Politics is a combative business – and it isn’t just one side against another, often the most hard-fought battles can be between people in the same party.
That’s certainly true in the case of our readers’ choice for Scrap of the Year: Douglas Carswell, UKIP’s only MP, versus Nigel Farage, his leader, takes the top spot with 32.3 per cent of the vote. This particular row has played out online and in the newspapers, as well as within UKIP itself, and shows no sign of going away any time soon.
It was always an inevitable clash, too – on the day of Carswell’s defection I noted the potential for a personality clash between the two. In practical terms, Farage was never likely to take well to there being another prominent face in the People’s Army, and in terms of philosophy Carswell’s optimism has never sat well with the pessimism espoused by many of his UKIP colleagues. Some of those close to the UKIP leader appear to have taken glee in issuing a variety of sometimes weird and always bitter attacks against their party’s only representative on the green benches. It remains to be seen whether these differences will be resolved or put aside in the approaching EU referendum.
In second place, on 24 per cent, was another clash which will continue into 2016: Ruth Davidson versus Nicola Sturgeon. The Scottish Conservative leader (and ConHome columnist) has already won many fans, and May’s Holyrood election will offer her her biggest platform yet to take the fight to the First Minister.
Third was Lynton Crosby’s victorious battle with the opinion pollsters – he scooped 20.7 per cent of the vote, but presumably his new knighthood will soften the blow of not winning. Bringing up the rear in fourth place with 18.6 per cent was the struggle between Vote Leave and Leave.EU to become the official anti-EU campaign in the EU referendum, which isn’t over yet.