Conservative activists ‘want pact with Ukip’

Four out of ten Conservative activists want the party to form an election pact with Ukip, as the party heads for a humiliating defeat at the European elections.

A survey of activists by Conservative Home found a growing number now want the party to form some form of coaltion with Nigel Farage's party.

Forty-one per cent want a pact, up from 34% a year ago. However a majority, 51% still oppose the idea.

Seventeen per cent of those questioned called for a 'vote-swapping' arrangement with Ukip while 16% wanted the parties to stand down in seats, depending on which was most likely to win.

The idea has been championed by Conservative commentator Toby Young, but has yet to find favour among the Conservative leadership.

Today's findings come after a recent poll found the Tories are expected to come third in the European elections, the worst result for the party ever in a national election.

Polling experts have suggested that Ukip are heading for first place, a result which would likely cause widespread unrest in the Conservative party.

A spokesperson for Ukip ruled out any official pact with the Conservatives.

However, they said that local associations may decide to stand down if the sitting Conservative MP was judged to be sufficiently eurosceptic.

The Conservative party leadership have previously threatened to take action against any MP who forms a pact with the party.