Ukip could offer to support a minority Conservative government on key policies like the budget – if David Cameron’s party agrees to stage a referendum on the UK’s EU membership by the end of 2015.
The Telegraph is publishing extracts from Nigel Farage’s memoirs – entitled Purple Revolution – in which the Ukip leader rules out a formal coalition with the Tories as “selling out” but says there is no way Ukip wouldn’t do a deal if a referendum was carried out and it fitted in with Farage’s strict guidelines.
- The Ukip leader would demand that any referendum take place this year, rather than in 2017, which Cameron has earmarked as referendum year if he stays in number 10.
- Farage would also want anyone without a British passport – including his wife – to be excluded from voting.
- Coverage of the referendum would need to be monitored by an ombudsman.
Any alliance would most likely be a three-way deal, with the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) joining the allegiance. The Northern-Irish party shares strong Eurosceptic views with Ukip.
Analysis of polling data seems to show that even this three-way alliance would not be enough, with the combined seats of all three unlikely to make the 326 seats needed for a majority.
David Cameron ruled out any deal with Ukip last year, saying last May:
We are the Conservative Party. We don't do pacts and deals. We are fighting all out for an all-out win at the next election