Saturday, September 30, 2006

Polls Aren't As Bad As They Seem...Are They?

On the face of it, the YouGov poll in the Telegraph this morning could not be more badly timed. For the first time in months Labour and the Conservatives are level pegging. David Cameron's seven point lead has evaporated. 54% of people say that they are unclear about what the Conservatives stand for. 60% say that Cameron talks the talk but wonder about the substance behind the image.

However, a Harris poll for the Financial Times shows that 35% think David Cameron would be a good Prime Minister, whereas only 17% say the same about Gordon Brown. Only 1 in 10 people believe that David Cameron thinks everything Margaret Thatcher did was good.

So what do we make of all that? The Telegraph believes that the rise in Labour support is almost entirely down to Tony Blair's stupendous speech on Tuesday. I hope they are right, because if they're not it is not good news to be level pegging with the government when they are in such a state of disarray.

I am not worried by the number of people who appear not to know what the Conservatives stand for. I suspect the figure would be similar for the other two parties. The better figure for Cameron is the one about Margaret Thatcher. As I wrote in the New Statesman this week, David Cameron has tried to change the image and the brand of the Conservative Party in his ten months in charge, and this statistic would seem to show that he is succeeding.

It is very important that the issue of substance over style is addressed and the party conference is the best time to do that. The substance is there, but some people aren't looking very hard for it. It's now time for David Cameron to ram it down their throats.

The polls in late October and November will be more of a guide than the current ones.


Anonymous said...

Yes, let's stay optimistic, this time next week the polls will be back in our favour following the Tory conference.

Anonymous said...

Polls are bunk when you get right down to it - just look at Luntz's stitch up last week. Essentially they are a very expensive and not very accurate way for politicians and newspaper editors to find out what the poor saps they lord over might think of them.

Much cheaper to actually speak to people outside the Westminster bubble once in a while.

Considering the hullaballoo over polling over the past two weeks it is a bit rich for the tories to poo-hoo them now they are turning around on them.

The tories are in trouble - it will get a whole lot worse if Cameron doesn't start coming out with some proper policy - toot sweet.

Anonymous said...

The YouGov poll is a disappointment but not surprising. No, I don't understand the logic of a Labour bounce based upon an excellent speech by an OUTGOING PM either, but that's the electorate for you.

This is Dave's big week, his chance to put some flesh on the bones of the party's partial recovery in the public's esteem. A failure to do so would lead me to the following conclusions:

1. That he is rudderless when it comes to First Principles. An opportunist, really.

2. That the poll lead of the last few months has been entirely down to negative thoughts about Labour and the Libdems and not proactive Tory behaviour.

3. That we should prepare ourselves for the the prospect that NONE of the major parties will advocate a centre-right manifesto at the next election. Rather, it will be no more than a popularity contest between three types of liberal-left consensus tax 'n spend socialism.

I have some sympathy with some of the frothier types on this and other blogs who are tearing their hair out at Cameron's astonishing centre-left strategic positioning, but unlike them I want him to to be the next Prime Minister, if only because I believe we have a better chance of making him see sense than the contestant's in the Blair succession race.

But he must see sense before the general election, that's for sure. Timidity and lack of philosphical belief has been the hallmark of his first ten months, yet he has enjoyed reasonable press, some of it even applauding his "courage" in trying to change his party. A few months of flatlining in the polls, however, will force his hand.

Are you a Tory, Dave? Are you a Tory peg? Because your party is a Tory hole, if you will forgive the metaphor. If you are Whig-shaped, no amount of forcing will make your leadership a good fit. Finding this out at a general election, with the possibility of a Bromley & Chislehurst-style revolt among long-standing Tory voters, is our worst nightmare.

Anonymous said...

Lets give the man a chance, as Lord Heseltine succinctly put it today.

Why bother making policy speeches when the braindeads @ Nulabour happily steal the concept then have no fuc*ing clue whatsoever how to actually deliver it successfully.

Man in a Shed said...

David Cameron's analysis of the relationship between the party and the electorate seems to have been spot on. Perhaps that why the other two parties are so desperate to get him to change tactics (their work is made easier by the editorial 'choices' of the BBC ). He has been credited with destroying the Lib Dem leadership and forcing the hand of Labour with moving Blair towards the exit.

Dave's got it right - we have to reconnect with the people first. Understand them better, and relearn to how best to represent them.

Can there be any doubt that the man who compiled the last election manifesto doesn't understand policy? Luckily he also seems to understand strategy. We have to support him, trust ourselves, and keep our nerve.

Anonymous said...

The idea that Cameron needs to fill out his policy landscape is flawed. I don't think the majority of the electorate wants or needs to know what the detailed policies are and Cameron should stick to what he's doing. This government is going to implode and any near term bounce is likely to be erased by the next seven (?) months of in-fighting. Presenting a unified and professional front in the face of this will do more for the polls than declaring where the party stands on say employer national insurance contributions.

This week should focus on style. The substance can come later.

Anonymous said...

Are the DT mounting a coup ? What possessed them to put such a critical spin on one opinion poll and then highlight it as the main leader on the front page ? Why employ Anthony King, who looked shocked and depressed by Tory gains on General Election night, to expatiate on the numbers? Why do it just before the Tory party conference ? Surely Simon Heffer, lurking in the Comment section today hasn't such power at the paper as to sway its entire editorial policy ?

This is not why I subscribe to the DT, especially as the rest of the paper has not been that great lately - not much to read before about p. 17, typographical errors creeping in etc.

dizzy said...

The polls in late October and November will be more of a guide than the current one.

Agreed, all the polls over the past few weeks are pintless because of the conference bounce.

Anonymous said...

"It's now time for David Cameron to ram it down their throats."

Surely not a pastime which the good lady wife of tim Nice-But-Dim would approve?

Anonymous said...

Paralysis by analysis. Forget polls good and bad. Labour will self destruct. Brown is Cameron's best recruiting agent. The economy is heading for troubled times. The truth will out. This bunch of self serving, incompetent half wits are in irreversible decline.
Cameron must keep his nerve and hold fire with policies until Brown takes over. Cherie Blair will then unleash both barrels.

Anonymous said...

There was also a very poor poll in the Standard as regards David Cameron’s personal rating with the electorate . Perhaps they scent his insincerity , I certainly have over the last month . It will almost be worth it to see all the creeps who have busily abandoned everything Conservatism ever stood for finding themselves reviled and despised as cowards and self serving trimmers. I can think of one or two known to me who I can hear changing their tune already . We will not have to wait long for the loquacious recant of Yalland and his gaudy Liberal plumage.

shergar said...

Is there going to be an election in the next two months? Polls mean zero at this stage.

There's nothing wrong with being the slow-burning underdog and slowly adding more policy kindling to the fire as the other side self-destructs in an orgy of sleaze, incompetence and roosting pigeons.

But hinting at tax breaks for the £20-40,000 surely a must???

Peter from Putney said...

Iain - I fear you are putting a gloss on the situation. For the Tories to be only level pegging after Labour's disastrous 10 years in power, 3 years after the Iraq disaster and with all the domestic problems they have endured this year, coupled with the prospect of the Dour One taking over in 2007 - well, by any reasonable reckoning they should now be at least 15% ahead in the polls.
What have we heard from Cameron over the past three months - absolutely SFA. Pathetic!

Anonymous said...

I totally agree with you Iain.

What is the point in bringing out detailed policies now. The election is far in the future. The country's circumstances may radically change by then, policies may need to be altered or re-prioritised.

If DC anounced any serious policies now, any of the Nu lab leadership morons (correction, Hopefulls), could pick up on any thing that looked popular from DC.
It seems pretty universally believed that Brown will be the new leader, this fact cannot be taken for granted however. There is therefore some uncertainty for DC as to who he might need to face up to as the Labour leader.

It is far better to for him to let them keep guessing as to his battle plan. I know that not appearing to be firm about policies is frustrating for Tory supporters and Grandees. The Labour party are in turmoil about it though, they have nothing to attack him with.

Why does Blair always keep harking back to the old, John Major government in his attacks, comparing the present Tory Party with them? The simple answer is, He has to look back because he doesn't know yet what Cameron's policies are. Cameron should keep them guessing in the meantime. We will all just have to be patient and bear with him.

When the people finally see Blair and his unprincipalled Nu lab morons for what they are. They should "stand By".

After the attack on Pearl Harbour, Admiral Yamamoto remarked to another Admiral,
"I fear that all we have done is to awaken a sleeping giant and fill it with a desire for vengeance."
These words should haunt Blair for what he is doing to the British people.

Anonymous said...

I think the most obvious reason for the poll is being missed and/or ignored, and is symptomatic of the style of government we now have.

I believe the Tories have lost ground and Labour gained simply because Labour have been in the news and the Tories and Camron have been particularly absent over the past week.

Nothing to do with Bliars speech which every person with half a braincell knew was utter shite. The old adage that any publicity is good publicity holds true here I think.

Wait until the Tories hit the headlines with their own policies and characters then we will see.

Besides that, after the showing in 2005 of Michael Howard, especially in England, I wouldn't worry if an election was called tomorrow. The Tories today are in a far stronger position than then with a far stronger leader with no Thatcherite baggage.

Anonymous said...

It's nearly a generation since Mrs T. got the push, so to large numbers of voters she's little more than folklore - and pollsters trying to draw comparisons between her and Desperate Dave is pretty facile and largely irrelevant.

That said, there was an interesting piece by Matthew Parris in The Times this morning....

Polls. Nobody believes that 35% will vote Tory, Labour or Jedi, come to that. Rather than hard numbers, polls are more useful for keeping track of trends. And if I were a party strategist I'd be concerned, mostly that the Tory lead has been so small during what has been a meltdown of NuLab policies, unity and reputation. Their figures should be in the low teens, but they're not, and that should tell you something. If this trend continues and the NuLab/OldLab successor has a smidgeon of charisma and a touch of luck economically, there's a fair chance they could win again. Let's face it, they'd win if these figures were reproduced in an election.

So. Give up the wishful thinking, the "Dave's ever such a nice chap, he deserves to win," lark. If you want to win you're going to have to fight hard and on every aspect of government and policy. And to fight successfully Dave is going to have to change or get out of the daylight. A green-tinged scoutmaster ain't gonna hack it. It needs a hard-nosed tactical opportunist who if necessary can slug it out with the likes of Reid.

You're also going to have to tackle those subjects which the electorate feel strongly about - and that includes Europe, Immigration, Law n'Order and state intrusion into citizens private lives. All of which currently seem to be low down or even absent from the agenda. It's no good whittering on about the things that the political classes find interesting, you've got to engage the voters on what *they* find interesting - otherwise you can forget it.

Has Dave got the balls? Personally, I doubt it. Give him another 6 months probation and if there's not a significant and sustained upswing - junk him.

The last thing the party needs is another loser.

Anonymous said...

I `m sorry but I have just read the line .`The substance is there... ram it down there throats.`
I am agog to know how it is that what I thought was the vapidity of David Cameron was in fact my own stupidity in failing to read his smoke signals. I wonder is this substance to be found in his `green` rubbish , his insults to Margaret Thatcher or his childish lies on tax , the issue that really matters most of all.
Is this not rather insulting to the large majority of Conservative activists who put up with him only out of necessity but are not available for throat ramming this weekend .

Where are the sycophants going to go when the tide turns as it will with economic pressure . The signs are all there if you look . Perhaps someone should `ram it down the throats ` of those who are clinging onto the coattails of apple cheeked Liberal Davy that their betrayal will not be forgotten………..

Blimey that’s a bit strong , but still , do you mean to be so patronising ?

Anonymous said...

Dave comes across as weak and self-obsessed. He comes across as having no interest in the voters or what they want. He courts the opinion of Westminster, not the country. He has no idea how to manage a home and bring up children on an average income. By which I mean, the great population of Britain are a foreign country to him.

I think he should be given another three months, and if he doesn't connect more, then he's not capable of improving and should be dumped.

He doesn't have to spell out exact policies or ideas for the socialists to pinch. He just has to give an indication that he understands the problems, discomforts and dissatisfaction that the average person experiences in Tony Blair's hellish Britain.

Anonymous said...

Why say a policy when labour will nick it. Labour just picked at the treads as we fell apart in the 90's. That is what we should be doing. Policy is for election campaigns and office. its about time we as a party ( not DC I thiunk he knows it) releasie were not in power we shouldnt act like we are, we have to act like a successful opposition and point out the faillings in the government. Also if anyone else wants to moan about having green policys they should leave the party as they have no understanding of 1 the party values and to the major issue of the 21st century.

Anonymous said...

Who cares about opinion polls anyway ? The real question is who will be bothered to put a cross in a box on a piece of paper and feel it is anything but a pointless exercise rather like voting members off the board of a Plc when the fund managers are already squared ?

I will vote for my local MP because he is good............I could not vote for a political party as i think they are self-serving and ignoring the seething anger of the electorate

Anonymous said...

Well, that was another YouGov poll I wasn't involved in. I get 'survey alerts' which, ever since I updated my details to say I was a Tory voter, have had absolutely nothing to do with politics. This suggests they pick and choose their respondents carefully.

Skipful of salt springs to mind...

Anonymous said...

`Also if anyone else wants to moan about having green policys`

anonytwerp its not me is it . The Conservative party has no Green Policies. Enviromental issues are to do with Industry in the developing world US petrol prices and un taxable air travel.
Not bikes and recycling ( This is called tidying up and is a different thing) . That David Cameron is well aware his `fresh initiatives ` are mood music tells you all you need to know about the level of glib cynicism in his camp.

Boris Johnson for one , a supposed courtier has admitted as much recently.Perhaps his antennae detect that patience is at breaking point and he is already looking for his cover story

Johnny Norfolk said...

The pols reflect that they dont know what DC stands for. If it is a Tory version of New labour he will have no chance. We want less government less spending of our money and reduced taxes.simple.

Anonymous said...

Green policys are about sustainability as well as climate change. We need to find wayts of the cities of the country to become sustainable, re need to reeducate about air travel. Make people understand plane flights withing the country are a waste of fuel, etc. Green polices can and will make the party electable. Just look at the local elections vote blue go green worked a treat. People forget the polls were even then yet on the night the results were anything but even.

Anonymous said...

A brief look back over history would reveal a couple of points that the Tory Party seems to doing the best it can to ignore at the moment

The first point: Charisma has never won general elections (GE) for oppositions. It may occasionally help at the margins to keep an incumbent PM in No. 10, but it does not get a Leader of the Opposition there in the first place.

-- Churchill did not get there in 1940 by winning a GE, but by what was basically a 'coup'.

-- Thatcher did not win in 1979 by charisma--at the time she was generally considered not to have any--that year, the Tories did not so much 'win' as Labour 'lost'.

-- And I'm afraid that, even although he had charisma, Blair got to No 10 in 1997 for the same reason as Thatcher 18 years earlier; the Tories 'lost'. Perhaps, if Labour had been led by a Brown as uncharismatic as many round here now suppose he will be, back then the Labour majority would have been 10 or 20 seats less; maybe not--who can really tell? But it would still have been a whopping great landslide. And who can seriously doubt that if John Smith had not died, he would not also have won a landslide in 1997?

-- Major won in 1992 (to the surprise of so many) I suspect precisely because he was NOT charismatic. The electorate had been subjected to 10+ years of a charismatic PM and that was exactly what they did NOT want in the next one. Kinnock had other faults of course, but compared with Major, at that time and that place, he suffered from the severe handicap of being relatively charismatic.

The second point: Policy matters. Without well thought out and acceptable policies that have been presented to the electorate as far ahead of the GE as possible, there is no hope.

The party's policies have to be relevant, sensible, achievable, non-frightening, and different from the other guy's.

Relevant: for most people with a vote, relevant does not mean things like hugging trees; if it were possible to deliver cheaper petrol, that might work... Or anything to do with Europe, which is now a dead, dead issue once you leave the confines of your local Conservative Association: going on about Europe is like walking around with a big sign saying "We are the Living Dead Party"

Sensible: Practical measures that make a difference. Part of the genius of Labour in 1979 was that although they had promised not to raise taxes for two years, they has still come up with a number of policies that could be implemented without requiring extra taxation. Now you may not have agreed with these policies, but this device worked electorally: devolution, minimum wage, human rights, etc. Action, but at (apparently) no cost. And as a result, their manifesto was largely...

... Achievable: Don't promise what you cannot be certain you can deliver. But if you can manage this far, what you offer will be...

... Non-frightening. Now you're almost there, policy-wise. There's just one more hurdle. Unfortunately, it's the big one. It's being...

Different: There is no point in have a Tory Party that offers what is basically the same policy menu as Labour or the Lib-Dems. All that achieves is (a) pissing off your core vote and (b) persuading the swing vote that if all parties say they're going to do the same thing, they might as well vote for the party that most likely really means what it says--and if the policies look 'Labour', they won't be voting for a Labour-look-alike Nu-Tory Party.

On the other hand, you must not be too different. The old 'clear blue water' idea was really a brief suicide note. Elections are won on the centre ground, not at the extremes (blue or red) so you have to challenge for the centre, but all the time not just becoming --or being seen as becoming--a clone of the other lot.

Now I think that has to mean tax cuts (just as a 'for example') and there are painless ways to do this I think: for one thing, scrap all these insane mega-billion IT projects like ID cards and in the NHS, etc., and that would free up a good few billion at no 'cost' right away.

Another 'for example': Abandon all this tree-hugging nonsense. Now I personally have made it clear that I think man-made global warming is imaginary, but even if I'm wrong, let's face it, no green-inclined voter is going to vote Tory anyway whatever you say, and by abandoning this position you help differentiate yourself from the others, which is what you want. So that change would not hurt and probably help votes at the GE: it would be seen as being more honest.

Then when you've sorted all that out, you have to get your new comprehensive,, coherent, policies before the electorate as soon as possible--because it will take every moment there is to sell them. There is no year or whatever to waste treading water, and every day longer you do tread water, the more it looks like you're just a vacuous PR man.


But then, looking back at the case of Thatcher/Major versus Kinnock, the sad truth is you're almost certain to loose anyway. If Brown really is charisma-free and policy-heavy, that's what'll swing it for him. People will have had their fill (for the time being) of charismatic PMs.

Sorry this is so long.

Anonymous said...

Good summary that I agree with for the most part .`Now I think that has to mean tax cuts`is the key phrase , for me .I think this is all going to depend timing the election with the `economy ` .
There are exceedingly worrying signs of overheating and unemployment increasing simultaneously suggesting that supply side damage is beginnings feed through into performance.

One of the reasons the Labour party are so keen to flood the market with cheap EU Labour is to try to bandage the damage up for now but with disincentive and other burdens building this and planning vandalism of various sorts will not hold the illusion of economic competence in place.
The one Poll in Browns favour is the `competent C of Ex.` , which stays high and he will hope ,rightly, is a better reflection of actual voting intentions than his `popularity`. He will be watching the landscape assiduously we can be sure . Look out then for brutal attempts to lever control of interest rates over the next two years.
Timing is everything.

By the way OG I do hope you are not refferring to me as `frothy` . Who do you mean exactly ? mmmmm?

The Military Wing Of The BBC said...

Iain said:
"So what do we make of all that?"

-that's easy:

The Telegraph is now a labour paper.

May the Good Lord have mercy on our souls.

Anonymous said...

The Telegraph is now a labour paper.

No. The truth hurts.

The truth is that 5% ahead or level pegging at this point in the electoral cycle is just nothing like good enough.

Charism is useless without the right policies, and even the best possible policies are useless unless they're out there being sold as soon as possible, which should have been some months ago by now. On top of that, as I've already suggested, charisma may be an actual handicap this time round.

The way things are heading, we face not victory at the next GE, or even a hung parliament, but another slaughtering.

And even if the rank and file don't deserve that, the way the leadership are faffing aroung, they do.

Anonymous said...

One poll just before the Tory conference, after so many showing the Tories so far ahead they would undoubtedly win an election, over many months...and they are saying the Tories are going knowhere?

Labour and their supporters are clinging on to straws, and we Tories shouldn't feed them by giving any credibility to their idiocy, or these polls which are frankly shite.

Makes a good headline or two at a quiet time doesn't it?

Anonymous said...

A single poll does not a trend make. The Telegraph has an anti-Cameron agenda that occasionally manifests itself.

For those that doubt the substance of the man I suggest it takes some balls to arrive at the party leadership from nowhere and to sustain a credible performance over one year.

The slow advance of the Tories is only half the equation. The rapid decline of Labour is the other half. Things can only get better!

Anonymous said...

Prior to the 90s the parties had clear political and ideological differences that a)made politics interesting and b)actually gave people a choice.

Now we have three parties who, despite some differences, seem to be the closest since the dreaded years of Butskellism.

neil craig said...

If the Tories don't come out with some policies in time for the May Scottish & Welsh elections they will deservedly get creamed. This may not seem important from the Westminster village - but perhaps that is why the Tories now have so few "provincial" seats.

On the other hand in his Andrew Marr interview today Cameron did make a passing reference to our Corporation Tax now being among Europe's highest (not because it has gone up but because all the others are going down). Perhaps I am grasping at straws but itwas welcome.

Anonymous said...


One poll just before the Tory conference, after so many showing the Tories so far ahead they would undoubtedly win an election, over many months...and they are saying the Tories are going knowhere?

I'm very sorry, but that's crap.

The actual fact is that there has not yet been a single -- a SINGLE -- poll that points to a Tory win at the next election.

Opposition poll leads of 5%, or even the occassional 10%, at this point is not good but bad. Very bad. They point to another creaming. That's the real, unpleasant, fact.

You seem to choose to ignore this awkward truth in the hope it will go away.

I'd rather face the truth and see what can be done to actually change things for the better.

Anonymous said...

I agree that it's now impossible to tell what the Conservatives stand for. I used to know, but since David Cameron became leader he's distanced himself from traditional Conservative values such as being tough on crime and immigration but doesn't seem to want to say where he's arrived at instead. It's a shame because I like the very few things I know you now stand for like scrapping ID cards and protecting the environment but the Lib Dems offer both those things and it's clear where they stand on other issues too. I want to vote Conservative but I won't until it becomes more clear what you now stand for.

Anonymous said...

Sorry to bore on about this Iain but, if polls or a sequence of polls, mean anything at all then the Conservatives are on the road to nowhere. This government (give or take an inspired piece of fiction like Blair's valedictory speech) has produced (and is) an absolute crock of sh*t. You know it, I know it, the public knows it. But the public gets nothing from Cameron and his fellow modernisers except vacuous PR and "don't rock the NuLabour economy". Of course, the Conservatives are failing in the polls.

The public doesn't need detailed policies. But they would like a clear statement of principles on which those policies are to be based. So far all they have to go on about Conservative principles is confirmation of no change in tax levels, no more grammar schools, the English are horrible to Scottish sportsmen, put a windmill on your roof, cycle to work and . . er . . no effective opposition in the Commons - very inspiring! Why would the public - even the mythical centre - prefer NuLabour Mark 2 to the real thing?

Scipio said...

There will be a post conference bounce. I suspect nostalga for Blair had something to do with the dip!

Anonymous said...

I'm very sorry, but that's crap.

The actual fact is that there has not yet been a single -- a SINGLE -- poll that points to a Tory win at the next election.

Please don't be sorry, because I equally think you are talking shite. The Tories have a majority of votes in England as of last May, and with boundary changes and the poll leads, this means that ALL polls giving them a slim lead even would make them winners. You, and most of other Labour morons, seem to conveniently forget that in Scotland and Wales the Tories don;t need a swing of virtually anything because the SNP and Plaid Cymru will do their job for them.

You seem to choose to ignore this awkward truth in the hope it will go away.

No, I choose to ignore the simplistic shite generated by Labour acolyte morons that say a party with a lead can't win because they are basically not incumbent. There is far more to it than that.

I'd rather face the truth and see what can be done to actually change things for the better.

Looking at polls themselves without considering any number of other issues is hardly anything other than complacency laziness.

Just as a short example...during the past three local elections the Tories have been slated, on the night, for not gaining enough, but in the end have done great..all withthe same sort of fatalistic commentary you seem bound to give. The last local election they had to gain x number of seats to have a good night, but gaining seats themselves is not the whole picture...or it is when taken simplistically. They gained FROM x amount they already held, and therefore did far better than anyone expected, or would care to admit.

Same with the figures for the last national election; look at the figures and you will see that there is a lot of fatalism spouted by left leaning tossers from the BBC, and in reality Howard did far better than was expected, and hardly, FFS, got a creaming.

The Military Wing Of The BBC said...

2br02b said...
"I'm very sorry, but that's crap.

The actual fact is that there has not yet been a single -- a SINGLE -- poll that points to a Tory win at the next election."

-That's because you "democrats" at nu lab have rigged the boundary commission to ensure A 5% LEAD for the Tories feeds into a hung parliament.

Then you have the gaul to come on this blog and say the Tories are crap because they can't win a rigged race.

Fuck Off.

Anonymous said...

I see 'shotgun' and 'Tone made me do it...' just don't get it:

A 5% or so lead in the actual general election should lead to a Tory government. That would be fine.

The trouble is that whatever lead the opposition has mid-term will fall back by many points (into being a 'minus' lead, or lead for the government, in fact) by the time we get to the general election. This ALWAYS happens, whoever is in government, whoever is in opposition:

So if the best we can manage this time round is about 5% at mid-point, we face an almost certain creaming, come the poll that matters. That's just the cold arithmetic of the situation. You can ignore it, or denigrate it, but you can't avoid it.

If the rest of the party were all as neanderthal about this as you, it would actually deserve to loose.

Anonymous said...

"... and in reality Howard did far better than was expected, and hardly, FFS, got a creaming."

1983: Tory maj. over Labour: 188
1987: Tory maj. over Labour: 147
1992: Tory maj. over Labour: 100
1997: Labour maj. over Tory: 253
2001: Labour maj. over Tory: 244
2005: Labour maj. over Tory: 158

As you can see, with the single exception of 1983, we've never had as big a lead over Labour since 1945 as Labour had over us in 2005.

2005 only seemed good by comparison with the immediate past, in the sense that the headache starts to go away when you stop hitting your own head with a hammer. Objectively, it was another disaster, worse for us than 1987 was for Labour--when people were writing learned papers about how Labour was finished and could never win power again.

So, just what would you call a creaming, Shotgun?


The first step on the road to victory is to get realistic. You should try it sometime.

neil craig said...

"-That's because you "democrats" at nu lab have rigged the boundary commission to ensure A 5% LEAD for the Tories feeds into a hung parliament."

A 5% Tory lead over labour menas the Tories get slightly over 1 vote in 3 & Labour slightly less. It takes some special pleading to winge that the Tories deserve an overall majority on that.

In fact the situation is worse than you think because a 5% Tory lead would almost certainly make Labour the largest party & might give them an overall majority.

However the Tories are not going to get any sympathy about losing out to a corrupt electoral system as long as the Tories still support the corrupt FPTP system.

Cameron could, of course, virtually guarantee winning the next election by coming out for a democratic electoral system & on theat basis, striking an electoral deal with the LDs & (which would balance the ticket) UKIP.