Talk to most Tory strategists about Ukip and Ed Miliband and they say something along the lines of ‘Vote Farage, get Miliband’. They hope that this will deter people from voting Ukip or win back those Ukip supporters who are not irreconcilable to the Tories.
The Telegraph has news that Labour’s private polling confirms the Tory view: Ed Miliband will win Downing Street if Ukip polls 9 per cent of voters, which it is more than capable of doing on current projections.
The Tories, I suspect, will be fairly pleased that Labour has published this information. It reinforces what we’ve known all along: an unpopular left-wing party will win power if the right remains divided. The challenge for Lynton Crosby et al is to fashion a strategy that splits those Ukip voters who might return to the Tories, if only for fear of Miliband and Balls, from the die-hards.
As for what this says about Labour, its strategy, and its messaging, God only knows.
Give something clever this Christmas – a year’s subscription to The Spectator for just £75. And we’ll give you a free bottle of champagne. Click here.