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Councillors 'would back Ukip pact'

Nearly a quarter of Conservative councillors would back an electoral pact with the UK Independence Party at the general election, according to latest polling.

Some 23% of Tories on councils across England and Wales believe that most local voters view David Cameron as arrogant while just 26% agree that he is seen as in touch with ordinary people, according to the ComRes study for BBC One's Sunday Politics.

It found only 22% think the Prime Minister listens to the views of the party's grassroots and the same amount support the idea of a deal with Ukip in 2015.

Most councillors backed Mr Cameron's overall approach, with 62% agreeing he has the right ideas for Britain, 61% believing he is a good leader and 57% saying he is trustworthy.

The majority expect the PM's push to legalise g ay marriage will hit the Tories at the ballot box, however, and 62% are against the Government's commitment to pledge 0.7% of GDP to international aid.

A number of high profile Conservatives have floated the possibility of an alliance with Ukip in the run up to the election to avoid splitting the right-wing vote, including Jacob Rees-Mogg.

Earlier this week he suggested that Nigel Farage's party would expect to get some MPs out of any deal, which he suggested was "likely" to be discussed next year.

"I'm not going to say which of my friends I think should make way for Ukip," he told Channel 4 News.

"Potentially some, some... Ukip would expect to get some members of parliament out of this, yes, yes, of course."

He added : "My view is that it is likely that there will be some discussions about how to do a deal in a year from now."

:: ComRes interviewed 1,444 out of a total 8,589 Conservative councillors in England and Wales by online survey between August 22 and September 6

A Tory source said: "80% of our councillors didn't respond to this survey so it's hardly representative. It should be taken with a large pinch of salt."


From Belfast Telegraph