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If Lembit marries one of his Romanian women on Saturday night TV with Sian as a bridesmaid I am sure LibDem ratings will rebound

Without wishing to repeat a lot of blah blah blah nonsense, we need to consider that a Government always bounces in a real poll if they are adrift in mid term. Look at John Major.....consistently 20 % behind but half that in the real poll. This Tory lead is too small and it indicates Labour will win the real poll.

Well done to DC on getting some floating voters- My 2008 wish is that the year will be spent on getting more natural conservative minded voters (the majority of Britain) firmly on board. Lower taxes and social responsibility are not incompatible with a leftward centrist outlook provided some bright business minded people are working on it.The Party has a near monopoly on such people and our economy and well being depends on such policies. Such an approach will take us to + 15 %.

We'll never get poll leads of +10% because there hasn't been a recession under the Labour government.

Also, Britain is no more a "naturally conservative" country than a "naturally socialist" one; most people are too apathetic to fit those categories.

Another good poll which most have been recently showing us staying steady or going up and Labour and the Liberals going down. Very encouraging for the New Year.

Do we think there will be a warm front in Montgomeryshire, sweeping away the incumbent with his cheeky grin? Or is there more chance of an asteroid hitting the earth?

The polls are still very constant. One or two percent up or down is not going to make any real difference: NuLibCon took a few voters from LibDem and NuLab, while a few real Conservatives moved out.

Interesting, and will provide a bit of Christmas cheer for Cameron. Also worthy of note was the story (either yesterday or today, I can't remember) about a businessman who was recently persuaded to hand over £500,000 because of Cameron's stance on securing stable families.

It's going to be a very interesting 12 months in 2007, six months of which will be spent with a new PM. Cameron's balancing act, between the centre and the Right, will have to be even more delicate.

Yes. It's obvious that the Tories have now reached a plateau.

It is absurd to put their relative success down to the accession of the latest of the Maggie's successors, who change places as rapidly and regularly as the guards as St James's.

The causes are twofold.

1) Continuing Labour scandals.
2) LibDem collapse resulting from the poor performance of Menzies Campbell.

Next year we will see a new Labour leader and before long, I suspect, a new LibDem leader also.

The smoke and mirrors "Cameron Effect" will then vanish like a morning mist.

Just promise me you will be on this site and posting the day after May's locals, TL.

These latest polls show that Cameron has clearly stalled. Looks like his appeal is wearing thin.

Sadly I believe we will have to wait for a real reversal before we have a chance to remove him and put a proper Conservative in charge of the party again.

I think 2007 may well see that. At our ward Xmas party I spoke to a number of leading members who are fed up with his statements especially "hug a hoody". Only one member really stuck up for him.

They also all agreed that they would like to see Hague back in charge

The LibDems starting to self destruct and destroy the "arrival of a fully fledged (or should that be fully felched)third force in Brirtish politics" is no surprise and always happens after they have appeared to be on the up for a while. Ultimately they are repetitive proof that in politics you can't be all things to all men and get away with it for very long.An important lesson there for us too.

37% is slightly disappointing after 40% in ICM/Guardian a few days ago.

John - Presumably because when Hague was in charge between 1997 and 2001 we surged forward in the polls?

Hague was only ever in touching distance of Labour for a couple of weeks and people would rather have him as leader than David Cameron who is now consistantly ahead of Labour in the polls.
I do worry about some peoples sanity on this site sometimes!

It's a good sign, but alas it isn't quite good enough considering the recent problems the government have been facing. Hopefully in the New Year we'll see this lead grow to 40+% when the 'beef' is served.
I do however disagree with John. I think that Cameron is doing great and is definitely the right man for the job. I like the team he has too - incorporating modern forward-thinking ideas with that of traditional Conservatism. I for one am glad that there is such a mix within the cabinet - it makes sure that there is a wide spectrum of ideas that make sure the party definitely goes in the correct direction.
I know some Conservatives dislike this approach, but joining UKIP isn't the answer in my opinion. Sticking with the Party and adding to the debate is the only way to ensure that we get it right, and get a change in government.

Have a good Christmas everyone - get yourselves a drink and toast to a successful new year.

1997 up until the War in Iraq was unusual though in that throughout that period it remained trendy to support Labour, Labour has never had even quite reached the support of half the popular vote even in 1951 - I don't believe the polls there were between 1993 and 2002 showing Labour on many occasions on 50-62% support, and I don't believe the ones showing the Conservatives on less than 25% in the same period - the longer a party is in government the more that they become seen as the establishment and is becomes trendy to rebel against them so really it is not possible to compare polls in the first Labour Parliament with those in later parliaments, 1997-2002 was more a continuation of 1992 to 1997 - people were still for a long time behaving almost as if the Conservative Party was still in government; it would be better comparing Labour's 3rd term with the Conservatives 3rd terms in 1959-64 and 1987-92 although with a third Labour term it is fairly uncharted territory.

I think though the Liberal Democrats are going to face another setback, as in the 1970's, 1980's, 1990's and it would appear first part of this decade - a Liberal\Alliance\Liberal Democrat surge (not even up to 1980's levels) is followed by a collapse in support.

There's a need to persuade most of those supporting "others" that the Conservative Party is addressing the key issues facing this country, or the chances of getting a majority over Labour will remain slight.

At the moment the rise in support for others makes perfect sense.

There's a need to persuade most of those supporting "others" that the Conservative Party is addressing the key issues facing this country, or the chances of getting a majority over Labour will remain slight.
Surely it's a matter of convincing everyone, whoever they are voting for, no one party is ever going to convince more than 2/3 of those voting for others to vote for them and even that is probably a limit, others are voting for all kinds of reasons including pure joke for non-serious candidates - many will be of a radically different mindset from any of the main parties and some not really interested in politics at all - they may well be just as likely to vote Labour as Conservative.

I think like ukfirst that it is better to put an emphasis on "others" as many of them are more likely to be "our kind of customer" than LibDems and Labour voters.

Surely the critical matter is that the 'others' are now on 16% and that of course does not include Northern Ireland. Others - always perform better on the day because of the interviewing structure which is always against -others.

It's hard to see who would actually replace Menzies Campbell at the moment - Simon Hughes and Charles Kennedy are both somewhat discredited, Vince Cable surely wouldn't be much different, Lembit Opik is perhaps not having the best publicity at the moment - that leaves Chris Huhne, David Laws, Matthew Taylor, Nick Harvey, Nick Clegg, Steve Webb - all of whom are relatively unknown among the General Public, of course they could go for someone younger such as Sarah Teather or Julia Goldsworthy.

The problem for the Liberal Democrats is really that they have nothing to offer really - since 2001 they benefited from low turnout among Labour and Conservative voters and their only surge since the mid 1980's was based almost wholly on public perceptions of the War in Iraq - with that issue on the wane they will struggle to sustain their vote at a General Election level above 5 Million.

The way back to power is to convince moderate opinion that previously voted for the Lib/Dems as a protest or didn`t vote at all that the party is moderate and will manage the public services they value and the economy better thatn Labour.
You will not get back to power by once again talking to the core vote and those on the right. This as failed before and will fail again.

There are also signs in council by-elections that Lib Dems are doing badly,


I've been given a Santa Claus doll which says "Merry Christmas" and plays "Frostie the Snowman"

It's a repertoire of infinite riches in comparison with Jack Stone's grievously stuck record.

But the truth is that Jack is just a caricature of the entire Cameroon gang. The man himself tells us that we should be happy to live in "Modern" (ie Blairite) Britain and that he's "The Heir to Blair".

So that's all right then.

The sad fact is that all Cameron has to offer is the hope that he will lead the Tories to victory, and certainly for some of our easily-pleased colleagues that is the only thing in life that matters.

Bit thin if you aren't a Tory, though.

Steady as she goes. It's always going to be a roller-coaster because the electorate is less tribal than ever before. 2007 should be a year of grit, unity and firm opposition.

Yet Another Anon: they may well be just as likely to vote Labour as Conservative.

There's nothing new in that, especially when you drill down to a local level. In the 3-seat ward where I live, in 2003 we were scrapping with Labour for the third seat behind two deeply entrenched Lib Dem incumbents. At the count, although we took the third seat, the number of Lab-Con split ballots was one thing that really struck me!

Of course, as we are now making progress as a reinvigorated party, one of those two LD councillors, having worked with our administration for a while, has now come and joined us, giving us a useful base to launch an assault on the remaining LD member in May.

It does also highlight that we need to focus our campaigning tactics on how each elector uses all their votes in multi-member wards, something that I know various ideas have been developed on across the Party on the ground.

2007 is going to be a hard year, a busy one, but one full of opportunity for us. Especially as I hear Hazel "I'm not against the policy" Blears on the television behind me...

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