Rise of UKIP in the Midlands?

The leader of the UKIP party, Nigel Farage Credit: PA

With Europe once again becoming a dominant issue in British politics, some in the Conservative Party are demanding that David Cameron moves quickly to offer a referendum on membership.

They fear that euro-sceptic Conservative supporters are becoming disillusioned with the Prime Minsister's approach, and could defect to the UK Independence Party. If that happens, some key marginal seats in the Midlands might be lost to Labour at the next election - and with them, any hope of retaining power.

UKIP is becoming more organised in many parts of the region. In the Conservative / Labour marginal seat of Amber Valley in Derbyshire, local activist Philip Rose says he has detected a strong move towards the party which only managed 2% in the constituency in 2010.

He says; "Most people support UKIP policies once they learn more about them. If we can pick up a couple of seats at the next election, we might hold the balance of power, and that means we would get a referendum on Europe."

The sitting Conservative MP in Amber Valley is Nigel Mills. He believes his party should be mindful of the threat.

He says; "If the coalition agreement means we can't do everything we want on Europe and immigration, we should have a vote in the Commons at the end of this Parliament. If the Lib Dems and Labour vote us down, we can go to people and say if you want action on these things you need a majority Conservative government."