Left Watch

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Britain is no longer a Conservative country, claims Polly Toynbee

From Polly Toynbee's Guardian column:

"If Conservatism cannot win a majority under dream circumstances with every fair wind blowing in its favour, it has become a minority rump belief in British life. Labour was on its knees with a singularly disliked leader. Cameron was better by far than the Tories' last four leaders, astute in trying to adapt his party to changed times. The crash and its aftermath have unseated governments everywhere, and Labour was partly blamed. The Conservatives outspent the other parties by millions, sending Lord Ashcroft's gilded missiles into the marginals. After 13 years, it really did feel like time for a change. So for Cameron to win a meagre 36% of the vote was a phenomenal failure. Not a failure of Cameron's personally, nor of his campaign. The Conservatives were beaten because this is no longer a Conservative country."

In his City AM column Allister Heath insists that Britain is not a left-wing country:

"It is true that all the parties represented in Parliament are firmly left-wing in their policies, apart from the Tories and Northern Ireland’s DUP (to divide beliefs into “left” and “right” is problematic but will have to do for the time being). But this doesn’t mean that 62 per cent of the electorate is on the “left” – many back parties that don’t properly represent their views. The reason I can write this with confidence are the findings of opinion polls as well as the British Social Attitudes Survey. The British are conservative on crime – a strong majority is way to the “right” even of the Tory party on that issue. On Europe, a big minority supports immediate withdrawal from the EU and the vast majority supports repatriating powers back to London, a policy that every government since the 1970s has rejected. There has been a hardening of attitudes towards welfare claimants and a greater acceptance of inequality."


Tim Montgomerie