“It’s time to come home,” the Prime Minister recently implored Ukip voters, and he has been joined by Boris Johnson. Tory strategists hope this ‘vote Ukip, get Miliband’ message will scare enough people that it transforms purples into blues and hands Cameron an election victory on Thursday.
But I’m unconvinced. The alchemy doesn’t work. Only if Ukip almost disappears would a combined Tory-Lib Dem coalition win, assuming Clegg is willing to renew his marriage vows.
Tories presume Ukip voters are natural Tories whose ranks are plentiful enough to tip the balance of seats Cameron’s way. Well we can test this by seeing what might happen if Ukip collapsed in the UK’s marginal seats, as measured by the 130 whose pulse has been taken by Lord Ashcroft’s constituency polls.