Hvordan vil det etablerte høyre reagere på utfordringer fra partier som stjeler deres velgere? Med politiske argumenter eller slag under beltestedet?
David Cameron har ansatt en australier, Lynton Crosby, som skal lede valgkampanjen i 2015. Under et planleggingsmøte skal han ha foreslått å gå UKIPs nyinnvalgte kommunepolitikere etter i sømmene for å se om det var mulig å brennmerke dem som rasister eller pedofile.
Den samme Crosby irettesatte statsråd uten portefølje, Ken Clarke, for å si offentlig noe av det samme: at UKIPs velgere var skaprasister.
Men på kammerset legger han planer om å svine UKIPs 150 nye kommunevalgte til, skriver the Telegraph.
In what will be seen as a sign of growing unease in the Prime Minister’s inner circle over the rise of Ukip, it has emerged that Mr Crosby held discussions with a lobbying firm about a “below-the-radar” campaign targeting Ukip.
Mr Crosby held the meeting with a lobbying firm, Westbourne. Plans were discussed by those at the meeting about the value of investigating the nearly 150 Ukip councillors elected in the May local elections.
A source familiar with the meeting has said that Mr Crosby referred to elected Ukip members as “f***ers” and suggested that attempts could be made to delve into the personal lives of the party’s candidates.
Mr Crosby, who masterminded Boris Johnson’s two mayoral election victories in London, is said to have at the meeting said that one way to address Ukip would be to reveal information about whether any of Ukip’s elected members are racists or paedophiles.
He also suggested that details about whether a Ukip member had even been declared bankrupt could also assist the Conservatives
En talsmann for Crosby benekter at han skal ha kommet med slike planer. Men det er et faktum at Cameron selv og Ken Clarke har uttalte seg i samme retning om UKIP og dets velgere.
Når Clarke uttalte seg som han gjorde fulgte han opp hva Cameron selv hadde sagt i 2006: at UKIPs velgere var “fruitcakes, loonies and closet racists”
Clarkes bommert var at han la tykt på foran valget, og ikke innså at han dermed skapte sympati for UKIP.
In a television interview Mr Clarke referred to comments made by the Prime Minister in 2006 when he dismissed Ukip as being full of “fruitcakes, loonies and closet racists”.
Mr Clarke said: “I’ve met people who satisfy both those descriptions in Ukip. Indeed some of the people who assure me that they are going to vote Ukip I would put into that category. And I rather suspect that they have never voted for me.” He also referred to Ukip members as “clowns”.
Crosby skal ha funnet ut at åpne angrep på UKIP bare skaper sympati for UKIP. I stedet vil han angripe deres karakter. Nigel Farage sier Toryene planlegger å drive valgkamp fra rennestenen.
Mr Farage last night accused Mr Crosby of descending to the “gutter”. “This goes way beyond the normal constraints of political discourse, debate and opposition,” he said. “It shows the Conservative Party are now conducting their operations not from a bunker, but the gutter.” The Ukip leader added: “There is no doubt that the Government’s recent cack-handed approach to immigration is in response to the rise of Ukip, but so is their never-never land promise of an EU referendum in some mythical time when the Conservatives have won an outright majority in 2015.