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Go Tim

ConservativeHome has become a national institution. As a counterblast to the in-built centralising tendencies of senior management it's value is well beyond rubies.

Of course, the surveys may not be as scientific as the mainstream polls like to claim they are. But they seem to me to capture precisely what most grassroots Tories are saying round our way.

Keep it up.

Thank you Wat.

One funny story about the Panel...

I believe that a good number of Tory MPs are Panel members and, just possibly, a few of the ten senior shadow cabinet ministers we regularly rate. One of those ten recently joked to me that he/she doesn't vote so much as to boost his/her own rating but to vote down the rivals!

My lips are sealed as to the identity of that individual!


Great Stuff. It would be good though if we could develop mechanisms for getting opinions on the Conservative Party across the Conservative coalition in the broadest sense. As we have discussed before the nature of party political affiliation has changed and is changing and though your survey of members is incredibly valuable it would be good to find ways of connecting with opinion outside the clearly defined boundaries of membership.

Wouldn't it be great if we could back up the excellent work done by ConservativeHome with greater fundraising efforts? Now let me think... ;)

While there are some people who post on this site who are just negative or anti DC, I have to say that on balance this site is a great benefit to conservatism. The panel is generally representative of party members and it shows the very strong support DC has. I know this is reflective of the position amongst members as when I attend association events, a large majority are strongly behind DC but there are a few loud sceptics. In some ways the ability of my party to engage with this modern form of debate is a test of its wish to be more local. I like the way that recently Francis Maude has posted to the site and got involved. In any party or amongst its supporters there are different views, that is just life. I face the same amongst my constituents as a councillor or colleagues at work. What sensible people do is listen to all this and in some cases change their approach or in other cases reflect on this and explain why they will not. Change is not a fixed plan it is about growth,


I think a lot of the comments, certainly mine, on Guido's site were less about the surveys and more about the comments being left on the site.

Although Conservativehome is a fantastic resource for news the comments section has become a forum for oddities like William and Chad, people with their own narrow agendas.

for oddities like William and Chad


* Against state-funding of political parties
* Against positive discrimination
* pro-grammar schools
* pro EU referendum.
* pro low tax environment

Such beliefs used to be called 'conservative' but if they are now called 'oddity' then I am very happy with that label!

If I did have a criticism it would be that shared by "Zhukov" the discussion does tend to be monopolised by a handful of people with entrenched views.

While I wouldn't go as far as to call them "oddities". If there was some way of broadening out the discussion that would be helpful and, i think, aid the quality of debate.

Would you care to provide an example of one of my 'entrenched' ideas that do not stand up to rational criticism?

The last time I checked, 81% of conHome members agreed with my opposition to state funding of political parties.

I would suggest that it is the party leadership who have entrenched views.

By 'quality' I guess you mean agreeing wiht Cameron.

Well said, Tim.

Whilst not a regular poster on your site, I have been reading it and making occasional comments from its inception. I find your site excellent in all respects and believe you provide an invaluable service. Your aims and your methodology seem fine to me. Please continue the good work which includes allowing a variety of opinions to be expressed.


I certainly don't disagree with much of what you have to say and often quite enjoy reading your posts.

I find this site interesing but agree with Zhukov up to a point. There do seem to be a heck of a lot of indivisuals on here who want to occupy certain idealogical ground regardless of how broadly attractive it is. Many seem to hold a 'mountain must come to Muhammed' tendency and not see the postive virtue with engaging with the electorate where they are not where you would like them. It is particularly depressing that many seem to be the younger posters, the older hands seem at least to see the virtue of pragmatism.

Chad et al: I'd be grateful if this thread didn't become a debate about the qualities of the various people who leave comments on this site.

What is that phrase about if something didnt exist we would have to invent it... well that's true about conservativehome. One can't imagine the control freakery in New Labour allowing something like this site to exist. Tim and Sam deserve a good pat on the back for all their hard work. I'm sure this site is going to go fron strength to strength.

As for people suggesting the site is dominated by a few regular posters. Well you know what to do about it... express your own views as well.

I see the teams of those key critics has changed again. Ive been booted out with substitute William in now...damn. Who do I have to screw around here to get back in the team....wheres my diary secretary?

I agree, I only respond to personal abuse that is not deleted. A right to return seems fair in such circumstances.

I always ensure my posts focus on the issues, but the personal abuse that comes back if more often than not left, then I am criticised for simply challenging those who attack the person not the issues.

Zhukov:oddities like William and Chad, people with their own narrow agendas

Which William do you mean?

I assume you mean the nutter who keeps suggesting the far right are going to eliminate the Tory Party?

I'm the nutter who keeps asking pedantic questions (e.g. "why have you misspelt 'Marshal Zhukov' in your URL?", "which William do you mean?" that sort of thing). I would have thought pedantry was quite a broad agenda, although strictly pedantry is more of an attitude and doesn't have an agenda as such because that connotes ..... etc. etc.

No problem, Chad. It's only fair that you respond to attacks on you.

Tim & Sam you both hopefully already know how much I admire the work you have done on this site.
To those posters who complain that people who disagree with the party leadership post too often I would argue that stimulating debate and arguing ideas is the whole point of this site. Wouldn't it be be boring if we all agreed with each other?

James Morris @ 9.35 - Well here is one member of the public who is NOT a member of the conservative party , at least in the joined up sense, but I think in my various postings I have nailed my allegiances to the relevant post! And the Editor can vouch that I do contribute.

What I am saying is that just being a 'member' doesn't necessarily mean that the person is involved; similarly just because people haven't 'signed up' doesn't mean they won't vote conservative when the time comes (I realise it would be much nicer for CCHQ if they could have everything tabulated and quantified beforehand!)

I think the most important thing is to get more and more people involved here on the internet.


Yep its good to see people who are not members of the party contributing to the discussion. We need more of you on this site. Also, the point I was making in my previous post was that we need to actively seek out dialogue with people who aren't members but may feel in some way affiliated through their work, voluntary work or just their personal values with what we are trying to do as a political party.

Agree with James Morris about bringing together party sympathisers - and I think this is happening as CHome has become better known

On representation I think that Tim's methodolgy while not perfect does show that that the monthly polls are roughly reflective of the party overall (except in perhaps the views of indivdual performances where the more activist membership here probably has more entrenched views and longer memories!).

As one of the guilty posters on Guido I should say I think CH is a very valuable resource. Francis Maude explaining to conservatives via CH his thoughts on the A list and so on are really good.

I do place less faith in the survey results than I did initially but that's only gut feeling.

I think there are many frequent posters who seem to have only one interest and that is to slag off the party leadership and turn every thread into a debate on the evils of the EU (which are legion, but shouldn't be the backdrop to every discussion).

I know this is a site independent of the party but it is seen as a place to find out what party activists feel. Anybody reading a Goldie, James Hellyer or Christina Speight post would think civil war is alive and kicking in the party when it isn't.

A particluar problem I think is crazy posts from the likes of the William who believes elections are decided by a cabal of secretive figures in Brussels. For CH to be taken seriously this sort of thing should be stopped.

William Norton's Film Reviews are of course to be encouraged as is Chad; provided he promises to change his advert soon as the funny ones are much better.

as is Chad; provided he promises to change his advert soon as the funny ones are much better.

:-) I agree, that one is boring. You won't have long to wait though KB. I've been busy updating a new version of the site, and the new ads will be (well attempting to be) humorous and a little bit racy too...

Chad is too determinedly good-humoured to take against! I may form a non-Chaddites for Chad party.

Sometimes I'm reading the comments and I think "oh god not X ranting away again" - so I slap myself and reflect:

1) Physician, heal thyself;

and anyway

2) I only keep reading the posts because I keep coming back and reading the articles. It's like when you're in a pub and you say "look at that loser, he's always in here" -- doh.

"One of those ten recently joked to me that he/she doesn't vote so much as to boost his/her own rating but to vote down the rivals!

My lips are sealed as to the identity of that individual!"

I suspect Jack Stone will soon pop up and blame David Davies (sic), William Hauge (sic) or Liam Fox.

Seriously though, I'd like to echo the warm sentiments expressed above about the value of this site.

If people like Chad are 'oddities' it is because it is odd to debate issues openly and fairly, as he does.

Just imaginbe what this site would be like if people were NOT pursuing their own interests and obsessions. Isn't that the whole point? That we get a richer debate about subjects through the engagement of the oddities that are in all of us?

What would be the point of a blog for Political Stepford Wives?

There's no reason whatever to doubt the accuracy of the surveys. In fact, I suspect that, if anything, the surveys under estimate the unease of party members at some of the Cameron reforms.

Chad "The last time I checked, 81% of conHome members agreed with my opposition to state funding of political parties."

But do you have to bring it up in every thread?



I bet you £1000 I haven't brought it up in every thread. Will you take the bet?

In fact, I'm sure you can't fund another today that it is mentioned.

Tim or Sam:
You say There are probably some people who vote in the surveys who are not paid-up Tory members
I am not a Party member (nor have ever claimed to be), although I know people who are. I therefore always tick the "not a Party member but a Party supporter" box. What happens to all my carefully considered responses to your survey questions?

Incidentally, I think this site is one of the very best on the web. Although I haven't myself posted much recently, I read it very regularly, as I have done almost since its inception. I particularly like the mixture of practical considerations and theory which is generally found here, and which is almost unique.
Incidentally No 2: I'm not really anonymous. It's easy enough to find out my name. I only adopted the dopey soubriquet I use because on a couple of other sites where I have posted comments in the past, there were a couple of regulars with similar names to mine, and I was simply trying to avoid confusion.

With all the various Williams, Robs, Richards, Jameses etc. - have we at last found a justification for ID cards? It's about the only theory the Govmt haven't floated yet.

For all the methodological queries which could be raised against the survey (and either Guido or Graeme Archer are better placed to expound on those) it does pass the Ronseal test: it does what it says on the tin. I'm quite convinced that it reflects accurately the views of members/supporters: at 1,500 responses it compares very favourably to a national opinion poll (although it shouldn't be judged by the same criteria).

My view is, has been and will remain that the survey is a good guide to the views of members and is a fair guide to the sentiments of supporters, and the message-posters are a fair sample of activists of various shades, notwithstanding (or perhaps precisely because of) the more, ahem, focussed viewpoints of some of our colleagues. Unfortunately, the people who are active in political parties - any party - will have a proportion of anoraks and fruitcakes. Why, just the other day I came across a chap who had formed a party and named it after a John Lennon song. I mean, how sad is that?

Thank you William (NORTON! WILLIAM NORTON!). I'm not really qualified to speak on anything. I have been thinking about Tim's explanation of how he weights the panel results but honestly I know nothing about survey methodology. Clearly it's not a random sample - which makes inductive reasoning difficult (to say the least).

Tim you actually have a rich data set. It might be worth looking at the within-subject temporal correlation on Question1. If it follows a definable pattern, you might be able to improve imputation for the missing values in any survey (why people are missing is (1) unknowable but (2) important). Also as a sensitivity analysis, would be nice to look at histograms from members vs non-members, missing last month but present this month vs present last month and present this month &c &c. You should contact a university sociology department and offer them access in return for a donation!

The panel survey however doesn't seem to break any obvious basic "rules" (unlike the Poll of Polls, which [ descends into blithering, repetitive red-eyed rage about the FOOLS who wouldn't listen, how I'll be justified in the end, as ye shall sew, would be better to replace it by asking passengers on the no. 48 (a poll of Poles, geddit) &c &c ... ] ).

Graeme: you may claim modestly to know nothing about survey methodology, but in the great spirit of Conservative Home that shouldn't stop you from opining on the subject, or indeed being the best qualified person here to do so.

After all, in the words of the old Chinese proverb, he who does not know, and knows that he does not know, um, knows that he knows that he does not know. Or something like that. You get my drift.

Is anyone going to the Local Election Review event/drinks at CCQ on 30 May? Just bought two tickets ... lucky Mr Keith. Imagine ((c) Chad) how he managed to get through life before he met me, without ever having to stand for election, deliver leaflets, attend thrilling meetings in sweaty little rooms, was able to watch a football match from start to finish without having to bother with Alan Hollinghurst (shameless plug for review), had NEVER HEARD OF BELLE AND SEBASTIAN! Anyway. I live in the continued hope that I might finally meet some Conservative Homies Sensual Moyenne other than that John Moss non-virtually.

I have seen William Norton twice actually. First time, he had a map of North East London, and a bag of Cluedo pieces. It was sheer genius. I don't think Boff followed it though William.

Getting some academic advice, as suggested by Graham is not at all a bad idea.

It might give the site and the figures a certain credibility if they were academically analysed.

"Just imaginbe what this site would be like if people were NOT pursuing their own interests and obsessions. Isn't that the whole point?"

The problem is that it often leads to threads being derailed and completely different issues discussed. There's a difference between going off on a tangent related to the subject and trying to introduce a completely different issue.

Then there's also the fact that some of us get bored with repetitive posts saying the same thing over and over again.

Personal attacks are the most regular cause of tangents and thread disruption imho.

If there was a strict 'attack the issues not the person' (so no more "oh you would say that because.." etc) approach then we could keep the threads more focussed.

Personally, I'd like to see registered members, even if they have to hide their name for work reasons, and to see more people entering profiles in the community section so we can know more about them.

Either way, the site works incredibly well, and long may it continue as an independent voice of conservatism with of course a heavy focus on the conservative party.

As we saw with the election night seat prediction, the range of opinions does seem to bring neat balance and accuracy.

The only minor concern for me would be if Tim did actually go back to working within CCHQ, as it would be incredibly hard not to keep the site independent, and if the balance skews then it would lose its relevance.

However, for now, conHome is the best place to discuss (small c!) conservative issues online, and long may it reign.

Buxtehude: "What would be the point of a blog for Political Stepford Wives?" at 12:54

There would be no point and no interest in a ra ra brigade site. If posters can't answer 'other posters' points of view, from a conservative perspective, then how will they go on with floating voters on the doorsteps. Chad, who seems to bring on the vapours, (amongst others), gives the Conservative Party activists an opportunity to test out their arguments to a receptive audience whose basic views are in line with their own.

I read CH daily, keeps me in touch, but I dont post unless I feel inspired to write something relevant or useful.
What I absolutely do not get about Chad, is how on earth does he pay his household bills? He is posting morning noon and night. Is he on benefits? Is he self employed? Does his boss never check his PC? Does he have a home to go to? The musings are endless, and continue to give me something to IMAGINE!

Responding to James Morris (09:35) - I'm completely with you on the need to reach out to non-members. The future of the party depends upon us moving from a party of mass membership to a party of mass connections. Members still deserve a special role in the party's affairs but non-member supporters should be increasingly important in influencing/ deciding candidate selection and fundraising etc. In an ideal world the monthly survey would be as interested in recording the views of non-member supporters as members but the number of such folk completing the survey are currently too small to be very reliable.

What I will do, Deskchair of despair (13:27), is at least find ways of publishing the non-members' results but, because of the limited number of responses, I wouldn't want readers to interpret them as authoritative.


I often find those who complain most often about the quality of the poll tend to be those who don't like their results.

There are some findings that irritate me too, like George Osborne being rated so low, but these are the opinions of a large, and reflective (as Tim has already pointed out) amount of people, and thus deserves respect.

I can't say I was thrilled with the results of the last 3 general elections either, but whinging about how unrepresentative and unfair the polls were (90,000 more people in England voting for us yet us returning almost 100 less MP's than Labour) won't get us anywhere, will it?

I will tell you something... I have found it so exciting to be part of this website over the last few months, it has literally given me a new outlook on life, and helped me overcome a grievous loss.

I have learned and am still learning an enormous amount about conservatism in general, and I suppose you could say also political philosophy (whatever that is!), but above all I am learning yet more about how people's minds work, which is eternally fascinating!!

I haven't explored the internet a great deal but this is by far the most sophisticated website I have explored yet, and I haven't explored half or what is available here yet!!!

It may sound frivolous, but it is such fun!! I do however realise that there is a serious side......

I find this a fascinatingly interesting site and I believe it can serve a vitally useful purpose by encouraging total freedom of expression about the way in which DC is taking the Party. It is an exciting time because everything appears to be up for grabs. Party policy is in a state of flux.
Although we all have our own interests and obsessions, I imagine that almost all contributors could sign up to a fundamental set of what we would regard as conservative values (security of the realm, law and order, smaller and more devolved government, less bureaucracy, lower taxes etc).
What interests me more than the detail of the policies currently being formulated is to try and determine how DC and his team are going to behave when in government. I do not want to vote for another PM only interested in his own legacy, I want a government team that will "govern at all times in the best interests of the whole nation". That requires honesty, integrity and accountability, all qualities that have been in short supply over the past few years (and not only in New Labour!).
Can DC and his team actually manage to run anything? The present government couldn't even manage to organise the proverbial party in a brewery. The shambles in the Home Office (as Michael Howard pointed out recently in The Telegraph) is a matter of process. So, too, is the NHS. They both need management of the highest order (you could add several other departments as well).
Are we safe to believe that all our legislation will be returned to Parliament to enact after full and proper debate in the H of C and not picked up by the experts only from statutory instruments at a later date?
Is there any chance of only having new legislation that is (i) equitable and (ii) based on common sense and natural justice?
What are the chances of returning to a situation where the judiciary and civil service are clearly distinct from the government, where spin doctors are consigned to outer darkness and we receive only factual information from press secretaries about the government's actions?
There are many exciting policies being worked out and DC is to be congratulated on insisting that only long term solutions should be sought.
We can help by expressing our views as ordinary (but very concerned) people who are willing the Tories to get it right this time.

Where can i find this "Panel" and/or its findings/views?

The Tory party will do this the Tory party will do that er excuse me but has anyone bothered to ask members and supporters what they would like to see the party do. NO.
I have a long list if anyone`s interested. Probably not. Oh well who cares. I`m just a voter who is only wanted for my vote. Which beggars the question; who is the master and who is the servant. Shall I serve the drinks now sir?

I know for a fact that the majority of the conservative grass roots are against Britain's continued membership of the EU. Why dont you carry out a party referendum? It is sad that all the conservative policy relating to the EU is made by just a few EU enthusiasts at the top.

Can you persuade most of your correspondents to be brief, terse and to the point. I have not read most of the contributions chiefly because they are boringly long

Bilderberg Steering Committee Member Clarke To Lead UK Conservative Party?
[Note: Ken Clarke's long-time position as one of the 30 man Bilderberg Steering Committee means he is at the heart of the conference agenda alongside Henry Kissinger and David Rockefeller. Clarke is one of only two Brits on the Steering Committee and decides who gets invited from the UK each year.]

I have particpated in surveys and have indicated that I am a member of another party. I suggest that you have categories for a) former conservtives and b) supporters of all UK parties. By this you could obtain useful information on the current allegiance of former conservaive voters.

I am sick of the Conservative Party of which I used to be a proud member and supporter. I suspect Cameron to be in the same club as Blair. It's all very depressing.

Why is it no body will talk about asylum seekers this is a big issue with most of the people lets hope it is on agenda soon .I have been writing to Mr Blair since 04/03/2001 every thing i have wrote obout have come true.

As for possible coalition/co-operation with the Lib Dems, we can never compromise our Euroscepticism, our opposition to PR, and our willingness to repeal the justice-perverting HRA (and hopefully leave the human rights convention if necessary).

As for PR, I cannot think of anything more anti-democratic and more likely to increase peoples' sense of powerlessness, giving hugely disproportionate power to minority parties and leading to stitch-ups between parties remote from voters.

But at least the Lib Dems are anti ID cards, which would impinge on the freedom of the law-abiding, while having little proven impact against crime and terrorism.

The success of the party at the recent local elections should not be put down solely to the credit of the current Conservative leadership. It was mainly due to the failings of the present government. e.g. The fiasco at the Home Office, Cash loans for peerages, Iraq, Deputy Prime Minister and many other incompetent actions of the government under the Blair leadership. It is not due to watching ice melt in Norway, preferential selection of candidates, cycling to the office or even not wearing a tie on occasions when decent traditional standards demand a tie. Whilst the times of Thatcher have changed, Thatcherite principles have not, which means having the courage to face up to the real problems facing the country with conviction and with policies which may be initially unpopular but sound for the Country, such as health, education, law and order, the EEC and many other issues which effect our everyday lives. At the moment I feel we are gaining due to the failings of the Government and not through positive attractions that we are putting forward to voters.

David Cameron is fast forgetting what the conservative Party stands for. He seems determined to place the Party in the middle of the road. Remember if you stand in the middle of the road you are going to get run over.

Mr Cameron has said he is comfortable with Britain as it is today. Since the point of changing governments is to bring in new ideas, how would Mr Cameron make a difference if he is satisfied with things as they are now?

Keep sneering at the BNP at your peril.
Absurd denials, delusions and wails of "racist" are exactly why people are turning to the BNP. When you understand the reasons for that you will be in a position to leave all this useless blogophilia behind, ditch the chi-chi toff Cameron and approach those people you currently neither care for nor understand.
The EU and Jean Monet is well understood by BNP supporters. Get off your high horses and put your ears to the ground.

I can't understand the sniping from bitter anti-Cameroons within the Conservative Party. The notion that lurching to the Right is going to be a vote winner is fanciful in the extreme. However one looks at the political landscape, 50% or more of the electorate vote Labour and the Lib Dems. 68% of Tories opted for Cameron as Leader knowing full well which direction he was going to take the Party. Now by my books that makes roughly 78% of the electorate happy to vote for the middle ground or Left. Cameron must stick to his rebranding exercise and ignore the attacks from the fruitcakes and Tebbit fans, unless we all fancy Gordon Brown running the country until 2015.

Please can you include UKIP in your Poll results?


There is a Conservatives Abroad association here in Luxembourg - largely populated by UK expats who are not allowed to vote in UK elections (although expected to pay the usual taxes punctiliously) who work for the EU Parliament or Commission and therefore, being hogs with their snouts deep in the EU trough, are very pro-European and pretty PC to boot. Not this bunny. Where are the days of old when the petit-bourgeois values of right-wing Thatcherism ruled the roost with the effective assistance of a wildly swinging handbag ? The Cameron project with its recent limited success in trying to ape Blair in fooling most of the lumpen Social-Welfarist British pooblick with its Lib-Demoism masquerading as "compassionate Conservatism" makes me heartily sick. After Maggie, is there not another man with real balls in the whole of "mud island" to stand up and be counted with real hard-backed-pull yerself-together Conservatism?

Lots of interesting postings here.
Just a thought: Are 'traditional Conservative values' and the desire to encompass environmental issues, 'inclusiveness' and so on, mutually exclusive?



Right now the government is getting into a bigger mess every day and getting deeper it self into the financial black hole it has gug for itself.
The Lib Dem leadership is almost none existent and they must have another dirty leadership battle soon.
The conservative leadership must all work twice as hard to get the full benifit out of the mess the opposition are in.

Right now the government is getting into a bigger mess every day and getting deeper it self into the financial black hole it has gug for itself.
The Lib Dem leadership is almost none existent and they must have another dirty leadership battle soon.
The conservative leadership must all work twice as hard to get the full benifit out of the mess the opposition are in.

The one major complaint we all hear is the 'lack of policies' emanating from the party. I know we are probably years away from a general election so there is no need to rush into unsustainable commitments but the public judge the party by it's alternatives to the appaling mess nu. labour are undoubtedly in and will undoubtedly leave. This latest ethos of 'incompetence' is a real tough one for you to attack as you will be in the hands of the same time-serving civil servants. That will require the most earth moving shake up - promise it, not the usual waffle but root and branch re-organisation- you will truly be up against unions which will make the miners look like kids stuff.
The next GE may be closer than you think.

I'm a party activist in a Northwest constituency. I am concerned that David Cameron's concentration on the political centre ground (probably an attempt to woo the Liberals in the event of a hung parliament) has left open space to our right which far right parties are happy to annexe. We had high hopes of ousting Labour from overall control of Jack Straw's Blackburn. We needed to gain only 2 Council seats. In the event we failed to gain our target seats and lost two seats. The far right parties gained votes from us wherevever they stood and a new local party, "England First" made up of disaffected Tories won two seats. Cameron may be appealing to the South East but his policies have little relavance to electors in the North.

I am a former member who lapsed and await the policy encouragement to rejoin. I remain a supporter probably a little to the so-called "right" of current directions but I am honest and complete in my responses to surveys. Occasionally I differ significantly from the majority and read this as a healthy sign of the value of the surveys. Under no circumstance would I vote against the party - but the party could persuade me to abstain.

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