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Ancram, Bercow and Mercer. I duess these twerps will be off MP and PPCs xmas card list?

Gummer and Goldsmith providing ammo to Mail headline writers as predicted.

Nuff said?

GE now more likely?

Thanks to Michael Ankram,the headbangers really need to make their minds up to shut up or lose.

On the face of it this does look to be an extremely bad poll for us, from a trusted pollster. We need the background info on this poll though, most importantly, when it was carried out.

I normally try to be positive about the party and its leadership, but this poll is very worrying. Why are the public falling for Brown's spin? It is one of the things Cameron is most attacked on, yet if you look at Brown, he far surpasses DC on spin.

The conference will be make-or-break time, I believe....no doubt Brown has some dirty trick up his sleeve though.

ICM are the pollster I most trust and this is a really dreadful poll. But it is just one poll. I cannot believe that a run on a British bank can be good for Brown once the news has had time to settle.

The DC rating is completely out of step with all other pollsters vs Ming, so it doesn't bother me like the headline figures do.

There will be an autumn election.

I'm off to the betting shop.

By "one poll" I mean one set of polls. There are three bad ones out tonight including Populus in the Times, see Brogan.

I remain confident we will wipe out Labour's majority in any autumn election.

Anyone going out and talking to the "man in the street" will be told the reason why - rightly or wrongly, Joe Public likes and trusts Brown while Cameron is regarded as ethereal and demonically possessed by the green agenda.
Voters are selfish - and any party telling them they will suffer direct and indirect tax increases to save the planet will suffer. We all think the Lib Dems are barmy, but I'm afraid the voters think we are as well.
An October 25 election - perhaps. It would certainly devastate the Conservatives but I still think Brown is not that adventurous. Let's hope so or otherwise we face another 10 years in the wilderness and by Christmas we will be plunged into yet another leadership crisis from an even smaller pool of MPs.

It believe it was a poll taken during the 'quiet period' between the furore over crime (and how easily the public forget)and the NR debacle; it's very difficult to make any call as to what it means. Labour are up 1, the Conservatives down 2 and the Lib Dems up 2. To be honest as the polls move into the Labour conference things may get worse.

The important thing is - stay calm. Have a little self discipline or else we won't be given a chance by the media by the time our conference rolls along. If Labour can keep quite even as Gordon aggrivates the left and the unions, surely we can do too. For once.

The party has to stick to the centre ground and unite. This is not the time to lurch to the right and go on about immigration.

The poll is pretty terrible. I can't believe Campbell is more popular than Cameron though!

Any idea when the poll was taken?

Further taxing people's cars and their holidays when everyone believes they pay too much tax isn't popular - what a shocker!

No surprise. Until Cameron steps down as leader, the polls will always be like this.

Why are the public falling for Brown's spin? It is one of the things Cameron is most attacked on, yet if you look at Brown, he far surpasses DC on spin.

Not sure about Brown but Cameron is 100% spin, and I think the novelty of the 40-year old 'youngster' has now gone as flat as a glass of last night's champagne.

I am not going to pretend I ever liked Cameron, but at least when he began his reign I assumed that he was a 'genuine' TRG type with an internally coherent set of lefty principles.

Of course there was his authorship of the allegedly far-right manifesto, but it was not until Peter Hitchens's TV expose that I learned that when Cameron first became an MP he was openly portraying himself as a right-winger ('advocates of gay marriage loonies' etc)

So...thin on principles; thin on just about everything else.

What were the poll numbers when IDS was forced out?

Cameron's ideas have failed so badly that the only thing that can help the Conservatives is an economic meltdown.

Don't bet on it! Traditional Tory will be along any moment :)

I must admit I am really surprised with these polls myself. I thought by now that the gap would have closed.
For what it is worth, I honestly believe this country needs a good opposition. We are simply not getting it.
I have never trusted or liked Cameron since the word go. The reason being he has changed all his principles far too quickly just to get elected. He is seen as say anything do anything get elected at any price.
Follow the Blair script to the letter and proclaim he is "heir to Blair" just at a time when everybody was glad to see the back of Blair.
What I cannot understand is this... David Davis a solid politician, who knows working class people inside out having been brought up by a Single Mother on a Council Estate.
He is not the best Speech Maker but the guy is a conviction politician through and through.
He will learn to deliver speeches easier than Cameron will understand the working/middle classes in this Country.
Yet you all hang on to Cameron while a person who is worth 10 of him sits on the sidelines.
This does not make sense to me, keeping a talker instead of a doer.
If you cannot see the way the cookie is crumbling heaven help us all.
What are you all going to do wait for another disaster then get Davis in?

I am sure there will be an election announced at the end of the Labour conference and that we will lose heavily.

Please will the right now keep quiet as i intend to do so that the full blame for this debacle can rest squarely where it is deserved on the modernisers and there obsessions.

Difficult game politics isn't it ?

Apprarently you need a Central Office full of apparachiks and a highly paid PR team NOT to realise it the bleedin obvious.

Deep, dark, despair.

What a load of rubbish. I cannot believe this poll is anywhere near accurate. The libDems up 2 per cent - After all the rubbish Ming has bees spouting of late? The LibDem Bloggers are up in arms, let alone the public.

These are difficult times, in the late summer I really thought things would have started to pick up by mid-september. Here in Scotland, i can't see us getting ANYWHERE. I think it will be and out and out SNP - Labour brawl.


Noone should over-react to this. THIS IS JUST ONE OPINION POLL. Let's wait until the first one after the Northern Rock fallout...

Northern Rock will only improve GB's ratings, everyone is blaming the directors and the morons who rushed to the doors.

So whose going to do the decent thing, 'The quiet man is here to stay and he's turning up the vol....aaaaah' David Davis standby your party needs you.

Just look back at the TV images of the past few days of financial crisis,you have DArling versus Osborne,game over.

Whilst I am sure that Osborne is intelligent etc (so to is Oliver Letwin) he just doesn't come over as convincing.
Long overdue that we had a heavyweight in this key position.

How can we be an effective opposition with the shower we have as MPs? The problem is not Leadership, the problem is the MPs.

FFS Cameron cannot do it on his own. Too many part timers in the shadow cabinet who are just not opposing this Govt.

After the next GE, every Association should review its MP. CCHQ will not do it, the Chief Whip is clearly incapable so it falls to each Association to do it. Any lazy, off message, ineffective MP needs to be shifted out.

Just look at all the useless bed blockers.


This poll was conducted between the 13th to 16th September in the midst of all the Northern Rock queues and before the government guaranteed savers money.

Its not one poll its 3 that will be published tomorrow all bad.

"Any idea when the poll was taken?"

Indeed, Andrew. It would be interesting to whether this was before or after Gummer-Goldsmith..

;Whilst I am sure that Osborne is intelligent etc (so to is Oliver Letwin) he just doesn't come over as convincing.

Long overdue that we had a heavyweight in this key position.'

That is becoming very apparent John. I can't help feeling that Cameron is gaining a reputation of not understanding the average person in the street, and so to balance this he would be better having a heavyweight figure who appears to be more in tune with the common man as his shadow Chancellor. For all his Pro EU faults, someone like Ken Clarke would be ideal in the role.

An election must soon be looming and the party has a choice. It can focus on the things that matter to voters: hospitals, schools, crime, the environment and win seats or it can go backwards and focus on the core issues such as Europe,immigration, grammar schools and be lucky to hold onto the seats it has.

Will someone please tell me where the Front Bench of the Party has been during the past few days
We have had the Wanless news on the NHS, more Foot and Mouth, a banking crisis and all we have got is how Brown and his pals are going to solve it. Even tonight's BBC News was loaded by the Labout Spin machine when it came to what they are doing about the NHS- words came out of the newsreader's script as though it was written by the Labour party.

All these open goals and we hear so little from our team- when they did surface there was no real impact- one of them could have at least shown some passion and anger at the country we have become. Pathetic- no wonder Brown is 8% up!!

Further proof of how the actions of selfish members obsessed by the "loss" of a grammar schools policy the party hadn't had for decades have done serious damage to our chances of reelection.

Selfish members TD? Selfish for standing up for conservative values? Cameron should never have attacked grammar schools in the first place - that was his fault, not ours.

You're having a laugh TD.

If silly Willetts' had kept his gob shut and not tried to 'large' his new touchy feely c**p on us all then no-one would have retaliated.

Get you own house in order before sounding off.

Maybe one more big loss will make the party realise that it has to change. Or maybe we need a new progressive centre-right party in British politics.

Felixstowe fiddler, Sadly, I think you are right about voters being selfish. I've been trying to get one of my sisters, a disaffected Labour supporter, to vote Conservative. I went through a whole range of Conservative policies and Labour failings, took her to the Conservative website, really made an effort of trying to convert her. After all that she turned around and said "But what are the Conservatives going to do for me!" I must admit I felt a bit deflated. I suppose while we do what we think is best for our country others have a more egocentric view.

Dear Fellow Conservatives,

It's just one poll - please don't do the Labour Party's work for it by knocking our current leaders. There was definitely massive change and "moving with the times" that both needed to happen to the Party and DC to his absolute credit has delivered them. He's not from my wing of the Party but, you know, he's the best chance we've had for a long long time and I'm not about to start sniping against him.

Note the Labour supporters on this thread and their negative positioning trying desperately to drive us into territory which they perceive as votelosing.

Well, guys, it won't work, we won't fall for it and, by the way, aren't your jobs as paid full time trolls sort of demeaning?

Tony Makara's sister has it 100% correct when she asks "But what are the Conservatives going to do for me?".

Enlightened, empowered self-interest is the underlying vehicle we need to embrace if we want any chance to win the next election [whenever it comes]. We need to tell both our heartland supporters - and those who have aspirations to better themselves - that a Conservative government will make them richer. Forget the eco-taxes nonsense - instead, offer people pervasive tax-cuts. That's a hard in-their-pocket way to show them we care about their personal wellbeing.

Trust me on this.

The only way these numbers make sense is if the survey was taken while the news was full of the wackier parts of the Gummer/Goldsmith thing. I very much doubt that any of those will find their way into a conservative manifesto.

The only people who are going to benefit from pulling down Cameron and the shadow cabinet are Labour. If you are not a troll then you are only damaging your own party. You don't see Labour Bloggers slagging off Labour policy or Gordon Brown and they are both crap. We need unity, we need to tell the country through blogs like this why our policies are so great, not pull them apart.

If there is any hint of a leadership election Gordon Brown will call an early general election without delay while our membership is polarised. Cameron was voted in and is our best chance of winning. If you are a conservative supporter then start supporting and stop criticising.

I like the claim that "It's just one poll". It's now becoming routine, every new poll out shows the Tories slipping further and further behind. Just when one is produced which shows the gap down to just three percentage points, several more come along to re-inforce the point that it's, infact, six or seven points behind.

Bearing in mind that the Tories have to get about a 10% lead over the Labour party, you're looking for a swing of 16 - 17 %. I'm afraid that it isn't going to happen under David Cameron. He's tried his PR flannel, it's failed - and he's nothing left to offer.

Cameron is now simply a side-show in British politics - one largely derided and ignored. He's sunk and he's dragging the Tories down after him.


Lets all get a grip. I have been out canvassing tonight and people are nervous about their savings whether or not in Northern Rock, house prices, and the economy. DC is our leader. Lets get behind him and get on with the job we all signed up to do BEAT LABOUR!!!!!

A very ,very bad poll from a respected pollster. Anyone who actually wants to see Brown beaten must strive for unity. We desperately need a good conference and some meat on the bones in policy direction.

Tony Mankara, asked a friend recently what the party needed to do to get them to look at the Conservatives as alternative to Labour.
Answer was simple and direct.
Stop bl**dy fighting amongst yourselves!!!

"Further proof of how the actions of selfish members obsessed by the "loss" of a grammar schools policy the party hadn't had for decades have done serious damage to our chances of reelection."
I agree, and at the end of the day if a bunch of MP's in safe seats want to cause an unnecessary fight over a policy we did not reintroduce in 18 years, they aren't hungry enough for power.

God knows what's going on.

It seems like one step forward and two back in the polls at the moment.

Quite surprised. I was expecting 38/36 maybe.

As UK Polling Report suggest, it seems peoples views of Labour have IMPROVED with Northern Rock and not taken a nose-dive at all.

I'm definitely beginning to feel Osborne is not the man for Shadow Chancellor.

I knew Project Cameron would all end in tears. People just don't trust him, now it doesn't matter what he talks about because people just don't buy it.

The best we can hope for now is an early election so we can get the defeat over with, get rid of Cameron and start all over again.

8 points behind in the middle of a financial crisis. Pathetic. Don't get your hopes up either, two other polls out soon are disappointing and Brown will have a boost from his conference and will seek to undermine the tory conference. For all we know he could have a tory MP about to defect on the eve of our conference.

The issue now is not if we win or lose but by how much will we lose. Electoral calculus shows that on this poll Labour would increase their majority to 128 and we would lose seats (a fall from 209 seats to 197). Even if this is an exaggeration its still a big defeat.

Oh dear!

Looks like an October election (called next week at the Labour Party Conference) is all but inevitable. However a couple of thoughts, I find it extremely unlikely that Labour would poll 40%, in fact I think they will struggle to get into the high thirties. Secondly, a General Election campaign always takes a life of its own. Although this one individual poll is bad, very bad for us, to assume that everything is all over and that we're doomed to a heavy defeat would also be silly. I admit that I struggle to see us winning a majority, but on the other hand it is not out of the question to reduce and even wipe out Labour’s majority. If that were to happen then Brown would be left to cling onto office with the support of the Lib Dems, and he would be humiliated. So its not over yet for us by any means.

BTW - Does anyone know when Populus are going to publish their full survey results? There was a piece about Ming Campbell in the Times two days ago; I thought that a full survey was going to follow. Anyone got any more news on this?

By the way some good news: if this poll was a GE than Rob Wilson MP, the one who attacked Lady Thatcher would be out! Of course it does not take into account local issues but still ...

We've had all the policy reports. David Cameron now needs to lay out which of these policies we are going to run with. He needs leave out the ones that have caused controversy in the media and the party. If asked about them just say they are for future review. I understand that David reads this blog from time to time, well David here is a top tip: Green issues are popular amongst political types and lobbyists, the public however are very anti-green taxes. The ones that are pro-green taxes wear sandals and will never vote Tory no matter how green we say we are.

These policy commissions, particularly this last one, have produced policies like Lib Dem conferences used to do. Mad items which can be taken up by the press and opponents.

The headlines they have produced will stick, and when the leadership backtrack later there won't be the same impact.

The average voter really thinks we are going to charge them to park at the supermarket or to go a museum.

"So much fun has been had blaming David Cameron for Labour’s lead in the opinion polls that few have looked closely at where Mr Brown’s new voters are really coming from. The Conservatives have, in fact, held on to their voters reasonably well. The Lib Dems, by contrast, have suffered an exodus. For years, the Lib Dem party has been used as a left-wing sanctuary for voters who could not stomach Tony Blair. Now he has gone, they are returning to the Labour fold." Spectator

Well actually Steve (Green) if you go to Labour home it's dominated by crazed lefties whining about new Labour - look at the posts about the deselection of Bob Wareing, for example.

Let's get real: neither disaffected Tories attacking Cameron here, nor daft Trots who haven't come to terms with Benn not winning the leadership in 1981 on Labour home make the slightest dent in either party's figures.

John Howard is considering resigning to give his party a chance and he has won elections.

Does DC have it in him to recognise he has blown it and he has to step aside?

People are frightened about losing their money and he is still banging on about saving the planet.

Peter (Coe) I'll admit I could be wrong about Labour bloggers. What I am sure about is the public's perception that labour are united and we are divided. As for comments on here not making any difference I'm not so sure. I've seen this blog quoted in the media and a biased as the media are, they usually quote party divisions.

As an exTory and now UKIP member, I do think these numbers are overcooked. Dave may be a failur, but the gap feels on the ground more like 4-6%

@Radical Tory 23:15

Rob Wilson didn't attack Lady Thatcher, he attacked Mr Brown.

He worked damn hard to win the Reading East seat from Labour. To win gov't we need not only for Mr Wilson to be re-elected, but also to displace Mr Salter from Reading West.
In a Labour town, Mr Wilson is great example that Labour are beatable.

'These policy commissions, particularly this last one, have produced policies like Lib Dem conferences used to do. Mad items which can be taken up by the press and opponents.'

Instead of alienating voters with some of the ridiculous proposals that have come out of thees commissions,why not try being an opposition,just focus on the billions of taxpayers money being flushed down the toilet each year and forget about the green fluff that's just driving away potential supporters in droves.

Keep your knickers on. We had stupendous momentum. I can't beleeve we've stalled. It's a blip. Just wait.

I think Will has a good point. The policy groups were, and are, a little unfocused. A lot of the people I talk to have no sense of what DC's Conservatives are about. That's not to say that the policy groups haven't been useful, it's just they needed to be a little bolder in their recommendations. DC and his people have made a lot of progress over the past few months; irrespective of how much the short-term polls tend to ebb and flow. Now is really not the time to lose nerve.

I just stumbled on Conservative Home and I've got to say - as a Labour voter - this thread makes hilarious reading. Tory angst! I'm half way through - going to get some popcorn.

Okay: There are a number of big advantages for Brown that we need to accept:

1. He is a new PM and people are willing to give him a proper chance. He has exited the treasury without the Conservatives making anything really stick, so his record, in their eye's, he is pretty clean. We have missed the boat here.

2. The economy, interest rates and growth are such that he has managed to divert huge sums to services without folks feeling the pinch. This has masked huge failings in policy, but, again, why vote him out - there are no obvious failings that Joe Public can focus on.

3. The boundary commission cannot adequately address the local representation (MP) model with the two party system. Tories are under-represented in Westminster as a share of the national vote because of segregated voting demographics - Sean Fear will correct me here - but, roughtly speaking... Tory majority in leafy-hollow of 35,000 = 1MP, NuLab majority of 2,000 in inner-city seat = 1MP.

It's all stacked against us, yes, but the amazing thing, to me, is that we should still be getting landslides! But we don't, because, well there is a good reason for that..... Those who say we should ape Labour are wrong. Those who say Cameron is tearing up our 'tradition', are... wrong. Those who say we need 'and theory' (sorry Tim), are wrong, those who say they are REAL Tories and we need the CORE vote are, well, pretty much wrong too. The Conservative Party today is destructivelty influenced, not by conservatives at all, but largely by neo-cons and Thatcherites, who are neo-liberal free marketeers, NOT, definetly not 'conservatives'!

The (great) success of the Thatcherite revolution has seduced the party into believeing it should be something it is certainly not, and only the electorate are keeping us honest on this. Yes we have lots in common, cons, neo-cons, liberals, etc, etc,, yes we agree we all hate socialism, yes we can relate to each other in many ways, BUT, I'm a conservative, and the vast majority of the electorate are conservatives, and we don't like radical change or policy proposals that go past what we can reasonably predict the outcome off. So when you say 'FLAT TAX' and 'CORE VOTE' in the same sentence, or privatise Health Care, or vouchers for schools that teach Enid Blighton, or de-regulate and outsource parenting, or lets invade Lichtenstein and install tanning booths that sell vouchers to visit the Lakes, oh and by the way, I'M A TORY. When you feel your boosom moving when you say that stuff, call yourself anything you want to: But remember, your not a conservative, in the true sense of the word, you are not.

The public are conservatives at heart, and these days they often seem more conservative than the Conservative Party.

I think many of us have lost sight of what it is we are fighting for, why are we no-longer the narural party of power in Britain? It took Thatcher, a neo-liberal to articulate the differences in the party, the battle is not about 'Right and Left', but 'Wet and Dry'. The public are Wets and the party is Dry. The failure to properly address this has caused the rapid demise in our political fortunes, we have forgotten who it is we are fighting for, and New Labour can destroy us if we carry on down this road.

Why are the public falling for Brown's spin?

They aren't. They detest it. But given a choice of three...they choose one. To stick with the Devil they know.

As for Cleo, she sounds like a "Speak Your Weight Machine" with the same mantra word for word....Camden must be dreadfully mindnumbing if that is the repeated comment to every situation

Electoral Calculus for this poll gives:

Labour: 389
Tories: 197
LibDem: 35

Majority: 128

The sad news is seeing the list of good values-based MP's like Philip Davies, Philip Hollobone etc who would lose their seats thanks to the car-crash, shell of a party the Cameroons have created.

Cleo sounds more like an inrerestwed voter than a sinister rouge.

It doesn't make happy reading does it? I still don't believe Brown will go to the country this year.

Selfish members TD? Selfish for standing up for conservative values?

The same "conservative values" that failed to win you the last three general elections? Even Labour learned to compromise to become electable. If you don't want to compromise, learn to like being in Opposition - you won't get anywhere else.

Will you now be changing the subject of the wrongman.org? Maybe you could set up "wrongtoff.org"!

Raj your making the same old mistake of thinking that we lost three elections purely because of our policies. Therefore we need to abandon them to win.

The flaw in this argument is that in each election, with arguably ever more 'right wing' leaders and policies, Labour's majority gradually fell.

Our worse result was with John Major (right wing leader and policies? hardly) our best with Michael Howard (Dracula and patients' passport). Why? Because governments lose elections, oppositions don't win them.

Labour looked nice and reasonable in 1997 and we looked tired and stale, riven by sleaze. Not much different in 2001 because Tony hadn't blotted his copybook.

Improvement in 2005 as Tony's halo slipped.

Reversal now as Brown succeeds Blair. Frankly, the policies have got little to do with it. It's mostly perception and I think the average voter doesn't know what we stand for whilst Brown (currently) appears the principled new broom.

Spot on Bill! Progressively better GE results with popular policies, but in need of a better image (achieved with a balanced 'And' approach).

Enter nice image Cameron (stage left); polls shoot up, Tories got it right at last.

Unfortunately, the Cameroons then trash and ditch the 'old' policies whilst spending too much time with the 'new' policies, cue collapse in polls, end of the good progress of chipping away at Labour's majority, in fact sharply reversing the process.

Lesson learnt: Don't ditch popular policies, give them equal weight and support to the new fluffy stuff. A fusion for government.

(And don't *ever* call your own loyal supporters 'delusional' or 'dinosaurs' again).

Brown needs a good poll right now with the economy looking rocky. He's been provided with one by ICM, the same lot who were messing around with 'likelihod to vote' stats during the first Brown bounce, and the same ones who rigged the Cameron approval stats on their front page, pretending an 'all voters' figure was just Conservatives.

ICM is praised to the rooftops by Smithson on Politicalbetting, but he seems to ignore his own recent analysis showing ICM a bit shoddy.

Cameron did well in the John Redwood week. Is there a lesson here somewhere? 1 + 1 = 2 or something.

It is all very well trying to hide the fact - trying to ignore the evidence - that Cameron will not win an election for the Conservative Party.

He has changed the Tory party but people do not like what he has brought. One just has to look at the LibDems-what has their policy of higher taxation brought? Likewise people may like to talk about 'green' issues but when it affects the pound in their pocket- forget it!

What IS needed is a highly respected member of the Tory Party to make a speech to the Conference telling Cameron just where he is wrong - telling him what true Tory principles are- That Maggie still captures the heart of traditional tories - and is still highly respected by most people for her CONVICTION.

We do not see any conviction in Cameron. We see fluff. The speaker should demand that people like Gummer and Goldsmith go and join the Green Party as they are not articulating what Tories believ.

That speech will not take place. That is why, in my humble opinion, the Tories will lose and fragment.

Raj...you lost 3 elections because you failed to win in The North; and you are still failing in the North. Leeds and Bradford together is the largest population centre in Yorkshire - bigger than North or South Yorkshire - yet Conservative votes went backwards in 2005 and 2006 in both cities with LibDems propping up Conservative councils in coalition - Labour being the biggest party

So you are right - failure in The North is about to be repeated. Might be time to split and form a new separate Northern Party

Don't worry, the English will never accept a Scot as prime minister.

Oh, wait....


Bill and Chad - I have to agree with you both - my reading of the poll numbers since '97 suggest that we have lost precisely because the voters of the Thatcher years sat on their hands or walked off in disgust when we began to move away from traditional conservative values, not because of them. Remember Mrs T saying "mortgage tax relief will never go as long as I'm Prime Minister"?

The public are crying out for (genuine) conviction politics - a firm line on crime, on population control (look, its about sustainability isn't it? - how many people can finite water, food, and energy support?), on sensible taxation, on education, on pensions, on the NHS, on keeping the covenant with our armed forces (wouldn't it be nice if DC was thrashing Brown for his appalling treatment of the returning wounded from Iraq and Afghanistan, and the scandalous housing these brave men and women and their families are having to live in?).

Those same voters who have been sitting on their hands will continue to do so until they see a resurgance of the party they used to vote for - and a strong opposition which doesn't tip toe round the open goals which Labour continue to present.

Labour haven't won a single election since '92, we DID lose them all - and there's a difference we seem to ignore.

A glaring example of our benign torpor is Ming's apparent popularity in the recent poll - his latest policy announcements have included two howlers which we should be agressively sharing with the press. 1. He has declared that he intends to withdraw tax relief on pension payments (a staggering, breathtakingly stupid announcement) and 2. He is going to heavily tax "super rich" households with incomes over £70k - the immediate immplications being that he is going to tax families where both hard working partners are earning
£35k or more. The obvious conclusion? Hardworking couples on these incomes would be taxed less if they lived apart than if they lived together - living apart they become the deserving poor - living together they suddenly become the super rich - bizarre? of course; do I hear anything from Osborne or Cameron? For all I know they think it's a good idea as long as the "super rich" couple don't have double glazing, an effectively lagged roof and a wind turbine.

Sometimes I really do despair - If we had been in power for the last ten years doing what Labour have done, and they were in opposition now, they would be tearing us limb from limb on an hourly basis - and rightly so.

Sorry for the rant......

When conducted?

ICM questioned 1,005 adults by telephone between September 13 and 16.

Before Northern Rocking kicked in and Gordon Brown did his usual vanishing act when the dung hits the fan.

'For when they reach the scene of crime--Macavity's not there!'

Brown is trading on the safe pair of hands usually by managing by proxy when things get a wee bit tricky. Abdication in other words.

This might cheer up 'not a traditional tory':


I admit 32% looks bad, but a bit of party unity and the shadow cabinet being more vocal could possibly to over turn this.

To all the traditional Tory right wingers (such as Michael Ancram) who when they occasionally get on some media attention decide to start reminiscing. Britain is a very different place to what it once was; stop acting like spoilt little children who throw a tantrum because they can’t get their own way. Go away, grow a backbone and unite behind your leader. People say the Conservative party is out of touch with the public – it’s more like a handful of old school Tory MPs who are out of touch. It’s a pity these people weren’t put out to grass when DC Conservatives hit 40%.
I am not saying that we should abandon traditional Tory polices, but we should not make promises which we possibly can not keep at the next election, whenever that maybe.

I doubt that this poll truly represents the current position.That said however,we need collectively to reflect on what has brought us to the current situation.

It is a paradox for me that just at the moment that our leadership began to recognise the "and theory" of Conservatism the critiscism from all sides has intensified.Much of the positioning and mood music of the first 18 months has failed ,if we believe the polls,to bring any tangible gain.

The electorate now appear totally confused by us.The poll leads that we enjoyed previously have been shown to be anti Blair rather than a positive inclination to support us.We are locked into a pledge to mainatin Labour's spending plans which effectivley kills off hope of reducing the direct tax burden whilst at the same time we are championing new punitive "green taxes"

I am struggling to see what the thinking is behind the strategy that has led us here.An autumn election is conceiable,although,I doubt we will get one.The leadership must then completely reasses it's direction and presentation.Forget the so called rush to the centre and campaign hard on issues that people worry about on the ground.Lets face it most voters see the world from behind their own eyes.It is not easy for many struggling to cope with the demands of everyday life to understand the complex arguements surrounding the complex issues of climate change.They can however see the mindless violence and criminality infecting their communities.They can see a great swathes of our large cities inhabited by disaffected career claimaints who consume more and more resources for little noticeable gain to wider society.The tragedy is that people seem to accept this as inevitable.It is this theme not environmentalism that should of marked out DC's attack over the past two years.He can not afford to delay any longer.

Before Northern Rocking kicked in and Gordon Brown did his usual vanishing act when the dung hits the fan.

He did exactly what he would have donme before he became Prime Minister, let the Chancellor of the Exchequer handle matters.....

Britain is a very different place to what it once was

Unfortunately. It seems there is little in this country of any quality and no institution worthy of respect. That is my expressed view, but one I hear daily from people who simply want to get out and live abroad. Lenin called it "Voting with their feet"

Tom Tom - "Britain is a very different place to what it once was....people who simply want to get out and live abroad."

So, a colleague who emigrated to Vancouver asked me to join him, and my wife wants to return to her native Scotland. I want to stand and fight - probably sad and mad, but what would you do?

An truly awful poll for the Tories.
We need to take immediate action in the face of economic turmoil. Osborne is young and his time will come but at the moment he looks to inexperienced and out of his depth for his brief. DC should swap him with Hague who will bring much needed experience and gravitas. Osborne will be a good opponent for the equally young and inexperience Milliband.
To compound the bad poll I’m even more convinced that NuLab will go for an early election. Announced at the party conference and destroying the our conference following shortly afterwards.
- Labour internal polling must show similar results to the ICM poll, which of all the pollsters is the one I trust most
- Brown knows that the economic circumstances will only get worse, so going now avoids too much economic pain affecting a 2009/10 election
- “Give him his chance” is sadly a compelling narrative

…and the killer point
- Look at the thin-skinned response by the government to the Northern Rock debacle. NR was in no way going to fail, at worst they would have closed to new business as they could not raise finance. Very bad, but not a bank failure. Depositors money was safe.
It was the knee-jerk panic reaction by Darling/Brown to TV pictures of panicking grannies withdrawing their life savings from NR that has changed my mind. The government is clearly thinking short.

"Forget the so called rush to the centre and campaign hard on issues that people worry about on the ground"

Well said. Unfortunately we are classed as delusional class warriors, so as sensible your idea is, its just not going to happen.

There is one glimmer of comfort - in 1997, 2001 and 2005, the Tories outpolled their opinion poll figures and Labour underpolled. So if on election day, the aggregate polls give Labour an 8% lead, it will probably turn out to be 5%. Opinion polls don't seem to factor in the different politics of Scotland.
Remember, the Tories do better in England as a whole, and particularly in London, the East, South East and East Midlands so should pick up seats here (helped by the boundary changes.
I had always believed the outcome of the election would be a hung parliament with Tories the largest party. That just looks like a dream. Gummer-Goldsmith and the inept Osborne are godsends for Labour. Concentrate on law and (dis)order and the polls might just start to turn.
That's as upbeat as I can be Mr Editor!

MikeA - Northern Rock makes an interesting study. I remember reading some research years ago which said that customers tended to value a supplier of a faulty product which went wrong more than a supplier of a product which gave no problems IF they recieved after sales service which they percieved as efficent and caring.

I think it's entirely possible that that we are seeing a similar effect working with Brown and Northern Rock. You and I can probably think of a number of reasons for criticising the Government in their handling of the economy running up to the Northern Rock debacle, BUT, for all the delay and blustering, it may well be that the public see the apparent* 100% guarantee of Northern Rock's depositor's money as a caring and appropriate response, with a corresponding upswing in their view of the party.

*I say apparent because as one sharp eyed analyst mentioned yesterday - the wording of Darling's announcement was "for the duration of the current period of uncertainty" - and this gives plenty of scope for declaring that "the current period of uncertainty" has ended at some time before Northern Rock goes to the wall, in the unlikely event of that happening.

It's also worth noting that given the BoE's pre-existing committment to provide support to NR which pretty much matched their possible exposure should everyone withdraw their deposits this announcement actually didn't amount to anything new.

Thank you FF - at least you (and a few others) are trying!


"Well actually Steve (Green) if you go to Labour home it's dominated by crazed lefties whining about new Labour - look at the posts about the deselection of Bob Wareing, for example.

Let's get real: neither disaffected Tories attacking Cameron here, nor daft Trots who haven't come to terms with Benn not winning the leadership in 1981 on Labour home make the slightest dent in either party's figures.

You may also notice that the press dont constantly scour LabourHome and regularly publish Lefty rantings, as evidence of a 'crisis' in the Labour Party, and 'grassroots' dissatisfaction with Gordon Brown

Given most of the papers are Labour supporting, its hardly a suprize that they come on here rather than follow LabourHome...

In my opinion, the party really needs to get a grip on its press office. With most of the
media doing Browns bidding it makes it extremely difficult to get any message across.

Look at the Norther Rock situation. Had David Cameron said nothing, the Labour-leaning media would have accused him of running scarred of comment, being 'soft' on Brown and cowering in shadow of Black Wednesday, while being very happy to reprint Brown's lie that Cameron was Norman lamont's principal economic advisor that day, and re-running archive footage of that day.

Yet now the Brown/No 10 spin, pushed in today's Times leader, is that Cameron should have supported Brown, not critisised him, in a moment of national crisis.

Take last weeks Quality Of Life review. Completely torn apart in the media, yet when the Lib Dems unveiled a raft of broadly similar ideas this week, the BBC were fawning all over them.

Today, Easy Jet have launched an advertising campaign asking for politicians to tax air travel in the same way the rewiew suggested. Im sure we wont have to wait too long for 'Listening' Gordon to snap it up as a policy, though last week, Labour trashed the idea, in the same way as the £2000 showroom tax, which they then leaked on Sunday

One more positiive:
The only feasible date for a snap election is October 25. But it is half-term for most schools so many people will be away on holiday and this may force Brown into delaying until 2008. Elections in November-March period are unpopular because people do not like being canvassed in the dark and neither do they want to vote on dark nights,

For once in my life I found myself agreeing with Simon Heffer in last Saturday's Telegraph.

There is a growing sense of unease about TrustFund Tories- he named Cameron, Osbourne, and Goldsmith, lecturing the hard pressed rest of us about taking cheap holiday flights.

It does not sit well with ordinary voters.
David Heathcoat-Amory made exactly the same point about the reaction of his constituents this week as well.

Was this poll taken after the announcements on green taxes? People will vote for a party which cuts their income tax but not for a party which proposes extra taxes on flights and cars. It's bad economics and won't save the planet. Get a grip Mr.Cameron!

The next election will depend upon the state of the economy and whom the voters think is the most competent party to manage it; being lectured by Zac Goldsmith et al on the environment cuts little ice with the man in the street
Given that Messrs Cameron and Osborne appear to be offering little in the way of policy differentiation from the government, why should voters risk change?
In France the presidential election saw an 80% turnout because voters were offered a clear choice between two distinct ideologies. At the next General Election I expect the turnout to be less than 40% with Labour free to meddle for another 4/5 years.

I was in a northern Rock queue on monday and everyone was saying they didnt trust Gordon Brown and his government.They want David Cameron to come out strongly on immigration law and order lower taxes less red tape more prisons the tide is ready to turn if they hear these things.I was in the queue for 7 hours and had plenty of time to hear their views please listen david and do it.A Northern Conservative

As a conservative who wants to win and save our Country I am depressed beyond measure.

The modernisers round our leader, and I am afraid the Leader himself, have arrogantly ignored all feedback on how our message is going down . Members and activists of long standing have been ignored insulted and belittled - just for pointing out the obvious.

Our Green agenda is a pointless obsession, leading to policy suggestions that will turn off conservative voters by the hundreds of thousands. Our principles and traditional Conservative values have been jettisoned for what? To ape the tactics of a disgraced Labour Leader who has left office.

We are rudderless and, in the eyes of much of the public, pointless.

Before it's too late to save the us from electoral oblivion will someone please get a grip of the juvenile delinquents running our Party and let us be Conservatives again.

But it is half-term for most schools so many people will be away on holiday and this may force Brown into delaying until 2008. Elections in November-March period are unpopular because people do not like being canvassed in the dark and neither do they want to vote on dark nights,
With increased use of postal voting, I rather think these will be less of a factor in the future then they would have been in the past.

There is a danger for the Conservative Party that David Cameron is failing to convince many who have switched to voting Liberal Democrat since 1992, or especially since 1997 have simply not turned out to vote that he is a Liberal and that he is annoying many Conservatives by moving the Conservative Party in many cases to what are actually Liberal Democrat and Social Democrat positions and he will struggle to convince past Conservative voters and many current ones that they should vote Conservative.

I think though that he will probably get away just a bit singed with the total Conservative vote probably at or above 1997 levels and the percentage vote going up a bit as well and the Conservative Party getting 215 seats or so; Labour will probably win a landslide victory with around a 100 seat majority and regaining a lot of the vote they have lost since 1997 reaching around 40% with turnout probably returning to what it had been roughly in 1997. The Liberal Democrats successes since 1992 have mostly been due to low turnout, the last General Election saw them increasing their total vote almost to the total numbers it was in 1992.

I still expect the General Election to be on 11 June 2009, if there were to be an Autumn one I think Gordon Brown would be accused of cutting and running and it would probably result in Labour struggling to hold onto it's majority and probably enable the Liberal Democrats to maintain their current parliamentary position. Gordon Brown will be aware that elections so early in a parliament are viewed with suspicion by the electorate, which is why I think it won't happen.





May I be permitted to respond?

I am so angry about this it makes my blood boil. One has to ask oneself whether the 'great' British public (or at least those polled by ICM) are bright enough to understand what's good for them. For pity's sake, if they can't see the nanny-state intrusion into every aspect of their lives during the past ten years, then I propose they never will.

To provide one important example, the late Roy Jenkins once said a ban on hunting would be the greatest intrusion of civil liberties but the public just do not appreciate this. I'll venture this is because it does not affect them. How self-centred! If they had to endure the hunting of a smelly sock rather than vermin they would understand soon enough.

As much as I admire the changes he has made to our party, Cameron has failed to capitalise on this class war the socialists have waged on rural England. Why hasn't the man had the guts to stand up for everyday rural folk rather than other so-called 'minorities' who contribute little but cost so much?

Labour's lead over the Tories on the economy has increased, over the last 10 days, from 34% to 38%.

This is also the invariable range of those who tell pollsters that they are not going to vote, always the single largest group, but discounted for headline purposes.

Over a third of the potential vote. Minimum. So, what are we waiting for? What are you waiting for?

Britain needs a pro-life, pro-family, pro-worker, anti-war party of economically social-democratic, morally and socially conservative British and Commonwealth patriots who really care about the North and South of Scotland; about North, Mid and West Wales; about Northern Ireland; about the North of England; about the Midlands; about the West Country; about East Anglia; and about the less chi-chi parts of London, the South East, Central Scotland, and South Wales.

So let's get on with it!

Tom Tom - "Britain is a very different place to what it once was....people who simply want to get out and live abroad."

So, a colleague who emigrated to Vancouver asked me to join him, and my wife wants to return to her native Scotland. I want to stand and fight - probably sad and mad, but what would you do?

Posted by: Teck | September 19, 2007 at 10:01

I reply




Posted by: TomTom | September 19, 2007 at 15:08



Posted by: TomTom | September 19, 2007 at 15:13

Sorry Teck.... I tried....

The sooner the leadership wakes up and listens to grass roots members and supporters the sooner the polls will revive.The supporters were ignored in 1990 when Maggie was dumped.The parliamentary party was disloyal to John Major and cruel to Duncan Smith.When will the party wake up and realise voters hate that kind of behaviour?If polls continue like this Mr Cameron's leadership will come under intense scrutiny and here we go again.Leadership election,divisions,more years in opposition.I don't agree with everything Mr Cameron is doing but he did reinvigorate the party.Why was that so short lived? Inward and backward looking MP's in the main.Nothing has been learned since November 1990 when the party made it's biggest ever mistake.The Tory party needs to stop apologising for the past.It's because of the Thatcher years we have the economy we have today.We should be proud of those years and combine those ideals with the new greener,modern ones of today.It does'nt have to be either or.Why let Labour take the credit for all those tough decisions and bold actions?

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