Boris Johnson, however, does not
When he finally manages to get the general election he’s been calling for, Boris Johnson’s favoured electoral strategy is to unite the Leave vote behind the Conservatives. In order to do so he needs to attract as many of the Brexit Party’s voters as possible.
Nigel Farage, the Brexit Party leader, is no doubt aware of this. That is why he has offered the Conservatives a ‘non-aggression pact’, where the Brexit Party won’t stand against the Tories so long as they sign up to a no-deal Brexit and allow Farage’s party to stand unopposed in 80 seats.
Such a pact seems unlikely to be agreed, however, with the Prime Minister having reportedly ruled it out, and a senior Conservative source quoted as saying “Neither Nigel Farage not Arron Banks are fit and proper persons and they should never be allowed anywhere near government”.
Despite the protestations from the top tier of the Conservative party, a YouGov survey finds that most people who say they would vote Conservative now look positively on the idea of reaching an agreement with the Brexit Party. Six in ten (60%) expressed a favourable view of a pact in principle, compared to only 23% who would take an unfavourable view.
Please note that the survey was conducted ahead of Nigel Farage’s more detailed proposals of how he would like the pact to work, with respondents asked only how they would feel about a generic situation where the parties agreed not to stand against one another in certain seats.
Those who currently want to vote for the Brexit Party are even more in favour of a pact, with 70% expressing a favourable view of the proposal (including 53% who have a “very” favourable view). Just 17% want to see the parties unbound.