Coffee House

Exclusive: Ukip offers to pay for polls for would-be defectors

4 September 2014

Ukip have been approaching potential defectors and offering to pay for a poll in their constituency that shows how well they’d do as a Ukip candidate, Coffee House has learned.

Since boasting last week that they had a few more MPs who might defect to the party, Ukip have been trying again with some Conservatives they believe to be vulnerable. They approached one with what the MP describes as a ‘carrot-and-stick’ approach. ‘The pitch was you’re a great guy and we’ll pay for a poll with you as hypothetical Ukip candidate if you defect,’ said the MP, who didn’t want to be named. ‘The stick was we’ll soon select a good Ukip candidate who might cost you the seat.’

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It is significant that the party is offering to pay for constituency polls, which do not come cheap at all, in order to tempt MPs over. And the threat of selecting a candidate and fighting properly where previously a robust eurosceptic might have expected the party to lay off the dogs shows that Ukip is now adopting tougher tactics in its quest to cause even more Conservative trouble. It clearly wants more Tories, rather than viewing Douglas Carswell’s defection as a sufficient prize.

The party also approached eurosceptic backbencher Gordon Henderson on Monday. A Ukip candidate has already been selected in Henderson’s seat, but the Tory MP told Coffee House that he was ‘born a Conservative and will die a Conservative and I wouldn’t want to take the Ukip candidate’s job away from him’. That last assertion sounds terribly noble, and the Tories are certainly trying to suggest that Douglas Carswell has been less-than-noble by shunting poor Roger Lord out of the way.

Meanwhile, the whips are still hard at work trying to head off any trouble from the eurosceptics. Laura Pitel from The Times has spotted Mark Reckless, a key EU rebel, being lunched by chief whip Michael Gove today. Gove may well be worried by the prospect that I outline in this week’s Spectator of the eurosceptics exercising their new ‘exit threat’, even though they are utterly furious with Carswell.

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Show comments
  • WorthSayingAgain

    Good luck to them. The inertia in British politics needs to be reduced. Outbreak of democracy needed.

  • ROUCynic

    That nice Mr Gove is a really poor Chief Whip – he’s lost 2 MP’s and now a Minister. What is it with Tory Chief Whips – are they flawed before selection or does the office do it to them?

  • bengeo


    by RAHEEM KASSAM 5 Sep 2014, 6:36 AM PDT NEW YORK, United States –

    Breitbart London can exclusively reveal that UKIP leader Nigel Farage and News Corp Chief Rupert Murdoch met in private this week, following hotly on the heels of Douglas Carswell MP’s defection away from the Conservative Party and into Team Farage.

    The meeting took place at Murdoch’s private office in the NewsCorp building in Manhattan after Mr Farage had finishing taping segments for the Sean Hannity and Neil Cavuto shows.

    Breitbart London can report that following a live interview at the Cavuto show, the host paused for an advertisement break, turned to Mr Farage and said, “Sir… The boss wants to see you. The big boss”.

    The message was relayed to him from Mr Murdoch’s office, at which point the UKIP leader was whisked upstairs for lengthy talks.

    Rupert Murdoch is known to still be heavily involved in the running of his multibillion dollar news empire, evidenced by the fact that he was aware of Mr Farage’s taping of a pre-record on the ground floor in the middle of the day.

    The news of the meeting will likely send shock waves through Westminster’s political and media elite, as Mr Murdoch usually saves such encounters for politicians that he plans to back ahead of a General Election.

    He and his newspaper ‘The Sun’ are often referred to as the king-makers of the 1997 General Election in the UK where Tony Blair swept to power and subsequently won three elections.

    The incident also coincides with rumours of more Tory defections to UKIP. Mr Farage is in the United States for meetings with voter turnout and canvassing experts, as well as doing a handful of U.S. media.

  • FlippityGibbit

    With Gove as Chief Whip I’d defect to as well and I’m not even an MP. Just a thought, has anyone thought that Gove as Chief Whip might be CAUSING the defections? Seems suspiciously like the same effect he had on the Headmasters and teachers! Good on him, I say but then I’m voting UKIP because I don’t trust Dodgy Dave!

  • cargill55

    Well done UKIP for winning Folkestone Harvey Central from the Tories in yesterday’s local council by election.

  • cargill55

    I voted tory for 30 years and switched to UKIP over two years ago, I made the correct decision.

    • goatmince

      Of course you did. Cameron must be ousted.

      If Scotland stay in the UK then Miliband will claim victory with 43 extra seats and Cameron is finished. If Scotland leave the UK Cameron is finished with immediate effect.

      Ergo, Cameron cannot win. Now vote UKIP to your heart’s content.

      • the viceroy’s gin

        …is the goat’s heart content, lad?

  • BornFree

    Not long ago I was a diehard Tory but now I am voting UKIP
    for the simple reason that not only do they answer questions but I like their unambiguous and direct statements.

    • Damaris Tighe

      “unambiguous & direct statements” – yes, & we’re treated like adults not children. Plain English not kiddy-speak. There’s a difference.

  • Vernon Gunn

    One easy way to resolve all the problems in this country, is simply to vote UKIP.

  • ManOfKent

    That last assertion sounds terribly noble, and the Tories are certainly
    trying to suggest that Douglas Carswell has been less-than-noble by
    shunting poor Roger Lord out of the way.

    Well if they feel so sorry for ‘poor Roger Lord’ they could give him their candidacy for the by-election. or perhaps they are worried he might actually try to ;rip Doug Carswell;s throat out’? Clearly Lord is such a jolly fine chap

    One of the worst changes in the Tory party is that they have taken on some of the most disingenuous and unsavoury characteristics of the Labour Party……

    Good for UKIP . They recognise how weak, leaderless and panicked the Tories are. Spreading more destabilisation and uncertainty amongst the Tory ranks it always going to be a good tactic.

    After all can the Tories be certain that one of their own has not or won’t accept such an offer either previously, now or in the future. There are plenty of seats that could tumble if Carswell wins as seems likely. How many sleepers (spies) might UKIP have in Tory ranks only waiting till the appropriate moment to reveal themselves?

    • Conway

      Liked the Private Eye front cover, which has Cameron wondering where the rest of his cabinet has gone, only to be told that they’ve all joined UKIP :)

      • The Masked Marvel

        Wonder if the joy over the sight of Cameron floundering balances out the bile rising in Hislop’s throat over UKIP’s ascendance.

        • Wessex Man

          I should imagine that dear old Hislop at this very moment has half a dozen scriptwriters labouring on his anti UKip ‘jokes’ for the next series of Have I got Propganda for you.

          • The Masked Marvel

            Yes, and so are the BBC writers for all their other comedy panel shows. And the writers for dramas and Dr. Who and all the rest of them have time to work something into future episodes.

  • david trant

    Was Reckless talking Gove out of defecting, or were they deciding when they’ll both jump ship perhaps?

  • Vernon Gunn

    Lunch with Gove. I would definitely defect in that case.

  • alabenn

    You seem to be implying that it is somehow unseemly, it is not anything like importing millions of replacement voters because your old base was deserting, no one is taking money for votes or filling postal votes in en mass, that is what Labour does, that is corruption and fraud, this is asking people if they would like to know how they would fare as another party representative, this is eminently sensible activity by both parties.

    • crackenthorp

      I hope you have proof because you have just committed a libel, your IP address will be going to HQ

      • alabenn

        They have had people prosecuted, they have had members jailed for these sort of things, other than that they are liars as evidenced from T Blair downwards, they have a predilection for twisting the truth, the damages would be about a penny and they could not afford the legal costs, so go ahead.
        By the way who would be your lead witness, do you have one sufficiently holy to cover the stains of recent years.

        • crackenthorp

          Oh but they can and they will also they can sue the Spectator for printing such scurrilous lies.
          If i were you i would print a retraction and damn quick because time is not on your side

          • alabenn

            As you say previously although untruthfully, Maggie closed the Asylums, do you have insider information..

            • crackenthorp

              Well you cannot say you were not warned

              • Alexandrovich

                When I first came to England in the fifties, I was tickled by a saying kids had when they were threatened:
                “I’ve heard ducks fart before.”

              • the viceroy’s gin

                Well you cannot say you’re not an idiot.

              • Wessex Man

                You stupid childish bully, how’s this Mandelson is a poof, Blair is a war criminal, Prescott refused to let anybody else eat the cakes, Cook was an adulter and your mate Cambell occupied the bed next to you in the Loony Bin!

      • ArchiePonsonby

        Oh shut up, you pompous prat!

        • crackenthorp

          oh what a good advert for toryism

          • ArchiePonsonby

            Keep telling yourself that!

            • crackenthorp

              no wonder the tory membership has plummeted

  • Jacques Strap

    The ironic thing is that if Mr Lord kept his mouth shut, UKIP would have found him another seat which may well have been winnable. Unfortunately for him, he shouted his mouth off. It looks like UKIP (and the rest of us) have had a lucky escape. I do hope the Lib Dems enjoy his support. It should lose them a few more percent. Just shows he doesnt want to leave the EU. His reaction is that of a brattish 5 years old not a mature political operator. His reaction should have been graceful and positive and he could have run in another seat or accepted a different role within the party. A swivel eyed loon we can do without.

    • ManOfKent

      Has he joined the Libdems? Priceless! Shows what a complete unprincipled chancer he is ! I’m sure he is among friends in the Libdems!

    • icini

      About right. Seems to me we had a lucky escape, though it is tough for him. Since his local party has not appealed against the HQ selection of Carswell, as they could, I assume they think he can do better for their town than Lord. Party rules are quite clear. The hustings Lord won were for 2015, not a snap by-election. Reports say many of Carswell’s activists have left with him, I wonder how they will get on with the existing bunch, who will end up running the branch?

      • Jacques Strap

        Also, Lord may have been there since 1997, but what exactly has he achieved?

    • DrWatt

      This baffles me too – if I were a local UKIP representitive without much chance of winning the local seat – and suddenly I’m asked to step to one side for someone who would definitely win the seat for UKIP – I would gladly stand down for the better man if it meant that UKIP would get a seat in House of Commons and a closer step to power.

      Whats best for Britain first – party second, self interest third.

      • Conway

        In the case of Carswell who has a proven anti-EU voting record, I agree with you. In my constituency, however, where Paterson has a very pro-EU voting record while pretending to be EU sceptic, I wouldn’t be at all happy if he jumped ship as our PPC is local, has worked hard promoting UKIP and is genuinely in favour of leaving the EU. Fortunately, Paterson has ruled it out and I hope he continues to do so.

  • swatnan

    Thats corruption in anyones book. The Electoral Commision needs to do something about it.

    • Wessex Man

      You silly little person, corruption, we don’t know the meaning of the word compared to your lot!

    • saffrin

      What’s that, postal voting?

    • ManOfKent

      You can be so ridiculous……

    • ArchiePonsonby

      Don’t make me laugh! They can’t/won’t do anything about the pantomime that is Tower Hamlets, anything else is far beyond them!

  • Denis_Cooper

    “… the Tory MP told Coffee House that he was ‘born a Conservative and will die a Conservative …'”

    Quite extraordinary. Do we really want somebody like that in Parliament?

    • FlippityGibbit

      Rather begs the question where does, or has he, any loyalty to his constituency voters?

  • you_kid

    If true this interesting news piece would substantiate the claim that an unofficial Tory/UKIP allegiance firmly eyed a majority in 2015. No one, absolutely no one, not even I, could even dare suggest they were doing a deal, or could we?

    • Jacques Strap

      Not officially. We dont want the wet Cameroons.

      • you_kid

        Now matey, either you just made a statement there which is well above your pay grade or which is equally likely, you are monumentally stupid. My hunch is both.

        • Jacques Strap

          My hunch is you simply dont understand. At least I have a pay grade.

          Just calling someone stupid for the sake of things is a sorry state of affairs.

          • you_kid

            No matey, it is you who does not understand. I didn’t just call you stupid, much more than that. You just confirmed yourself that you are making statements well above your pay grade and that comes as no surprise to any of us. You have no idea what you think you are asserting there and for that reason you can actually consider yourself lucky that I have held myself back. Matey.

            • the viceroy’s gin

              How’s the goat, lad?

            • Wessex Man

              You’ve confirmed to me the opinion that I have held about you for some time.

  • John Dalton

    Good for UKIP!

    They should do whatever it takes, being faced with a battle ground so loaded against them – where the three main parties will club together and throw every dirty trick they can muster to deny UKIP a place at the table with the total support of their lackeys in the media.

    • Last Man Standing

      It’s an approach the Spectator seems happy to adopt, following the Tory line word for word, as if some staff were hoping to move into a career in Tory (not conservative) politics.

      • The Sceptic

        Reminds me of the scene in The Thick of It where they steer the young, impressionable journalist to repeat the official party line, word for word, in the local paper.

        • Blakenburg

          I remember going to a Fresher’s gathering at a university, and the Tories had a stall, One young student joined the party 4 months before, and when I asked him a question, he echoed the Tory Councillor in attendance word for word when he had spoken to another enquirer five minutes earlier. It was really funny to listen, as if it were a Record or Tape on official party line !

          • telemachus

            All this is music
            Cameron is set to deliver a deal more than the 43 predicted marginals to the forces of reason by dint of the split vote

            • ManOfKent

              Oh Teletubby. You and your ‘forces of treason’. Every knows they will be a disaster and when Scotland votes yes as seems increasingly likely unless the Misfit is smart with his tactics and calls for the election to be delayed he will be thrown out on a vote of no confidence.after only two years.

              • telemachus

                This is the only thing I truly fear
                The prospect of a Salmond-Cameron Hegemony over these sceptred isles
                I would move to Brusslels

                • Kitty MLB

                  You would move to Brussels would you..well it would make a
                  change from moving Brussels to England.

                • telemachus

                  If on September 18 the Scots vote to let that bloated self satisfied tub of lard smile, I suspect a good deal more than I will want exit

                • Wessex Man

                  Please feel free to go now, don’t rely on Call me Dave and the Fat Controller!

                • telemachus

                  The final straw would be if the good people of Thanet put a racist MP

                • FlippityGibbit

                  I wouldn’t bother because if that came to pass Brussels would be moving to the UK. Vote UKIP and flush the lot of them away. Proven to wipe out 99.99% of EU Luvvies with a single application. Other cleaning products are available but NONE deliver what they promise on the label!

              • realfish

                Slither in through the snake-flap, more like.

            • icini

              Labour, Thieves in the night, lurking in the background, hoping to sneak in by an open back door, against the will of the majority. What nice people, Think, if Mili did for his brother’s career, what will he do to you?

            • Darnell Jackson

              No up votes again


          • realfish

            Yeah! A bit like the UKIPpers on here.

            Liblabcon….Liblabcon…Liblabcon…….then they peel them with their little knives…exterminate…Liblabcon

            Not so much, ‘The Thick of It’, more like the brainless followers in the ‘Life of Brian’.

            • icini

              How dare you talk about David like that. Anyway, he’s not the messiah, he’s just a very naughty boy.
              Viva UKIP.

              • realfish

                Very good! (except for that last bit)

                • telemachus

                  For those who do not read the Folkestone Herald


                  UKIP says today’s victory in the Folkestone Harvey Central by-election is a “vote for change”. David Callahan was selected to replace former disgraced…

                  Read more:

                  Be afraid
                  Be very afraid

              • ArchiePonsonby

                Ha ha! Now THAT’S funny!

      • ManOfKent

        What careers in politics? I foresee the Tories in a long term spiral of decline where they have to lay people off.

        Whats most bizarre though is they think this sort of drivel actually achieves anything other than to emphasise the sense of division, dysfunction and chaos that surrounds the Tories.

      • FlippityGibbit

        The Conservatives have a problem, AGAIN! Where to find a Kamikaze Conservative Candidate willing to take all the humiliation and embarrassment of being wiped off the face of the earth by Mr Carswell. Rumour has it Dodgy Dave volunteered Boris for the job but the backbenchers threatened to put Dodgy Dave’s name forward instead. Another swift U-turn was the result!

    • ManOfKent

      On the contrary. I think the more they continue this the more it irks people’s sense of fairness . People are not daft. They can see these articles are written by Westminster establishment stooges and as such it just strengthens UKIP’s anti establishment credentials and tells them that UKIP are thankfully not like the mainstream parties.

      Long may the Freakshow treat them unfairly because this isn’t 2010. UKIP are on the political map. They cannot be dismissed with such puerile tactics anymore.

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