Nigel Farage opens door to Ukip pact with Conservatives - but only if David Cameron is ousted as leader

The party leader also confirmed he will stand in the 2015 general election

Nigel Farage has opened the door to an electoral pact between his UK Independence Party and the Conservatives – but said that Tory MPs would have to oust David Cameron as their leader first.

Some Tory MPs, worried about Ukip's strong performance in last week's local elections, called for a deal between the two parties at the 2015 general election.

It could see Ukip stand aside in seats being fought by Eurosceptic Tories who pledged to vote to leave the EU in the referendum Mr Cameron has promised by 2017.

The Tory leadership dismissed the idea of a pact and there is no sign of a move by Tory MPs to trigger a vote of confidence in Mr Cameron's leadership. However, that could happen if the party panicked after next year's European Parliament elections, when Ukip is expected to come first.

Mr Farage told the BBC's Andrew Marr Show it was "not impossible" that Mr Cameron would be ousted before the general election.

"If he was removed and somebody else was put in place and wanted to come and talk to us and say 'shall we find an accommodation?' we'd consider it, but it is not my priority," said Mr Farage,

Calls for a 2015 pact may grow if Conservative and Ukip councillors form "local coalitions" after last week's elections to keep Labour and the Liberal Democrats out of power in authorities where no party is in overall control.

Peter Bone, a Eurosceptic Tory MP, said Ukip's success made the case for an alliance between the two parties that would see them fielding a joint candidate. "There was a tremendous Conservative vote. There were the conservatives that voted Conservative and the conservatives who voted Ukip. The trick is to get us all together again and that's what we've got to do," he told Sky News.

Mr Cameron is under mounting pressure from Conservative MPs to harden his referendum pledge. Tory ministers may support a backbench Bill to guarantee the public a vote on Europe by 2017. A government Bill will not be included in the Queen's Speech on Wednesday because the Lib Dems will not allow it.

But a Tory MP is expected to bring in a Private Member's Bill and Mr Cameron could back that as a way of putting pressure on Labour and the Lib Dems, who both oppose a referendum.

William Hague, the Foreign Secretary, said yesterday that the Conservatives "will be considering the options" on a referendum. They include two referendums – one before the 2015 election to give Mr Cameron a mandate as he negotiates a "new settlement" with the EU—and another by 2017 on whether to stay in or leave the Union.

David Davis, the former Europe Minister, is leading calls by 20 Tory MPs for a "mandate referendum".

Although the Lib Dems and Labour could block the move, Mr Davis said: "It would be very interesting for the Liberals – and indeed the Labour Party – to vote against giving the public a say on this matter. I think the politics of that for them are very difficult."

Grant Shapps, the Tory chairman, said his party would publish a draft referendum Bill before the 2015 election.

" Of course, we may challenge other parties to support it. If we can get people to support it, then it can come before the Parliament," he said.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA celebration of British elections
Arts and Entertainment
Billie Piper as Brona in Penny Dreadful
tvReview: It’s business as usual in Victorian London. Let’s hope that changes as we get further into the new series spoiler alert
Life and Style
A nurse tends to a recovering patient on a general ward at The Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham
health
News
Fans take a selfie with Ed Miliband in Kempston, near Bedford, on Tuesday
election 2015
Arts and Entertainment
No Offence
tvReview: No Offence has characters who are larger than life and yet somehow completely true to life at the same time spoiler alert
News
Chuck Norris pictured in 1996
people
  • Get to the point
2015 General Election
May2015

Poll of Polls

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Ashdown Group: Accountant - London - £48,000 - 12 month FTC

£40000 - £48000 per annum + bonus + benefits: Ashdown Group: International Acc...

Ashdown Group: IT Support Engineer - Leeds

£22000 - £25000 per annum: Ashdown Group: IT Support Engineer - Leeds This i...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant - Bristol

£18000 - £23000 per annum + Uncapped OTE: SThree: SThree Trainee Recruitment C...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant - Birmingham

£18000 - £23000 per annum + Uncapped OTE: SThree: SThree Trainee Recruitment C...

Day In a Page

General Election 2015: Ed Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

He was meant to be Labour's biggest handicap - but has become almost an asset
General Election 2015: A guide to the smaller parties, from the the National Health Action Party to the Church of the Militant Elvis Party

On the margins

From Militant Elvis to Women's Equality: a guide to the underdogs standing in the election
Amr Darrag: Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister in exile still believes Egypt's military regime can be replaced with 'moderate' Islamic rule

'This is the battle of young Egypt for the future of our country'

Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister Amr Darrag still believes the opposition can rid Egypt of its military regime and replace it with 'moderate' Islamic rule, he tells Robert Fisk
Why patients must rely less on doctors: Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'

Why patients must rely less on doctors

Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'
Sarah Lucas is the perfect artist to represent Britain at the Venice Biennale

Flesh in Venice

Sarah Lucas has filled the British pavilion at the Venice Biennale with slinky cats and casts of her female friends' private parts. It makes you proud to be a woman, says Karen Wright
11 best anti-ageing day creams

11 best anti-ageing day creams

Slow down the ageing process with one of these high-performance, hardworking anti-agers
Juventus 2 Real Madrid 1: Five things we learnt, including Iker Casillas is past it and Carlos Tevez remains effective

Juventus vs Real Madrid

Five things we learnt from the Italian's Champions League first leg win over the Spanish giants
Ashes 2015: Test series looks a lost cause for England... whoever takes over as ECB director of cricket

Ashes series looks a lost cause for England...

Whoever takes over as ECB director of cricket, says Stephen Brenkley
Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power