Bigger problems

After the House of Lords reform debacle, the bad news keeps on coming. Reports note that “More than a third of people who voted Conservative at the last election will refuse to back David Cameron in future”, yet to the horror or some, especially Peter Bone and others detached from reality, it adds that “the Tories will not stay in power by drifting to the Right”.

The report carries news that “Voters are growing increasingly alarmed that an ‘air of competence and leadership’ has been undermined by a series of policy reversals. A detailed analysis compiled by Lord Ashcroft, the Conservative Party’s former deputy chairman and polling expert, found that Mr Cameron faces a ‘formidable’ challenge to win the next general election”. It adds that “Overall, the poll of more than 8,000 adults found Labour enjoyed 40 per cent support, the Conservatives 31 per cent, Liberal Democrats 10 per cent and the UK Independence Party 9 per cent. Focus groups were also convened to assess the views of key groups of target voters”.

If there was a general election Labour would trounce the Tories and produce a large absolute majority. Interestingly the formerly tiny UKIP would be effectively tied with the Liberal Democrats. Which would be a humilation for the Lib Dems and a triumph for UKIP.

The piece goes on to note “The Tories are still seen as more competent in this area and Lord Ashcroft’s research suggests they should focus on this rather than confusing voters with pledges about constitutional reform, referendums on Europe and an overhaul of the NHS”. This is partly as a result of the NHS reforms being an umitigated disaster, being only saved by the Lib Dems.

Ashcroft “who ran the party’s campaign to win marginal seats at the last election, says: ‘Unfortunately, the air of competence and leadership needed to provide confidence in the party’s economic management is being eroded. An accumulation of small mistakes and U-turns, each forgivable in itself, has prompted people to wonder whether policies are being thought through properly. The ‘pasty tax’ debacle is remembered with derision.'”

In another blow for the detached from reality Tory Right it notes that “The research also found that a majority of people believe the Liberal Democrats should have more influence on the overall direction of the Government. 51 per cent said that Nick Clegg should have more influence, with only 23 per cent saying the Lib Dems exerted too much sway”. Yet it bears out reality with Dr Cable speaking out against greed and immorality of the financial world to the horror of the rabid neoliberals. It also explains how the Lib Dems managed to water down the NHS “reforms” with the consent of Cameron to the disgust of Andrew Lansley.

The piece concludes mentioning that “Cameron must win over four groups of potential Conservative voters to win the next election. Lord Ashcroft has characterised them as the loyalists, defectors, joiners and considerers”. These groups are defined thus, “loyalists tend to be aged above 65 and in higher social groups and to back the Prime Minister on most issues. The joiners back the Conservative management of the economy, with 95 per cent supporting” Cameron.

The piece concludes that “the considerers, also back the Conservatives on the economy but are yet to be convinced on social or other policies. Lord Ashcroft concludes that encouraging all four groups to vote Conservative depends on strong leadership and ‘sticking to the right priorities for the country'”.


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