« Campaigner of the Year: MigrationWatch | Main | Tories 16% ahead! »


Number nine for your list would be the public sector vote.

Labour has sprayed southerners' cash at creating a new class of public sector workers and middle class welfare dependents so as to shift Britain towards large spending parties.

This puts a high floor under the Labour vote.

I'm a public sector worker, and I've never voted Labour in my life.

"It was then a largely pragmatic party of government. Mrs Thatcher changed that herself."

More's the pity.

Although strictly speaking, Thatcher didn't change that; she was a pragmatist, it her 'followers' that have rather falsely portrayed her as some sort of rigid ideologue, and in doing so insisted on a similar level of ideological dogma from the party and her successors.

Cameron is trying his best to change that and return the Conservatives to their original, election winning model. Thankfully.

Ref,Council spy cases reach 1000 - Telegraph.
As the majority party of local government in England and, hopefully a larger majority after the May 1st elections, are under Consrervative control, I would like to see David Cameron giving them all a clear order that they will put a stop to this disgraceful Stasi like spying on the public.
The story of Poole Council in Dorset spying on the parents of a 3 yeard old child was on Newsnight last evening.
I haven,t checked if its Tory run but assumed not otherwise the pro left BBC would have delighted in pointing that out.
I know David Cameron is great beliver in putting a stop to the increasing theft of peoples privacy and liberties by the NuLab government and its acolytes so David, please prove it by ordering Tory councils to give a commitment they will not use the draconian powers of the Anti-Terrorist legislation to spy on innocent people.

"Voters unhappy with Labour can vote LibDem or stay-at-home"

The big problem I have is convincing disillusioned Labour voters to make the great leap of faith and vote Conservative. The response I keep getting, as I interpret it, is that people are sick of Labour but feel a period in opposition will do them good and purge the party of all the opportunist trends and Labour will return as a socially conscious party again. There is a feeling that Labour has been corrupted by power and that once the power is removed the party will resort to type. It seems Labour supporters are not worried about the prospect of a Cameron government because they don't see him as being extreme, but they won't vote Conservative, but will desert Labour. I don't detect any great will to switch to the Liberals, most of the Labour supporters that I know are just not going to vote. So essentially they remain Labour supporters but don't like the current Labour clique holding power.

Fair enough houndtag but my point about public sector workers in general still stands.
Something in cameron's favour is media boredom with Labour. They have had eleven years of Labour and want something different.

John F Aberdeen "I would like to see David Cameron giving them all a clear order that they will put a stop to this disgraceful Stasi like spying on the public."

I couldn't agree more. I also think it was a mistake to say that fraud trials can be stopped in the national interest.

The editor is right Cameron has a mountain to climb, he will not do it by hugging labour close on unpopular issues however realpolitik they are. People are looking not for hollow promises of whiter than white but actually doing and saying "the right thing". They want to hear Cameron is on their side be it on crime, immigration (europe) or whatever that is the only way to overcome apathy.

You have also missed mass immigration, which has three implications for victory in 2010:

1. Immigrants have traditionally voted for Labour and this is underpinned by their new found status and economic benefit as a result of Labour's open door policy.
2. They now form sizable minorities in most constituencies and majorities in many; this will continue to increase.
3. Tory policies are increasingly being targeted at winning their vote (e.g. Boris’s amnesty for illegal immigrants in London). This may alienate an equal amount or traditional Tory voters.

In a single decade the face of Britain has been changed by mass immigration and so has the political landscape. This is more likely to help Labour, something they may well have thought about when opening Pandora’s door.

You have also missed the impact of the EU and the Human Rights Act. Much of what the Tories may like to promise will be impossible to deliver without a renegotiation of our relationship with the EU and the scrapping of the HRA (as this Government have found). This will make the delivery of many key policies only possible in a second term at the earliest – “Jam Tomorrow” is not a good slogan to win a majority in 2010.

"Immigrants have traditionally voted for Labour"

Well, would you vote for a party that sees you as some sort of threat? The vast majority of immigrants have views that would be considered Conservative; perhaps if the party were more positive, it would reap the benefits electorally. One only has to look at the Asian community- solid on family values, the importance of hard work and education; all Tory values and yet they vote for Labour. And why not? Why would they vote for a party that has sent out negative messages about them?

"The Conservative Party membership is much smaller and less docile. "

Well whose to blame for that where Conservative supporters have abandoned the party or out of sheer exasperation not prepared to accept the blundering incompetence of the professional politicians.

"Levels of apathy are now much greater."

And again whose to blame for that other than the jobs worth professional politicians who are unable to formulate any political thought, policy, or idea that excites the electorate? Stuck in the same old rut, mouthing the same old platitudes, and claiming to be slightly less useless mangers than the completely useless other lot just doesn’t cut it!

We need to make a clear distinction between...

...the likelihood of ending Labour's majority: VERY LIKELY

...and the likelihood of a Conservative majority: A VERY TALL ORDER EVEN WITH CURRENT POLLS.

The illegal immigrant amnesty is a bad idea-break our rules for long enough and you'll get way with it. Many long established legally based "immigrant" communities (often now into the 3rd generation)resent the illegals, when legal immigrants stick to the rules re visitors and spouses, who often must submit to very personal qustioning by Hime Office officials.

Party loyalty is a lot weaker today compared to 1979. That will help Cameron shift votes more easily.

This is all very interesting, but 1979 was a very different time.

Surely it's more interesting to compare the more recent example from the other side - i.e. the task Blair faced in 1997.

I knew many regular Labour voters back then who had begun to despair they would ever win an election again.

It's hard to describe now, after all that's happened since, how un-confident Labour was in its ability to win in 1997. Even with 20% poll leads and the Major government falling apart in front of our eyes, it was hard to find many people on the left who were really, truly confident that Labour would win in 97. A hung parliament, or a Tory minority government, was secretly the best that some of them hoped for.

In retrospect, although they didn't say it at the time, it seems to me that Conservative supporters/voters/ministers had more belief in a Labour victory than did Labour itself.

In terms of numbers, Cameron today has a harder job than Blair did. But the Tories have a confidence about them today which is way ahead of Labour's in 1997. That must count for something?

One of the big differences with 1979 is how prominent the trade unions were in everyday life then. People were fed up with them and this did not help Labour. Now they are not an issue. Another is that the professional middle class vote could be pretty well relied on by the Tories and a lot of it has flaked off to Nulab and Libdem.

It would be interesting to see the level of support from the under 25s. I feel David Cameron has moulded the Conservative party into a very modern looking party and Labour now look every bit the politburo party, outdated and lacking any sort of dynamism. There was a time when Labour could guarantee tapping into the votes of angry young men and women, now the pendulum has swung completely the other way. The young people who will vote Conservative at the next election may well become life-long Conservative supporters. This is an important generational change in attitude.

Just a quick heads up, ITN are reporting a Tory lead of 16% in a yougov poll for tomorrow's Sunday Times.

Tories 44%
Labour 28%
Lib Dims 17%

Thanks Richard. I've now started another thread on that poll. Cheers for the heads up!

Some people on here still don’t seem to get it. Many of the professional “middle class” (whatever that means these days) voters are also public sector workers. They don’t have a natural allegiance to this party anymore. Send out negative messages about the public sector and these people won’t vote for us.

Many employees who used to work in the private sector now work in the public sector because wages and prospects are better, and why shouldn’t they be? They are still the same well qualified and aspirational people, but they will not allow themselves to be penalised for ideological reasons. The days of expecting public sector workers doing important jobs to work for poor wages and conditions are over, so learn to live with it.

It is true that some parts of the public sector have been become bloated, I do not see the reason why we need diversity co-ordinators etc, but attacks on it in general hit home to people like teachers, NHS staff and so on. Please remember that it is only under this government, I am ashamed to say, that wages and conditions have improved for ordinary NHS staff. This is remembered by people who used to vote for us.

In future it will be a case of the public and private sectors working in partnership. Create a “them and us” culture again and this party will stay in opposition.

Where I have concerns with the public sector, and where it desperately needs reform, within organisations like the NHS, social services, teaching etc is in the way that these institutions peddle the PC liberal left doctrine and staff are pressurised into doing so, and are used as “reporting” mechanisms back to the Big Brother State. Many staff (there are exceptions sadly) long for this to stop. Highlight this as a manifesto commitment and the Party will probably gain a fair bit of support. Keep giving out the wrong signals on the public sector and this party will haemorrhage support.

Quite simple really.

Party loyalty is a lot weaker today compared to 1979. That will help Cameron shift votes more easily.
Labour has been able to win largely because the 3 party vote has been so weak, and the Liberal Democrats have been able to make gains despite the fact that they are actually still weaker in terms of support than at any time between 1980 and 1992, in 2005 they almost got the same total number of votes as in 1992 and that was way down on their 1983 and 1987 performances.

The Conservative Party have the same problem with party loyalties that Labour have.

They are still struggling a bit in elections as well, Labour's vote was up slightly in last years Local Elections as against the previous year and they held both parliamentary seats whereas the Conservatives struggled a bit in the Bromley & Chislehurst by-election, the Conservative Party has not taken a parliamentary seat in a by-election from another party in over 25 years. Last years Local Elections for the Conservative Party only saw a marginally higher vote then under the high points in the previous 2 parliaments.

Every single opposition since WWII has done worse in the General Election than in the high points in Local Elections - the Conservatives were up at 50% in Local Elections in the late 1970s, Labour got 35% in 1983 before being crushed in the General Election, Labour also did well in Local Elections in 1985-86 and 1988-91 and yet still the Conservative Party won a majority - Labour was up at 42% in Local and European Elections in 1989 and at it's height in 1995 at 47% in Local Elections, Labour got 26% of the vote in 2004 Local Elections, 22% in the European Elections and 35.3% in the 2005 General Election.

It's a third successive term and third terms in the early 1960s and late 1980s\early 1990s saw a far sharper difference between by-election\local\European Election results and the following General Election results.

In addition a weakening of the Liberal Democrats helps the Conservatives pick up seats, but probably will also enable Labour to recapture many former Labour seats from the Liberal Democrats, so the Conservatives could advance quite significantly without the Labour majority changing much at all.

The party certainly had a better organisation in those days and there were 400 Agents in the field, who had years of experience. Unlike today there are less than 150, and half of those have less than five years under their belt.

Membership has fallen, but some of us will remember that subs were not collected in those days by computers, but by either road stewards or a committee member calling to collect a pound !

One of the reaons that membership has fallen in all parties is due to the move from doorstep to direct mail collections of subs. I recall the Labour party used to collect their subs once a month!

sbjme - 16.47 You say that trade unions are no longer an issue. They haven't been, maybe, but according to the newspaper over the last couple of days, the trade unions are planning disruptions over the summer. Well now as this government has demonstrated so effectively how hopeless it has been, in coping with - immigration, edgercashun, feral children, AND crime, and the public is much more aware of the problems in these areas nowadays, if you add TU disruption or strikes to this mix, it is hardly going to encourage MORE people to vote labour?

The problem with the first Thatcher DVD, is that most of the people they interview are not the most loyal of supporters

The comments to this entry are closed.



ConHome on Twitter

    follow me on Twitter

    Conservative blogs

    Today's public spending saving

    New on other blogs

    • Receive our daily email
      Enter your details below:

    • Tracker 2
    • Extreme Tracker