Despite the best efforts of the media to minimise the damage to their appointed successor to Tony Blair becoming Prime Minister at the next election, David Cameron's Tory party is in complete disarray.
Call Me Dave's "cast iron pledge" has turned out to be nothing more than a sandcastle washed away by the tide of EU integration and he knows damn well that his promise of a referendum over future powers being ceded to the EU is pure hogwash. The Lisbon Treaty is designed to make it possible for the EU to take new powers without the need for future treaties and therefore bypass member states requirements to hold referendums.
Meanwhile, many current and experienced Tory MPs are furious over the way they've been treated by Cameron regarding their expenses. While Cameron has stamped hard on certain MPs for their misdemeanours he has let those close to him off with the merest slap on the wrist and Cameron himself is far from squeaky clean on this matter. Consequently, some MPs have decided to stand down at the next election while others have been forced out against their will .
All of this provides a huge opportunity for UKIP. I said after two Tory peers defected to UKIP a couple of years back that UKIP now need to get similar defections from MPs - but, as usual, UKIP missed the opportunity preferring instead to indulge in another round of internal wrangling and argument.
But now they have the perfect opportunity to snap up a number of disaffected and highly experienced Conservative party members. UKIP need to be reaching out to those Conservative MPs who feel hard done by and convince them to join UKIP and to stand for UKIP in the next election.
It will only take a couple of successful defections of former Tory MPs to make others consider their options and if by doing so UKIP manage to capture a seat or two in parliament then the conservative grass roots support which the Tory party relies on may well start to support UKIP in growing numbers.
Will UKIP seize this fantastic, once in a lifetime opportunity? I have my doubts. The problem is that the UKIP leadership will worry that a bunch of experienced former Conservatives - particularly if there are one or two well known names - will represent a challenge to their own ambitions.
It would be great if, for a change, UKIP could actually put the future of this country ahead of their own personal ambition, but I fear this will not be the case. It's a shame - because I believe this is a golden opportunity for UKIP and if they fail to take it then they will fail as a party.