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Ken Stevens

I find it incomprehensible that Gordon Brown is riding so high. Maybe it's because , setting political standpoints aside, he is a likeable individual and of course a refreshing & welcome change from his awful predecessor. Glitz bad/Dour & stolid good!

Just have to keep banging away with a positive campaign to demonstrate how Tories will be different and better, with the reminders that GB has been an integral part for ten years of the government that has led us into the present sorry mess.

One thing, though: Try and resist the usual politicians' foible of headline grabbers that can't actually be delivered. The EPP was a little example in your case. On the NuLab side, now I see that Darling has had to drop his intention to raise savings protection to £100K. Such things make us oiks cynical about believing anyone.


Excellent piece Stephan, says it all, clear and precise. Compare that with the garbage on polling, written by Mogg this morning.

Have you read it? I'm sure your comments are unprintable.

Chad Noble

Hi Stephan,

Do you think all the recent talk of a potential snap election has actually made recent polls very accurate, as the expectation in itself shifts the public polling responses from the 'message' to 'actual' modes you describe?

stephan shakespeare

Chad, it could well be that talk of election imminence has that effect - in fact, I would expect that.

David, I haven't read it yet but I will.

Letters From A Tory

Inertia is a powerful force in UK politics and economics. That's why Cameron has to give voters every reason to abandon Brown AND every reason to vote Conservative. Anything less and he will struggle badly in an election.


Says what I have posted earlier on the "What should DC put in his speech" thread. Either he says something eyecatching, new and attractive or he loses.

England and Europe, Health and Wealth

Tony Makara

I think it is very difficult to find the right questions for a poll. Voters have such a varied rationale for voting. I vote for the fate of the country because I think that ultimately that touches us all eventually. Some vote on a single issue, others on the leaders, others again on their particular MP, others engage in tactical voting. Thats why I feel polls are so fickle and untrustworthy. Thats not a criticism on polsters like Stephan who do a fine job most of the time. Its just that this isn't an exact science because the data is so unreliable.

Simon Denis

Why do people keep voting Labour? Well, for a start, they don't. Turnout is low. Moreover, the state of the constituency boundaries has grossly exaggerated socialist success. The statistic to bear in mind is the fact that in 1997 far fewer supported Blair than had rallied to Major in 92. Yet the Labour majority was enormous, whilst the former Tory majority was slight. It amazes me that the conservative party has gone along with this corruption of democracy. As for that rump of the electorate which does support the left, its motives are obvious: they depend on it. High taxation plus easy credit has pushed many into debt, so the prospect of conservative financial discipline - favouring saved over borrowed money - is too terrifying to contemplate. Alternatively, they work for some branch of the state. I refer you to the north of England and the extraordinary role played in its economy by government. Finally, there is the continuous barrage of pro-socialist propaganda masquerading as public service television and radio. This alliance of profligates, parasites and propagandists is energised by a direct perception of self interest. This is the card which the right has to trump. Now, it can either offer one of the above constituencies some guarantee or it can oppose them with a grand, alternative coalition - nationalists, capitalists, moralists and elitists. The question is, do these groupings add up to sufficient numbers? Lord Tebbit says they do. Frankly, I'm inclined to agree with him, but the sad fact is the tory leaders are fatally removed from them in culture and attitude. The propagandists have been doing their insidious work since 1979.

Oberon Houston

It's difficult to try and analyse whats currently happening because there are lots of things going on.

Firstly Brown has bamboozled and dazzled the electorate with a show of light, smoke and mirrors. This has bought him a small amount of time in which to rush through an autumn election. Whether he will go for it or not isn't clear.

Secondly, the media are still very much on his side and with him, this has severely channeled the frame for debate. Only fringe publications have accurately analysed Brown. For an excellent example, see the Economist on 27th Sept. But whilst the BBC remain institutionally biased towards Social Democratic rule and Murdoch is ringing up the editor of the Sun we will suffer from a lack of proper thought on what is happening within Government.

Thirdly, the Tories haven't yet properly landed their position. For a party which has suffered from a deeply unpopular position on key areas such as public services, we are still emerging from the fog and the public cannot properly focus on our intentions. This is further complicated by the prominent press given to leading figures such as Tebbitt and Ancram. Their outspoken remarks, widely reported, confuse the public at a time when the Conservative Party must drive for a clear unambiguous position on what we stand for.

Finally, as Stephan quite rightly points out, given all the intangibles this leads to, Brown will get the benefit of the doubt when someone dithers about which way to jump. We are simply not stable enough at the moment to get people to take a chance on us.

Matt Wright

Maybe not. I think with the Govt dissolved, expenses limited to election rules and media having to be more even handed, Brown will be exposed in a straight fight between the parties. I think quite a lot of our supporters were sending a warning shot in previous polls. In a real poll many will not like the thought of more of the same failed Brown based New Labour and will vote Conservative. Even if Brown got back in, he may then have a small majority and struggle even more to waether the storms.


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