Jonathan Calder has pointed out in an excellent post today that some of the leading Tory bloggers have been cheering on Nigel Farage in his bid to unseat new Commons Speaker John Bercow in his Buckingham seat. As Jonathan says:
"Yes He Can!" crows Tory Bear, complete with Obamaesque graphic.
"Go Nigel Go" cries Dizzy Thinks.
And Iain Dale says: "I'm glad I don't live in Buckingham." (I take this an admission that he would find it hard to maintain party loyalty if he lived in the constituency, rather than as a general assault on the this blameless Home Counties town.)
I suspect they reflect a much wider sentiment in the Tory party that John Bercow is not really a proper Tory and that he was imposed on them by Labour as a punishment for them getting rid of Michael Martin. They would shed no tears if Bercow lost his seat, and I think they would see this as just desserts.
However I reckon they are not thinking this through properly. As fun as it would be for them to see Bercow uncermoniously ejected from the Commons they would then have the leader of UKIP sitting on the green benches. This might not matter too much at first. On current polls Cameron is likely to have a healthy majority and should be able to bat Farage away during his honeymoon period.
But what happens when issues like Europe come to the fore? What happens when Cameron has to make the decision on what to do about the Lisbon Treaty? What about other issues where the political compass of the Tory Party is far closer to UKIP than its own leadership?
Currently Nigel Farage is an irritant outside the House to the Tories. Nigel Farage MP would have an even bigger irritant effect. You can imagine that eventually there could be defections to UKIP and with their leader already in the House the temptation for disillusioned Tories to make the break would be even greater.
The worst thing though for the Tories would be in the run-up to the election after next. After 4 or 5 probably very hard years in power as they have tried to drag the country out of the economic slump we are now in Cameron is not likely to be riding very high in the polls. The votes that UKIP will take from the Tories in that election could easily be the difference between keeping and losing power.
With Nigel Farage in the Commons, with or without possible Tory defections, UKIP's profile will be much bigger in a General Election than it is now. The extra kudos that goes with having their leader as an MP could easily tip the balance and force Cameron from power.
Those Tory bloggers who are currently giving overt or tacit support to Nigel Farage should think very carefully about what they are doing. They should look 15 moves ahead on the chessboard. Not 3.