Fabricant estimates that UKIP could cost the Tories 20-40 marginal constituencies but dismisses UKIP's chances of actually winning a Westminster seat. He suggests promising an EU referendum in the run up to the election in return for which UKIP wouldn't stand against Conservative MPs.
What Fabricant fails to understand - and for an advisor on grassroots campaigns this should be quite worrying for the Tories - is that UKIP isn't just about the EU. A Cameron promise is worthless anyway as we've already seen but even assuming he could be trusted to hold a referendum if he promised one, what would be in this deal for UKIP? A referendum on the EU? Great, so how does that reduce taxes and simplify the tax system, protect civil liberties, provide adequate funding for the armed forces, reduce NHS bureaucracy, control immigration, bring down electricity prices and establish energy security, establish a Commonwealth free trade area, put the justice back into the criminal justice system or restore democracy to England? If UKIP was a single-issue pressure group then it might be tempting but leaving the EU is only one piece in a big purple and yellow jigsaw.
Nigel Farage has already told Fabricant that there will be no deal with the Tories and that after Cameron's refusal, in the wake of the Rotherham child catcher scandal, to retract his 2006 comment that UKIP are fruitcakes, loonies and closet racists "it's war". Fabricant responded by saying it would be a couple of years away and he never says never. Well, we can say it for him: there will NEVER be a deal with the Tories.
Considering UKIP isn't a threat to the Tories, an awful lot of Tories seem to be worried enough to want to do a deal with us.