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A very good analysis Tim. I am inclined to agree with the over/under thing on the LDs. We do well when they do well, broadly speaking, however, as they take Labour votes mostly.

I must say those detailed figures on the issues are truly encouraging. Labour, down 15% on the economy, down ten on tax and services, down nine on Europe, down eleven on immigration...

worth also noting Mike Smithson's point that Labour do worse when Brown is named leader.

Good times, good times.

make that eleven on education. On my first cup of tea.

Perhaps the really interesting thing is that "Environment" was "not asked" in 2005. O tempora, O mores.

I wonder what important question is not being asked in 2007?

The table that Tim produces on "who leads" shows some massive improvements by the Conservatives since the last GE.

Also Labour's polling figures for when Brown replaces Blair actually get worse. That is surprising given the state of Blair's image.

"At the last General Election in 2005 the Tories only had a lead on asylum and immigration"

Which gives the lie to the regularly-repeated but moronic mantra that "banging on about immigration turns people off"

One other figure we should all take note of, another cheering figure, as pointed out on PB.com, is

"An early election? The poll found 76% of voters saying they would like Brown to call a contest within a year of succeeding Blair."

76% is an absolutely huge number. In my view, it would be massively to our advantage as the best-funded party with candidates in place to have an early election. I would feel very confident about that.

Smithson also sugests that the way data is collated in this poll, which differs in terms of voting headline vs. named leader, means that Labour with Brown do even worse than the present gap suggests. If so, they would be down at "core vote" levels of 30-29% or so.

No, John; we still have our lead on asylum and immigration, thank you, it has not declined at all, but since we now focus on other issues that matter to people we also lead now on education, tax, services, the environment, and Europe, and we have massively slashed Labour's lead on Health by 13 points to a single point and on the economy by an even greater 15 points to 5 percent.

What policies?

The ones we lead on, Jonathan. Sorry if the fact we used to lead on one issue, now we lead on six, bothers you.

There have been plenty of policy announcements on the issues. See yeserday's NHS thread. See the pronouncements on tax - less on marriage and business, more on pollutants, cut taxes over the course of a cycle, share growth. See our lead on the tax/service issue?

Europe - pull out of the Social Chapter, form a non-federalist reforming group, stop the Euro constitution

Education - streaming in schools, reform of the syllabus, synthetic phonics, all new schools to be foundation or other reformed schools, no new comprehensives

Law & order - build many more prisons, police to be accountable to local communities, police targets scrapped on day 1

etc etc

Anybody who says David Cameron has announced no policies is lazy or obtuse and simply does not bother to read the papers

My reply to Jonathan is "exactly". We have no policies to speak of. What is happening is that people are simply giving the thumbs-down to Labour blunders.

If you asked them what the alternative Tory policies were they wouldn't have a clue, and they'd be right, because they don't exist.

The "Tory lead" is down by 2% and the preposterous CCHQ plant Tory T is already braying about a new triumph. His assignment to CH must be money for old rope. No wonder he'll say anything to keep it.

Since Labour is extremely weak and the Lib Dem is very weak, the Conservative Party should expect hordes of protest voters storming to them. So, there they are! 6% lead. Great.

LOL! You think cchq assigns posters to a website?

The fact is, you little ukip Labour's little helpers can froth away on the thread below and the actual Conservatives - you know, the ones who spend their weekends canvassing in the cold, knocking on doors, getting ready to give Labour a kicking in May - we can discuss our colossal progress in the polls and on the issues, contrast it with 2005, and see just how well we are doing today and where we have to improve.

What's interesting to me is that despite Cameronisation and so on the Tories still have the same lead on asylum and immigration they had at the last election. To be quite honest, I think this an issue the Tories own really rather because no one else wants it. There was certainly no need for Dracula to keep going hyper about it at the last General Election, which lost us votes in stead of gaining them.

Pleasingly, the public appears to be becoming more Eurosceptic, and so far Cameron's EPP-problem (i.e. his Tory Boy-problem) hasn't surfaced sufficiently to make him look either weak or deceitful (one of which -- though I'm not sure which -- he certainly is).

Otherwise, the Socialists' chucking money at health and education (so that it can be sucked up by wealthy donors to the Labour Party) has now lost them their leads on those issues. That's not to say they won't get them back, especially when GB takes over from TB, but for now the spend-spend-spend-regardless-of-outcome agenda, is no longer finding favour with taxpayers. (Maybe it's just that time of year again, but maybe the tax-hikes are finally biting!)

One of the Tories' two big problems for the future, I predict, will be that they have absolutely nothing to say about the War on Terror -- and that is a great mistake. The idea that the War will somehow fizzle out when Bush steps down in two years time is wishful thinking, regardless of whether McCain or Ms. Rodham becomes President; and, which is more to the point, Brown will be keen to bolster his national security/special relationship/internationalist credentials as soon as he becomes PM -- which is presumably why he's been dumbing down spending and undermining both the War and Blair for most of the last four years. (I predict that Brown the Briton, with his "GB for GB" spin, will be a good deal sounder on defence than Blair has been for various reasons. Cue more visits to war memorials and military cemeteries, etc.)

Their other problem will be that Cameron has sunk a huge amount of capital into a political non-issue, specifically all the enviro-crap. The MSM loves this sort of thing because it gives them an opportunity to get out their National Geographic photo-snaps and David Attenborough commentaries, and then use made-up computer graphics to predict Hollywood-style disaster-movie scenarios. (Nobody really believes any of it, but it's easier to make the news up than to report it.) And of course national governments of all stripes love it because it gives them excuses to yank up indirect taxation.

People living in the real world, however, who are concerned about health, education, money, and being bombed by Muslims, are not so interested. And the worst is that even after all the glacier-hugging and pedalling to work in the mornings the Tory lead on the issue is only a measley 2%. Is it really worth trying to get the hemp-brigade to vote Tory? I'm not convinced.

Good news.

If we continue to make hay about the state of the health service (no doubt this poll was done before yesterday's announcements on targets) then that 1% gap will disappear.

As for the economy, Gordon's follies are finally catching up with him, as the latest inflation figures show. With that issue we just let Labour hang themselves.

Well said ToryT 09:13

we really really need to say more about "the war on terror".

I agree with Tory T @ 9.13.
We are the best at in fighting instead of looking where we have come from and achieved over the past 18 months.
We were blown away, yes we got more seats but Not more of the vote share, we got the same as 2001. Now we have a chance, but we have got to start to unite behind the Leadership, take the positives and go forward.
Changing to win is not new to us, Churchill and Maggie both said in different words we have to change to win as the voters do not like our style. when we did change we Won!
Those of us who remember when Maggie took over will also note that it was not an easy ride with the changes she introduced to get to the St Francis Pray outside no 10 in 79!

Odd isn't it that, despite the endless assurances we are given by posters on this site as to the blood-curdling Euro-scepticism of the voters, that we now have a lead on the issue of 'Europe' for the first time. In 2005, when our rhetoric was several degrees higher, we were 7% behind on the issue. How curious. Not, of course, that the Euro-nutters have ever been troubled by facts in making their arguments.

How do people judge when we have very few policies? I think the poll shows just how weak Labour have become when the gap is 1% on Health and Education, in spite of us not really saying anything of substance on the subjects.

The economy is the most striking figure. The trend is pear shaped for Gordon.


have a look at yesterday's thread on health or the education policies I have listed above. I think those are significant policies, don't you? They are certainly very different from Labour.

The best news is perhaps that any appetite in the Lib Dems for Sir Ming's ousting will die down ... at least for a while.

The core questions are economic management and national security. Forget "Europe" or "Asylum or immigration". The two that will drive how people vote, will be how people feel they will be safer with on the economy and national security. The leads are with Labour but are trending to us, in a very satisfactory way.

When voters in marginal seats feel that the Conservatives are the better choice on economic management - as opposed to "tax cuts" - then we'll see the flocking hordes, Jorgen. In the absence of a Conservative lead on that question I think he's performing pretty well. I hope it comes with time.

The Health one wasn't out when the majority of the poll was taken. I would expect the figure to become positive now this is out. There has been a few low key announcements on Education but nothing that major. I would expect the figures to rise when present major policies is what I'm saying.

I have a little sympathy for those who point out that our lead maybe should be greater - while wishing to observe that at least we have a lead these days - but the fact we're ahead on a majority of policy areas is very heartening.

Alexander Drake, economic management and national security are certainly two of the core questions. But I think immigration is certainly another, now.

The best feature of MORI polls is that for about 20 years, they've asked people to rank issues by importance, and immigration is now regularly at the top.

One of the most interesting questions (which has attracted very little comment) that was recently asked by Yougov was "What makes you Most Ashamed of Modern Britain?" 39% replies "The Unfair Treatment of White Families" - an extraordinary proportion IMHO. Ten years ago, I doubt if it would have been higher than 10-15%.

Good to see the one-club golfer, Gareth, in action: why reason with people when you can indulge in adolescent playground abuse instead?

I for one am not even sure what Conservative policy is on Europe and how, if at all, it has changed from 2005.

That's a ludicrously leading question if ever I heard one, Sean - not that immigration is not a very important issue after the fiasco of 13k Poles vs 1 million in one year. But such a "question" is a bit of a joke.

Anyway, as pointed out above, Cameron has maintained our immigration lead and simply added to it a lead on loads of other stuff too.

I should have elaborated on what I meant as "core", Sean. I agree that immigration is an important issue to many UK voters - but I don't think it's a vote changing issue from Lab to Con.

There is much I dislike about Max Hastings' article in the Guardian today, but I feel this kernel is true:

A recent opinion poll showed that, while many people feel dismayed about Britain as a society, most feel amazingly content with their own existences. As long as this remains true, Gordon Brown has a fair chance of remaining prime minister past a general election.

A leading question can still be a useful question, Tory T. I think that ten years ago, a lot more people would have felt embarassed about answering "Yes" to that question than is the case today.

That may be so Alexander. But I think that a growing number of urban Britons do believe that immigration is damaging their quality of life.

Sean, I disagree. I think that immigration is very much an issue in some area's but not in other's. Where as the economy, crime, education, health, environment and national security will remain the most important issues everywhere.
These should be the key campaign issues we need to be "banging on about".
We need to have clear policies on immigration and Europe as part of a balanced manifesto, but to highlight them, or make them "core" campaign issues would be a mistake.
We have got to send out a positive message about what we would do in government, to run a negative campaign would be a costly disaster.
We cannot rely on Labour losing the election, we have got to try and win the arguments on policies and show that we would "make a difference".

I don't really see anything much different, opinion polls have been known to way out on actual support in the past, if it is assumed to be correct for the sake of argument then it shows Labour and Conservative on about the same levels they have been for most of the past 9 months - levels of support and election results at the General Election in the past generally have been very different from those approaching 2 years into a parliament - especially when one party has won a third successive term.

Andrew Woodman @ 10:49, fair comment, I agree.

I would agree that immigration needs to be part of a balanced manifesto. Last time it was not balanced in any way. there seemed to be at least 10 times as many immigration leaflets as Health and Education.

On the subject of immigration, I believe you have to think about the way it affects certain people. I know people in the building trade who are anti because they are being undercut by immigrants living 4 to a house and sending money home, where as an office worker mat think immigration is great because he can get an emergency plumber and not be forced to take out a second mortgage. The Builder may agree with our policies but have a long standing hatred of the party and not vote for us. The office worker may have no problem with immigration and think we're too right wing and vote Lib Dem. It's a tricky subject to get right.

Honestly! The Tories have regained their lead on Europe probably because the public is more Eurosceptic now (and, with the longterm rise of Little Englander mentalities in the tabloid press, and with the shorterm Euro-Presidency of Angela Merkel, this is a very real possibility). Of course for all his faults Cameron is more Eurosceptic than his immediate predecessor: IDS vowed to withdraw from the EPP/ED; Dracula completely reversed his position; now Cameron has revered the reversal, albeit "in the long term" or "after the next elections" or whenever it's going to be. In my book that makes the Tories more Eurosceptic than they were at the last General Election. Hey presto! They've got their lead back.

Doh! He's reversed the reversal, not 'revered' it.

Those of us who do 'yougov' know that they have been doing 'who has the best policies for...' surveys for a good while. What i'd like to see are the actual results for these surveys.

Andrew, indeed, there was a lack of balance at the last election. That is probably because immigration was one of the few issues where we had coherent policies, and on which we had our biggest lead. My own impression was the issue was in net terms, beneficial to us, but then my campaigning was limited to parts of Hertfordshire and North London.

My impression is that public opinion has radicalised on this issue since May 2005.

There's a lot in that Sean. The other policies were just soundbite and when the Health Policy wasn't playing well, that had to be canned. The immigration policy was not a bad one, and I would be surprised if it was changed. It was merely the amount of time spent on it which was able to be spun as banging on and obsessive by the media and Labour.

The offical opposition should be ahead by much more than these figures show given public knowledge now of government corruption, plus inflation and most aspects of life in Britain having turned manifestly nastier. The best lead is 6% - not much.

Quote: "The immigration policy was not a bad one, and I would be surprised if it was changed."

It would be a good idea to change it because it tried to give the impression that British governments determine immigration policy, when in fact it is almost entirely a matter of implementing what Brussels demands.

Of much more interest would be this time last year. The aftermaths of elections usually see collapses in Government support anyway.

That the Conservative Party has a 2% lead over Labour on "Europe" suggests to me that the public have rumbled that the there is no essential difference between the two on this.

UK First, leaving aside free movement within the EU, almost every other aspect of immigration policy is determined by the governments of member States.

Of course, that does mean leaving aside a pretty big element of immigration policy. So, if, for example, Spain gives an amnesty to illegal immigrants, they can settle anywhere in the EU. Overall, though, I don't think immigration from EU countries bothers people as much as immigration from third world countries.

The issues findings are encouraging, but consider the possible causes of the gap narrowing on many issues. I wonder how much that reflects people who previously preferred Labour now seeing no difference between us. I follow politics, although not health politics very closely and haven't caught up with this week's pronoucements (will I bother? - yawn), and I don't think right now I could articulate any real differences between the parties on it. This may just be me being lazy but then so is much of the electorate. I suppose one difference is that Labour has made a complete hash of handling GPs by just giving them a massive unplanned pay hike, which I think people have noticed and has confirmed that increased expenditure does not necessarily do any good. I wish I was confident that a Tory Government might not have made the same mistake.

As for important issues not on there (as William Norton asks near the top of the thread), here are two: civil liberties and foreign policy. I think we probably have a good lead on the former (which may be a minority interest but of much greater interest to me than the health service, and increasingly important) and should have had a great opportunity on the latter but have largely wasted it. I have a child at University and he says these are the two issues about which today's students feel most strongly about and are most anti-Labour. How you reconcile these issues to national security is a major challenge.

"My own impression was the issue was in net terms, beneficial to us, but then my campaigning was limited to parts of Hertfordshire and North London.

My impression is that public opinion has radicalised on this issue since May"

Sean, the campaign focus on immigration played badly for the conservatives in my area and I suspect in others too. I don't think it was beneficial, in fact I think we should have done better than we did.
It may have radicalised since May 2005 in "some area's" but it would still be poisonous and extremely negative to make it a focus of a future campaign. Just have a sensible and fair policy as part of a balanced manifesto.
For too long we have run negative "scare" campaigns which do not make attractive viewing or reasons to vote for a new government.
They are also more damaging when in opposition as William Hague discovered. Labour offered a referendum on the issue, diffused the concern and ended up looking reasonable in comparison to us.

That 2% lead on Europe represents a 9 point improvement, a huge improvement on our 7 point deficit at the last election.

Some quick observations on this thread:

- this poll thread's Barbara Villiers Memorial Trophy goes to John Irvine;

- signed portrait of Simon Heffer to first person to assert "we would be 10%+ points ahead with David Davis/William Hague/Liam Fox/John Redwood/Norman Tebbit as leader" goes unclaimed this time;

- actual poll result a little disappointing, but not the end of the world as it still shows significant progress since the pre-David Cameron era;

- at risk of provoking the usual gang of trolls and malcontents, it's interesting to note that David Cameron's more moderate, pragmatic approach to Europe is received more warmly by the public than the strident approach taken previously - the thought of Nigel Farage surfing into power on a tide of ardent public europhobia seems ever more laughable by the second...

It is always entertaining to observe the fervour of a True Believer: in this case, Daniel VA.

I think we should be making more of the Conservative impact on the economy:
- Thatcher's economic changes that made this country the competitive economy it now is (based on a knowledge and financial economy)
- The risk this has been put under with high borrowing - not including the PFI's in health & education which has mortgaged our future
if we don't get the message out in a historical evidenced based message, the NuLab will continue to capitalise on this lack of understanding/ education about the economy with the continuation of the artificial feelgood effects it has created in recent years (which will all come crashing down probably soon after the next election).

Leading by six of nine issues? Not bad for the policy free party. Unfortunately one day there may be some policies, and they might not be so popular.

Putting comedy aside which is difficult given Daniel's post(s), he cannot prove that we would not be further ahead if we did not haev Cameron as leader.

Daniel VA - and see one responds immediately! :-) Agree with your comments though I think the Barbara Villiers Memorial Stiletto with matching Handbag is a more suitable trophy.

"he cannot prove that we would not be further ahead if we did not have Cameron as leader."
Just remind me who was leader last time we sustained a lead over labour for this long?
The fact that it has happened over one year under one leader should deserve some merit.

It won't win an election but it puts Labour under pressure, and the fact that they are languishing in the 30-32% bracket on a regular basis is heartening. Under named leaders the gap between Cameron and Brown widens to 8%, and Campbell's Libdems slip back to 19%.


Whom, if anyone, are you calling a "troll and malcontent"?


I note you acknowledge and do not reject my contention.

"I note you acknowledge and do not reject my contention."
Esbonio, I think the ordinary voters seemed quite taken with David Cameron by the end of the leadership race, which considering a choice of 5 original contenders is not a bad indicator that he might do well.

The idea that the Party under Cameron has any coherent set of policies is laughable.

All we have are a bunch of management initiatives designed to tinker with the status quo. Most of these remain no more than suggestions, although I see Cameron says he will implement the rather unexciting minor changes recently proposed for the NHS.

You can be sure that if there is any milage in it Labour will adopt it themselves.

The PR Smoothie went racing ahead, while Ming Campbell took his time settling in. Now the result is beginning to be seen.
Reminds me of the hare and the tortoise.

Well glum, glum glum. Have you been reading America Alone again?

"It is always entertaining to observe the fervour of a True Believer: in this case, Daniel VA."

I'm not sure what you mean by that Michael. I admitted the poll result was a little disappointing. If you're referring to my comment vis-a-vis Europe, you may like to note the public response to our European policy now in comparison to 2005 (as indicated at the top of this thread), which seemingly demonstrates that David Cameron's decision to avoid harping on about the European Union and concentrate on issues that matter to the voters was the correct one.

"Putting comedy aside which is difficult given Daniel's post(s), he cannot prove that we would not be further ahead if we did not haev Cameron as leader."

Of course I cannot prove that, just as the anti-Camerons cannot prove that David Davis et al would perform better if any of them were leader. Such conjecture is as pointless as the national coastguard of Liechtenstein, so probably best to avoid it.

"Daniel VA - and see one responds immediately!"

Par for the course with these people Ted. Their responses are as tired and predictable as the jokes in an ITV sitcom.

Daniel VA, FYI Liechtenstein has a proud navy:

There seems to be a far too frequent pattern to these threads. Disagreement by long standing conservative supporters with Cameron, his style, his policies (such as they are), his acolytes, or any of their shibboleths may first (if you are lucky) be countered by argument but far too often falls into name calling and if that does not work the pathetic cry of "please sir, I don't like that post" or even worse as has been the case a request for a thread to be removed. It is absolutely pathetic.

Such conjecture is as pointless as the national coastguard of Liechtenstein, so probably best to avoid it.
Liechtenstein is a landlocked country, probably has a merchant navy of some kind (few ships), I remember hearing about the issue of Tanzania's Merchant Navy being raised in Tanzania's parliament - a government minister announced that they had a merchant navy consisting of one ship and it was out there somewhere although there weren't quite sure where at that moment.

People still know what David Cameron says and does, as leader of the party he has opportunities to achieve something unlike a Liechtenstein Coast Guard who of course couldn't do anything, so whereas they couldn't be evaluated, people can observe and come up with positive and negative criticism of how David Cameron is going about things.

You're priceless YAA.!

Don't mock Liechtenstein. They aren't in the EU.

"Disagreement by long standing conservative supporters" V "his acolytes, or any of their shibboleths may first (if you are lucky) be countered by argument but far too often falls into name calling" QED!
Esbonio, I come on here to debate and I think that if we all agreed it would be a pretty boring thread more akin to a fan site or a David Cameron rantathon.
Play the ball not the man whether it be David Cameron or another poster, we get a good debate going and all views are welcome!
How many threads are derailed because someone posts a few ill founded insults at anyone who disagrees with their world view.

Esbonio - posted before your post came up so not you.

I bow (no pun intended) to your superior knowledge and experience of all things maritime, Valedictoryan.

Perhaps "as pointless as a cheap pencil", "as pointless as John Prescott on Mastermind (unless his specialist subject was pies)" or "as pointless as the Scottish football team at any major tournament" would be acceptable substitutes?

Esbonio @ 16.52, if anyone is pathetic and boring, it is the intransigents who continually bash Cameron for no other reason than sport, and then whinge that there are conservatives here who (horror!) support the Party rather than falling into line behind pointless sniping. Some of them then go on to complain of "name calling" while calling other posters 'moronic', 'one-club golfers' as above, 'laughable', 'not real Conservatives', 'traitors' and all the rest of the sneer-laden names.

As for your contention that people aren't proving that we wouldn't be 20% ahead with Davis or whoever as leader - you're right! It can't be proved. How the hell do you think it could be proved? Should Daniel Vince Archer build himself a time machine, go back to 2005 and fix the ballot for Davis, then come back and say "Told you so!"??? It can't be proved, but if you look at, say, this stage in the 2001-5 Parliament under a right-wing leader, I think you'll find we weren't 6% ahead then. That isn't proof but it's a bloody good guide.


Although I don't think you proved your point, I agree with your general sentiment that most of us want a good debate. I agree slagging your fellow debaters off is not a good idea generally and I was highlighting how quickly I think some do it. So I am with you a long way except that I do think the idea we should refrain from criticising individual politicians (if that is what you are suggesting) is a bit absurd. But thanks for your polite contribution (and Ted's).

Farage waits as Daily Mail editor raises Tory concerns


The leader of the UK Independence Party has said he would be willing to meet the editor of the Daily Mail newspaper after Paul Dacre appeared to question the Conservative credentials of David Cameron.

Nigel Farage made his comments on BBC Two's 'Daily Politics' after Mr Dacre was recorded giving a rare public speech, in which he said it remained to be seen whether Mr Cameron was being truly Conservative.

Mr Farage said: "I do not know [Paul Dacre], I have not been invited around there, if he wants me to come round, I certainly will.

"But we do believe in lower taxes, we do believe in selective education, we do believe in national independence in the EU and I think many people think we represent some of the good things that the Conservative Party used to stand for."

He added: "We have been hearing for 30 years British ministers saying they are going to go to the Council of Ministers, saying they are going to renegotiate, saying they are going to reform the EU. We have never reformed the EU.

"The argument is not coming around to the British way of thinking and what we are saying is we should have a different relationship."

Mr Farage concluded: "We are going to do that by divorcing ourselves from central Europe."

In a clip of his speech broadcast on the same programme, Mr Dacre had said in answer to a question on Mr Cameron's leadership of the Conservatives: "The honest answer is it is far too early to say.

"The Mail is a Conservative paper, it would be very surprising if we did not support the Conservatives. Whether the current Conservative Party is Conservative I do not know. We will have to see, won't we?"

Rachel Joyce @ 15.03 has put a finger on a fundemental point. The party makes little effort to publicise the achievements of the 18 years on the economy, so voters - particularly young voters - just get the Labour/BBC version. I bet this is worth 5/10% in a poll re economic competence.

I suspect that if the party publicised its work on health, education and law and order it would boost the ratings. We really must understand that great swathes of voters have been living a Labour/media paralell universe re the 18 years for about the last 12 years.

>>The party makes little effort to publicise the achievements of the 18 years on the economy<<

Of course it doesn't

The accession of Cameron marked the start of Year One of the new Green Squiggle party, a party which thinks it needs no roots or history.

Cameron has gone out of his way to dissociate himself from Margaret Thatcher's glorious record. Not that I suppose she - were she in better health - would want anything to do with him anyway.

"Cameron has gone out of his way to dissociate himself from Margaret Thatcher's glorious record."

All I've heard him say is Margaret Thatcher sorted out the economy, now we need to sort out society. I do wish anti-Camerons would stick to the facts, apart from anything else their extremist claims besmirche Margaret Thatcher's government.

>>apart from anything else their extremist claims besmirche Margaret Thatcher's government.<<

I was an active and loyal Thatcherite party member throughout Maggie's term of office as leader and then PM.

Were you?

Doesn't it concern you that a very large number of other Thatcherites take a similarly jaundiced view of Cameron.

It can't be proved, but if you look at, say, this stage in the 2001-5 Parliament under a right-wing leader, I think you'll find we weren't 6% ahead then.
There was a big shift in support from Labour to the Liberal Democrats at the time of the War in Iraq, I don't think it is really possible to compare early 2003 with now - Labour is still recovering supportwise from the issue of the War in Iraq, they just aren't as strong as they were 4 years ago - they are starting from a lower base, they will never get back to the levels of support they had pre 2001, the Conservative Party is still not back to levels of support in the early 1990's really and is only apparently leading because of mid-term effects on an already weakened Labour government.

The first time Cameron came to my attention must have been at least a year before the election. The BBC reported him as making a speech which was at the least critical of Thatcher.

"as pointless as the Scottish football team at any major tournament"
DVA, the Scotland football team is far from pointless as it serves as the focal point of the tartan army's social gatherings at home and abroad. It has a vital role in deciding whether they party to celebrate or to drown their sorrows.
Whatever the result these occasions are usually fun packed, and can on occasion result in Scotland winning off the field.
The tartan army's only has one gripe, it is fed up of arriving home from tournaments before the postcards!

Some of those posting here seem to assume that it will be a normal 2 horse race election. I really feel that you guys do not appreciate the mood of the electorate. People are angry, they have been totally shafted by politicians and they do not want to repeat their mistake of backing Bliar. The current option of NuNuLab, us and LibDems offers little in the way of inspiration. They want a radical change, not middle of the road, slightly more rational policies than those of the current government.

The last Labour government ended in similar disarray as we see now. The ‘winter of discontent’ was such a shocking experience that the British people rejected completely the socialist ideas of the Labour Party and ushered in 18 years of sensible government. The crisis of confidence in government, the utter despair felt over the incompetence of Bliar’s government today is comparable to the dark days of green fire engines and rubbish on the street. The Conservatives of 1979 offered a real alternative; we need to be more aggressive.

Mark McCartney @ 19.28.

Yes, I was a loyal party supporter from well before Margarat Thatcher AND well afterwards. Since you ask, I have noticed people calling themselves "Thatcherites" making various anti-party or anti-Cameron observations. It is a large subject, but to summarise.

1. Most anti-Cameron comments from people calling themselves Thatcherits are usual some way off the facts. This would include, say, Condon's stated reasons for joining UKIP and your comment about Cameron's view of Margaret Thsatcher.

2. Most anti- Cameron comments by "Thatcherites" are apparently happy to accept a picture of Thatcher's government which is not true and presents her in a bad light and puts people off voting Tory. Frankly, they come across as not very nice to know. (Oh yes and I've met some.)

3. Margaret Thatcher moved further in to Europe than John Major and she put up taxes if necessary. That was being practical, something Cameron aparantly is not allowed to be.

Margaret Thatcher moved further in to Europe than John Major and she put up taxes if necessary.
Taxes went up under the Conservatives in the situation where there was a serious world recession, there is no world recession and while the budget deficit has been allowed to rise far too much, unlike the 1970's and early 1980's the economy is in growth and inflation remains fairly low. The problems are political not economic, Margaret Thatcher up until the late 1980's believed that the EEC could be turned into a free market area - this turned out to be wrong and on social policy the EU has been having an increasingly strong impact on member states.

worth also noting Mike Smithson's point that Labour do worse when Brown is named leader.
The last lot of polls showed Labour doing better under Gordon Brown. Actually I rather think there will be far more continuity than any change of leader during a government in living memory, people are rather fed up of Tony Blair and the people with smiles glued on, I think Gordon Brown will for some time actually play better than Tony Blair did in the end, a more aloof laconic leader is actually what people are looking for and more substance than in the past 10 years.

"DVA, the Scotland football team is far from pointless as it serves as the focal point of the tartan army's social gatherings at home and abroad."

I don't doubt that, Scotty :-) - it was a lame play on words on my part (i.e. 3 points for a win etc).

"Margaret Thatcher moved further in to Europe than John Major and she put up taxes if necessary. That was being practical, something Cameron aparantly is not allowed to be."

Thatcher was pushed into taking that line at a time when many of us, myself included, had not fully realised how utterly pernicious was the dictatorship now known as the EU

I bitterly regret my own naivety at the time and so did Thatcher. She totally recanted.

You are certainly no friend of Margaret Thatcher. If you were "loyal" to the party before Thatcher then your were loyal to Heath who is detested and reviled by all patriotic Conservatives.

I was loyal, and proud to be, to Ted Heath and the Conservative Party until after the lost 1974 elections (after I heard Margaret Thatcher speak and thought that's who we really need to lead our party). However a couple of quotes
"I am the first to say that on many great issues the countries of Europe should try to speak with a single voice. I want to see us work more closely on the things we can do better together than alone. Europe is stronger when we do so, whether it be in trade, in defence, or in our relations with the rest of the world."
"Certainly we want to see Europe more united and with a greater sense of common purpose."
I doubt there is much common ground there between John Irvine and Mrs Thatcher (extracts from Bruges address), sounded a lot like David Cameron on need for Europe to work together on the environment.
I think DC would also support (having bothered to read his speeches):
"working more closely together does not require power to be centralised in Brussels or decisions to be taken by an appointed bureaucracy."
"it must be in a way which preserves the different traditions, parliamentary powers and sense of national pride in one's own country"
"If we cannot reform those Community policies which are patently wrong or ineffective and which are rightly causing public disquiet, then we shall not get the public's support for the Community's future development."
note that last phrase not BOO but further development.


I am sorry. Maybe I don't do speeches or something like that although I have found others' both illuminating and stirring in the past. But I have to say I find Cameron's speeches limp and meaningless and suspect that is what they are meant to be.

Esbonio - those were Margaret's words none of them David's but his speech in Europe echoed the sentiments of the Bruges speech pretty well. You might find them meaningless, that's your take.


I registered that. I was commenting on the speeches Cameron does.

As I said Esbonio, that's your take & privilege, I don't agree.

This thread has probably now died, but I just want to register that it is perfectly possible to have been a fervant Thatcherite and now (broadly) to support Cameron. I am such an example. I have also noticed that most people with any maturity develop over the years and anyone who thinks the same thing on everything now that they did in 1975 or 1990 must be rather stunted.

Final observation from someone proud to have voted "no" in the 1975 referendum but does not support BOO now: Cameron's stated positions on the EU are, in line with the party generally, several degrees more Eurosceptical than Mrs Thatcher's ever were when she was in power.

I think most of us have become more anti-EU since 1975, Londoner, and an increasing number of us want out altogether. Of course we develop, and that's how.

It's true that Cameron is probably only marginally more Eurocompliant than some of his predecessors, but it's the Political Correctness that sets him beyond the pale as far as most serious Tories are concerned.

So Ted was proud to be loyal to Edward Heath, was he? I consider such an attitude to be beneath contempt.

37 + 31 + 23 = Hung Parliament.

John Irvine posted the following - "At the last General Election in 2005 the Tories only had a lead on asylum and immigration"
Which gives the lie to the regularly-repeated but moronic mantra that "banging on about immigration turns people off"

Sorry John I don't agree. Banging on about immigration can turn people off and did so in 2005. At that time in particular it made us look very shrill and tended to reinforce the false perception that we were uncaring. By focusing on this issue and not say health, we shot ourselves in the foot as a party. I saw this time and time again canvassing on the doors. We lost the moderate floating/centre voters. Also nowadays it is very hard to maintain clear messages that really sink into voters if you are camapigning on several fronts. A focus on immigration inevitably drowned out other arguably more important messages.


Steve says: "The crisis of confidence in government, the utter despair felt over the incompetence of Bliar’s government today is comparable to the dark days of green fire engines and rubbish on the street. The Conservatives of 1979 offered a real alternative; we need to be more aggressive".

Sorry Steve your analysis is completely wrong and this is why we have struggled to beat Labour so far. Many people feel they have been doing quite well under New Labour, that has been the case for years (there are some signs very recently that taxes are biting and that they might be changing their minds). They have been unhappy about other aspects of Labour but the myth that Brown has been a good chancellor has generally held. When economies are generally doing reasonably well (actually because of the structural reforms we set in motion and also world markets doing well) people don't want that disrupted. This is a total contrast with the situation that led up to Thatchers win in 1979.


"I saw this time and time again canvassing on the doors."

Utter rot.

When I canvass I hear complaint after complaint about immigrants and illegal asylum seekers.

I have never yet met anybody who told me it was a good thing although admittedly this area is almost completely white.

However I once called on an Indian/Pakistani who also complained about immigration. Of course he had lived here for years.

Basically I have always believed that Enoch Powell was right on this issue. There has always been a big majority supporting his views right from the moment he first spoke out.

Why do you think the BNP vote is rising these days? I know of two former local Tories who have actually joined them recently!

Two former Tories joined the BNP recently? You are not supposed to say that. According to Tory mythology the BNP is a left-wing Party, drawing support from Labour voters.

The BNP vote has shown some rises in some areas for slightly different erasons to the ones you mention. "Immigration" may be part of the reason but the main reason is the growth of an underclass that revel in ignorance. For that we actually have to thank Labour and the excesses of the welfare state,


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