A couple of weeks ago Peter Hitchens was wielding the whips and scorpions :
The Tories are an unleadable party based on a hopeless, seething coalition of people who hate each other and have nothing in common to enforce unity in their ranks ... this means that the urgent task is to replace the Tories with a movement that can beat New Labour and which believes in something, and to do this we must bulldoze the wreckage of the Tories out of the way.
Hitchens basic thesis is that the Tories' continued existence is vital to the Left, soaking up the votes and energies of those who want to leave the European Union, those who don't want mass immigration and those who think that criminals should be punished - while not actually doing anything about these issues. This view is IMHO not exactly fair to the Blessed Michael Howard, who implemented pro-prison initiatives in the face of Home Office resistance.
Libertarian Dr Sean Gabb feels pretty much the same way. In his excellent (doesn't mean I agree with all of it mind you) publication CULTURAL REVOLUTION, CULTURE WAR, subtitled "How Conservatives Lost England and How To Get It Back" he writes :
For as long as I have been alive — and for some while before — the Conservative Party has been a gigantic fraud on the people of this country. Its true function has not been to articulate, but to neutralise discontent. The only threat to the hegemony of the ruling class has been the deeply conservative prejudices of the English people. Any conservatism would be a threat, because it means an adherence to values not fully controlled by the ruling class. English conservatism, though, is an especially dangerous threat. Its values are those of a roughly libertarian past — of self-reliance, of patriotism, of a vague belief that while government may often be useful, it is not fundamentally necessary, and is never wholly to be trusted.