UKIP has continued to make inroads at the Conservatives’ expense as yet another London councillor defected to the purple party. The move, announced yesterday, came as a YouGov poll revealed that 20% of Tory members could vote for UKIP.
The shift appears to be part of an ever-widening rift between the Conservative leadership and the party base, with the YouGov poll finding that 42% of Tory Party members felt that the party did not respect them very much and 11% saying that it did not respect them at all.
The message was echoed by Richmond councillor Scott Naylor, who said he would be joining UKIP because it represented the best deal for local people and offed a real chance at enacting European Union reforms.
“I have decided that UKIP offers me the freedom to represent local people without feeling restrained in what I can say on local issues, like the development of Twickenham Station,” he said.
Naylor had been deselected as a Conservative candidate last month after a string of disagreements with his local party. The defections come hot on the heels of similar defections, including in the London boroughs of Merton and Hounslow.