhiles' useful idiots. Again and again they deprive more Eurosceptic Conservative candidates of a majority over LibDem and Labour candidates. 1997 taught the Conservative Party that a fringe party like the Referendum Party does not need to do spectacularly in order to deny us victory in crucial marginal seats.