Nigel Farage said he hopes the Conservatives win the most seats at the general election, bolstered by enough Ukip MPs to hold David Cameron’s “feet to the fire” over his promise of a referendum on EU membership.
His comments threaten to alienate Labour supporters considering switching allegiance to Ukip.
Mr Farage has previously sidestepped questions on his preferred election outcome, but yesterday changed tack because of Ed Miliband’s refusal to offer an EU referendum.
What I got wrong is I thought that Miliband would promise a referendum, albeit reluctantly. He’s chosen not to do so.
So on that basis, from the Ukip perspective, we would rather see David Cameron as the biggest party, though we don’t trust him at all to hold the referendum on free and fair terms.
But David Cameron as the biggest party with enough Ukip MPs to hold his feet to the fire is for us the best option.
Nigel Farage, speaking to Sky News
His comments follow a poll suggesting the Ukip leader is on course to win a seat next month. The Survation survey for the Ukip donor Alan Bown put him nine points ahead of the Conservatives in Thanet South.
Mr Farage refused to be drawn on how many seats Ukip would win on 7 May, but added: “We are in a position in the last two weeks where we can surge from here.”
Jon Trickett, the shadow minister without portfolio, said: “Once again it is clear the Tories and Ukip are preparing to work together.”