James Forsyth James Forsyth

Should the Tories use localism to snare Lib Dem inclined voters?

Rachel Sylvester’s column this morning contains this revealing statistical nugget:

“As Lord Ashcroft told the Shadow Cabinet in a presentation about his private polling some months ago, there are more discontented potential Tory voters who have switched to the Liberal Democrats than the BNP.”

This suggests that we are unlikely to see the Tories adopting a shrill, populist tone on immigration and other BNP issues. However it does make one think that the Tories missed a trick in not appointing Nick Herbert to DCLG with a brief to be bold on localism. Localism is a good Tory issue is that it makes public servants more accountable and will, over time, shrink the state. But it is also an issue that appeals to Lib Dem inclined voters.

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