David Davis MP has now come out and is advocating a referendum on Europe. I have listed several times on this blog on why we should remain in Europe. I am very conscious, and I should be, on how the EU budget, which is in the news so much recently, should be, at best, cut, at worst, frozen. The vote in the House of Commons recently was dubbed by the BBC as a "government defeat" - yet it would only strengthen the government's position. The Prime Minister will fly out to Brussels once more, and even if 26 countries all vote for a rise, we will say no. We will veto this budget.
Yet to have a position of responsibility is not enough for some MPs. We can be in the EU and we need to be in the EU to influence their position as a major trading partner of the United Kingdom. It's still not enough for some of our mutinous backbenchers, so I'm going to turn into Sir John Major for a moment and say this to them: Put up or shut up. If you don't like our position on Europe, then cross the floor over to UKIP. We cannot afford to tear ourselves apart like we did in the 1990s over Europe. That is how Tony Blair walked into power. The Liberal Democrats are now in terminal decline. They have lost 16 percentage points on the 2010 general election figures. These mutinous Conservative MPs can stop going to wishy-washy laundry shops, and, if it matters so much, cross the floor. We will survive.
How does the voter come into this? Those people who had voted for a left-wing party in 2010 (Labour/Lib Dem) will do so in 2015, according to YouGov. The difference is that there is a swing of 14.5% from the Liberal Democrats to Labour (so 14.5 people out of every 100 have changed party, but to the other left-wing one). There is also a shift on the right-wing vote. UKIP are stealing Conservative votes. There is a swing from the Conservatives to UKIP of 4.6%.
That's 4.6% less in a share of the vote, which would be enough, even without taking the left-wing swing into consideration, to give Labour the largest party in the House of Commons. Add in the left-wing swing and Labour have a landslide. Add in some more detailed results for Scotland and Wales (where UKIP aren't performing well, and the Conservatives are picking up, especially in Scotland) and it's slightly less. Scotland and Wales are getting the centre-right vote onto one party. In Britain as a whole. the left-wing has stuck to one party, so when Ed Miliband was talking about "one nation", I didn't realise he was being quite so literal. The right-wing voters must now follow suit. Undo the 4.6% swing to UKIP from the Conservatives and it's enough to give Labour a real fright. Redoing the right-wing swing, but undoing the left-wing swing wipes out Labour's majority. The right-wing needs to stick together.
We cannot let Europe tear ourselves apart. We need rallies. We need meetings, and we need some private meetings with all the Conservative MPs - the right-wing can fight Labour if we are one party, not two. A vote for UKIP will ensure a Labour government that says "yes" to Europe, "yes" to the Euro, "yes" to rises in the budget, opportunism and scaremongering in Europe, and Britain's darkest European days. With the left-wing sticking together, time to get the right-wing parties to stick together, including the Conservative's in-party squabbles. This is when we have to think. This is when Britain can deliver - when we don't tear ourselves apart.