‘The defection of Tory MP Douglas Carswell to UKIP is undoubtedly a major blow for British Prime Minister David Cameron and the ruling Conservative Party.
In June, UKIP celebrated an excellent result by topping the poll in the European Parliament elections. For the first time since 1906 a party other than the Conservatives and Labour had got the most votes in a national poll in the UK. Many said it was a “flash in the pan,” but Tory hopes that UKIP had peaked look to have been wishful thinking. The damage that UKIP is doing to Tory election chances is considerable, as current betting odds show.
The bookmakers make Labour odds-on favorites to win next year’s General election, with the Conservatives odds against to win most seats. Cameron’s party is as big as 3-1 to win a clear majority and, remember, the bookies don’t often get these things wrong.
David Cameron was the man who the Tories believed would lead the party to a new era of political dominance to match the one they enjoyed in the 1980s. Yet he now seems likely to go down in history as a one term Prime Minister; and a pretty disastrous one at that. So where did it all go wrong for “Dave”?
To answer that, we need to go back to the autumn of 2005, when Cameron, then a relatively little known MP, became Conservative Party leader.
Tory bigwigs were frustrated that they had been out of office for eight years; and had gone through three different leaders while Labour kept on winning elections.
William Hague, Iain Duncan Smith, and Michael Howard had all failed to connect with voters. Influential Tories, envious of Labour’s electoral success, took the decision that they needed their own Tony Blair. A spate of opinion pieces appeared promoting Cameron as a “modernizer” who could do for the Conservatives what Blair had done for Labour, i.e. transform a party that looked unelectable, into an election-winning machine.
“Dave” would copy Tony Blair’s informal style, his “modernizing” social policies, and his enthusiasm for foreign military adventures (and hey presto) he’d deliver to the Tories a landslide victory come the next general election.’