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Tory MPs 'prepare to defy Cameron over EU vote'

As many as 100 Tory MPs could be preparing to defy the party leadership by making a personal pledge to vote for a British exit from the EU in an in/out referendum.

The Independent reports that the eurosceptics are prepared to promise to vote 'No' to EU membership regardless of what concessions David Cameron can win from Brussels.

The Prime Minister has pledged to renegotiate the terms of British membership and then give the British people an in/out referendum in 2017.

Ukip leader Nigel Farage said a by-election win for his party in Clacton would signal a "landslide in British politics" as an opinion poll indicated that the Tories would face a humiliating defeat in the contest triggered by Douglas Carswell's shock defection.

Mr Farage, who said the party was "testing the waters" with other potential turncoats - including from Labour - predicted Ukip could hold the balance of power in Parliament.

A Survation poll for the Mail on Sunday gave Ukip a massive 44 point lead over David Cameron's party and Mr Farage predicted that a win would result in "more and more people coming over to us".

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Redwood dismisses fears of more Ukip defections

Conservative grandee John Redwood has dismissed the "so-called" eight Tory MPs allegedly considering defection to Ukip as "figments of Ukip's imagination".

John Redwood does not believe more Tory MPs will defect to Ukip. Credit: Luke MacGregor/Reuters

"Dream on Ukip," the eurosceptic MP for Wokingham and former Wales Secretary told Radio 4's Today programme.

"I treasure the words of Mr Carswell which he was speaking yesterday. He said that we need to deliver an in-out referendum, he said it would only happen if David Cameron was prime minister," Mr Redwood said.

"He said we must do nothing to make the prospect of a referendum less likely. He was super-loyal until yesterday."

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