Local election results 2014: David Cameron told to deal with Ukip or take a tougher line on immigration
David Cameron is facing pressure from some on the Tory right to do a deal with Ukip or take a tougher line on European Union immigration to prevent the party haemorrhaging support that could cost it the general election.
As recriminations began following a poor night for the Conservatives, the Prime Minister said he still believed he could win another term in Downing Street next year. But he conceded that the public were “frustrated” with the political establishment’s failure to address their concerns.
With some areas still to declare the Conservatives had lost control of 11 councils and had lost 190 seats. The Tories were predicted to get around 29 per cent share of the vote – up slightly from last year – but down from 2012 when the party got 31 per cent.
Among Conservative losses were several important battlegrounds which the party will need to win if it is to have any chance of a majority in 2015.
The party lost control of the bellweather councils of Crawley, West Sussex, Basildon in Essex as well as the London borough of Hammersmith and Fulham where Labour took 11 Conservative seats. However, there was better news in Trafford, Greater Manchester where they saw off a Labour challenge.
The right-wing backbench MP Jacob Rees-Mogg suggested it was time for his party to reconcile itself with Ukip and its supporters. “If we look at the results that are coming through, the small ‘c’ conservative faction of British politics is picking up a very large share of votes – and in a first-past-the-post system, if they don’t get those votes into one pot, both sides end up losing,” he said.
“I think the first task is to win our friends in Ukip back. How do we get people who voted Ukip today to vote Conservative in the general election next year?
“If we don’t get them back we will find that we lose seats that have a small ‘c’ conservative majority – so that’s a real challenge for the party.”
Another Conservative backbencher Douglas Carswell said: “The two of them need to do a deal. If the alternative is Ed Miliband as prime minister, and no chance of a referendum, surely a pact is worth considering?”
The right-wing Tory Bow Group called for a members’ election within six months to replace Grant Shapps as party chairman, and reform to make the party more democratic and in-tune with its members. “The Conservative Party has ignored the rise of Ukip and is haemorrhaging voters as a result, but the fundamental problem is that it has ignored Conservative principles, its members and voters for too long,” said Bow Group chairman Ben Harris-Quinney.
But Mr Cameron ruled out a deal and said his party’s job was to win back Ukip voters. “People want us to deliver,” he said. “The economy is growing, we are creating jobs, but we have got to work harder and we have got to really deliver on issues that are frustrating people and frustrating me, like welfare reform and immigration and making sure people really benefit from this recovery.
- 1 The West has it totally wrong on Lee Kuan Yew
- 2 Watch: Man takes selfie every mile of 2,600 mile hike, creates amazing timelapse video
- 3 The day I starred in Only Fools and Horses
- 4 #FreeTheNipple: Women in Iceland bare breasts in solidarity with trolled student
- 5 Scientists have discovered a simple way to cook rice that dramatically cuts the calories
Germanwings captain Patrick Sondenheimer tried to break into locked cockpit door 'with an axe' as plane was descending
Saudi Arabia says it won't rule out building nuclear weapons
The battle for the Middle East's future begins in Yemen as Saudi Arabia jumps into the abyss
Jeremy Clarkson 'could be given minder' ahead of a potential Top Gear return
#FreeTheNipple: Women in Iceland bare breasts in solidarity with trolled student
Ukip supporters are 55 or older, white and socially conservative, finds British Social Attitudes Report
JK Rowling responds to fan tweeting she 'can't see' Dumbledore being gay
Jeremy Clarkson sacked live: Alan Yentob 'wouldn't rule out' ex Top Gear host's BBC return
Revealed: Putin's army of pro-Kremlin bloggers
Germanwings plane crash: Co-pilot Andreas Lubitz wanted to 'do something people would remember him for'
Andreas Lubitz: Knee-jerk reaction to 9/11 enabled mass murder
£6 per hour: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity to join a gro...
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A Service Delivery Manager is required to join...
£12000 - £24000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A opportunity has arisen for a ...
£32000 - £38000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A successful accountancy practice in...