1. It shouldn’t happen – that’s the view of Conservative members as well as the leadership.
2. It can’t happen – UKIP doesn’t want a pact either.
3. It won’t happen. Next.
4. What’s next is that local pacts may happen next year, just as they did last time round. UKIP didn’t stand against Philip Hollobone in Kettering or Philip Davies in Shipley in 2010. Nigel Farage’s hint of a possible deal with David Cameron over an EU referendum – an abandonment of his previous strategy – may presage more local arrangements.
5. We shall see. Next year, UKIP won’t win anything like the percentages it gained yesterday. But it will come in higher than the three per cent it won last time round. If it continues to take more from the Conservatives than from Labour – a reasonable presumption – many Tory MPs in marginal seats will be hoping that UKIP doesn’t stand. In most cases, it will. But they’ll be a lot of interest in the exceptions.