Tim Montgomerie's piece in The Times today (£) has certainly got tongues wagging. Though Montgomerie wrongly seeks to caricature UKIP as a Party not in touch with the British people - when in reality very few people want to see things like foreign aid lavished on the likes of India - he does point out a few interesting things.
There are some Tory MPs seriously considering defecting to UKIP. That's hardly surprising given UKIP's increasingly solid polling and recent defection of Councillors, a former Conservative Future Deputy Chairman and an MEP in Roger Helmer.
I think however Montgomerie's thinking is a bit wishful. I truly believe that the 'Cameron Project' hasn't just temporarily turned off some true blue Tories who will easily return to the fold. What we are instead seeing is people formerly who had spent decades in the Conservative Party breaking away perhaps forever, such is their disillusionment. They see a Conservative Prime Minister they campaigned to get in, who seems utterly terrified with the notion of implementing small-c conservative policies. Instead, he's jumping through hoops to appease the LibDems, a Party that is polling the same 11% as UKIP in the latest Survation poll.
What's more, Cameron can't do a damn thing about those now opting to vote UKIP who previously didn't vote at all, voted Labour or voted LibDem. UKIP's Bradford by-election candidate was a former Green Party member! These are people who would never vote Tory anyway, particularly in the North, and give UKIP a resilient backbone that is not up for grabs for Cameron anyway. It is this widening appeal nationwide combined with the Tory defectors that should worry Cameron. UKIP is not a narrowly appealing Party filled to the brim with ex-Tories as the media would have you believe.
What's more, UKIP is no longer some upstart Party of two or three years with no national structure or activist base and the signs going into this year's May local elections are very good. In many areas UKIP are putting up more local candidates than the governing LibDems. That shouldn't just worry the Tories, but all of the establishment parties currently inhabiting Westminster.
Tory MPs defecting to UKIP is a big threat to the current status quo. Even bigger will be UKIP's ability to have built up local strongholds and have UKIP MPs elected outright in 2015.