Even if we make allowances (as we should) for the fact that British Tory leader David Cameron has had, for electoral reasons, to make policy and presentational changes that are hardly likely to endear him to the Thatcherite right, there is plenty about his “project” that just seems, well, off. Nevertheless, voting is often a matter of opting for the least objectionable party that has a real chance of winning. On that basis, the Conservatives remain the right choice.
After a little rhetorical overkill the Daily Telegraph’s inestimable James Delingpole comes to the same conclusion:
Like the mighty Lord Tebbit I agree that however much we all loathe these despicable, Saul-Alinsky-loving Fabian faux-Tories, they are nonetheless our least worst option in this General Election.
Everyone in their heart knows this, which is why I make a prediction – as indeed I have been predicting for some time – that the Conservatives are going to win with a decent working majority. They don’t deserve it, they haven’t earned it. But the cynical calculation that Team Dave has made is right: serious conservatives, for the most part, have nowhere else to go. For all our blustering about how cross we are and how we’re going to punish the Tories at the polls, the fact is that when the moment of truth comes in the polling booth, our consideration above all else will be: don’t let those New Labour b******s get into power again.
There are a few exceptions to this rule – Tory MPs you shouldn’t vote for, no matter what. But let us save them for another column.
Delingpole is also right about the fact that there are some Tory MPs who don’t deserve to be voted for under almost any circumstances. Would-be eco-commissar Zac Goldsmith is one who springs instantly to mind.
There is also the question of UKIP. UKIP is flawed, sometimes distinctly oddball, and not without some “expenses” problems of its own, but as a device to ratchet Britain’s politics to the right and in an euroskeptical direction, it is invaluable. Voting UKIP in euro-elections (where UKIP does well) can make sense, as can voting for it on May 6th in constituencies where the Tories have no chance and UKIP is running a good candidate. There’s also a very strong case for voting for UKIP’s Nigel Farage (the battler of van Rompuy) in the distinctly anomalous constituency where he is a candidate. Farage, interestingly, has also been making some sensible (if overly cautious) comments on drugs legalisation (much to the horror of the good people of Conservative Home), part, I suspect, of a wider effort (including a tough stance on immigration) designed to make UKIP more than a one-issue party. That makes sense.