Rod Liddle

Too early to panic at Tory HQ

Too early to panic at Tory HQ
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Some more nasty opinion poll news for David Cameron, with an ICM poll showing the Tory lead down to seven per cent. “Hung Parliament Looms as Tory Support Crumbles” was the splash in The Guardian, which you might have predicted. You might have predicted Michael Heseltine wading in to the debate too, suggesting that the Conservatives cannot win the next election outright (he’s been a real help to so many Tory leaders, hasn’t he?). I think it’s too early to worry very much, if you’re a Conservative: Daniel Finkelstein seems to have it just about right here. Polls show the national share of the vote, but it’s seats which win elections – and to add to Danny’s argument, private polling suggests the Tories are doing much better in marginals than the national picture suggests.

But it’s interesting, nonetheless, that the Tories are slipping – something I predicted six or so months back. It is very rare for me to be right about anything so I thought I’d mention that.

Reasons? Here are a few:

1.    Flip-flopping over policy, often within the same week.

2.    Cameron and the Bulligdon elite do not play terribly well outside the south-east, added to a general mistrust of the leader’s naked opportunism.

3.    No conviction among the electorate that the Tories would handle the economy better, and a worry among public service employees that they might get their jobs taken away from them.

4.    Rory Stewart.

5.    A growing disillusion among the electorate with greenish issues, upon which Cameron placed so much store. (So, on election day, if Labour actually scrape home, we can all shout out “It’s Delingpole wot won it!” What do you think, James?)

Anyway, I’ll be doing a few constituency profiles here alongside the usual blog. These won’t be forensic analyses of crucial marginal seats, however. They will instead be bile-flecked assaults on seats in which utter scumbags are standing, and how we can work together to beat them, and uplifting support for independent-minded individuals standing elsewhere. I think we should start with Southend West and the urgent need not merely to prevent Will Straw winning, which he won’t, but to prevent him getting a single vote, somehow. I would appreciate your advice on other constituencies to examine under the Prejudice Microscope.