One in three Tory members think Cameron is the heir to Blair
By Paul Goodman
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The main results of our special poll on Cameron, Thatcher and the Conservatives are as follows:
On Cameron and Thatcher -
- 34% of Conservative Party member respondents agreed that Cameron is the heir to Blair - "The Government he leads is essentially content not to depart from the economic and social settlement that Blair's governments left behind them".
- 11% agreed that Cameron is the heir to Thatcher - "The Government he leads is attempting to follow the same economic and social path as the governments she led."
- 55% believe that Cameron is the heir to neither. "His Government is following its own path, which is significantly different in both economic and social matters from Blair's and Thatcher's."
On the party and Thatcher, and how it is most likely to be electorally successful -
- 46% of member respondents believe that it is most likely to be successful by moving on from the Thatcher era, because although what she did was right for her times, today's economic and social challenges require different responses.
- 43% believe that it is most likely to be successful by following the path she trod, because the approach she took and the policies she implemented are more likely to be successful than those of the present Government.
70.5% of member respondents believe that Ian Duncan Smith can correctly be described as a Thatcherite. The only other Cabinet members who scored above 50% on the same measure were William Hague (63%) and Michael Gove (61%). Owen Paterson scored 35%. George Osborne got 34.5%. Maria Miller came bottom of the Conservative Cabinet members in the Commons with 3.7%.
Duncan Smith also topped the poll when member respondents were asked which Cabinet member was closest to Lady Thatcher in outlook. He was named by 22% of them. Hague was second with 17% and Gove third with 14%. Paterson was fourth with 10%. Osborne scored 6%.
782 Conservative Party member respondents completed the survey. The total number of respondents was over 1500.