Donald Trump has raised the subject of a Conservative-Brexit Party pact at the coming election. His view? That Boris Johnson and Nigel Farage should “get together” to create “an unstoppable force”.
Do Tory members agree? Fortunately, we have a survey finding in our monthly poll on exactly this question.
Just over half are of the same mind as the American President. Fewer than one in ten don’t know. That leaves two in five opposed.
Those figures are almost exactly the same as those we found just before Johnson became the Conservative Party leader and Prime Minister. Then, 49.93 per cent of panel respondents were for a pact and 39.5 per cent against one. That finding was essentially unchanged from the month previously.
Our surveys have tended to find in recent that Brexit is the top issue for Party activists. And they are being presented by the Prime Minister with an election that he hopes will “get Brexit done”.
That being so, it is perhaps not surprising that a majority of activists believe, however narrowly, that it therefore makes sense to work with another party that wants to leave the EU.
That’s why roughly two in five of them at one point backed an electoral deal between the Conservative Party and UKIP. And Farage is ensuring that the Brexit Party is a much more mainstream offer.
So when Tory members look at it and see Ann Widdecombe, their natural reaction is: “she’s one of us”.
However, whether this election campaign really will focus on Brexit in the first place, whether it makes sense to work with the Brexit Party if it does, and whether that party would want a deal, anyway – all are highly debatable.
We will return to the matter next week.